Tip #435: Good Company in Amman

“The more one does and sees and feels, the more one is able to do, and the more genuine may be one’s appreciation of fundamental things like home, and love, and understanding companionship.”  Amelia Earhart

Okay. The latest information I have about how many people will be in the training: we need to accommodate any grantees, so we will have 30 in each class. This may or may not include some of the office staff.

If all or some cannot attend, then I am to give an accelerated version to them on the Sunday, Monday and Tuesday before I leave at 2:45 AM!!! on Wednesday morning.

Cassie goes back tomorrow morning and I’m really going to miss her friendship and energy. It’s not the same as it was with Tricia, because we both left Lagos on the same day. I would have sorely missed Tricia (even more than Cassie) if she had gone and I had been left on my own in Lagos. Tricia was my mainstay both in and out of the hotel.

But Mona is very friendly, so is Jasmine and Maha D- and actually everyone else in the office, so I’ll be just fine. And since two other (female) consultants will be coming- one this weekend and the other the following weekend, I’m sure that I’ll have plenty of company for adventuring in and around Amman.

Oh, there was a huge story in the Jordan Times today about the trip the staff took to interview the inhabitants of two places where the springs are drying up. The story was accompanied by several pictures taken by the staff and a very long write up of the problems and some of the folks’ comments. They used to have lush orchards and now they can only grow olive trees, which are also failing. Since these are farming communities, many are starting to plan to move to the cities for work.

I was reading over Cassie’s shoulder. In the future, I’m going to have to pick up an English version of the Jordan Times to know what is happening in the area. Another headline I saw was that “there are no more mines in Jordan.” However, she read further and found out that won’t be true until the end of May.

In Madison, I only skim the headlines of the Wisconsin State Journal online, and read the articles that interest me. It seems like it would be prudent to know on a daily basis what is going on in this region- since I certainly can’t understand the Arab news stations.

Remember that I mentioned getting a very small jar of (creamy) peanut butter at a mini mart the other day? I had no idea how to gesture that I would prefer chunky peanut butter! Well, according to Mohammad, our driver, there are three centers where Jordanians in Amman can pay to learn English. It is not taught in the schools.

So it’s pretty obvious that the folks in the office are very unique in having English language skills (some more proficient than others, of course). In general, it is very unlikely I am going to meet Jordanians who speak English, other than in the hotels and larger restaurants.

Well, I’m waiting for the office folks to get back (probably not for another hour, which will make it at least 1:30 p.m.) to order lunch. My stomach is still programmed to be hungry at 11:30 a.m. so I’m starving! The apple I brought from the breakfast buffet is only a distant memory at this point.

May your learning  be sweet.

Deborah

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