Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Quick Glimpses

Pictures will have to wait (sorry, Claire!) until I'm home and have time to get Hubby to help me find them and sort through them, but I thought I'll give you a long overdue update on our time here in Jordan.

We have been having a great time so far.  The temps, while still warm in the 90's, are so pleasant compared to the standard 115+ we were having in Doha.  As I mentioned before, the climate here is very different to Doha. As we drove through town this morning, the words "riot of color" came to mind.  Now, to many people, Amman would hardly be called a lush garden.  But to my sensory-deprived Doha brain, all the trees and flowers (many of which we had in our garden in Miami) are a sight to behold.  There are hibiscus and bougainvillea, geraniums and sunflowers, daisies and blue daze to gawk at.  There is an abundance of jasmine and honeysuckle to draw you in as you walk through the streets.  It's amazing.

We've been to some amazing places since we arrived.  One of the first places we visited was the baptism site of Jesus.  Even though it was about 1342 degrees it was still an incredible opportunity to be there.  The spot where they believe the baptism occurred is no longer on the banks of the Jordan River as it has changed course over time, but there are ruins of ancient churches built on the site which you can still see.  We did go onward to the banks of the Jordan River though.  It was surprisingly narrow, maybe about 20 feet.  Daniel collected some water from the river, but the maid (my sil's, not my imaginary, wished-for maid) threw it away because she thought was just a bottle of dirty water.  Grrr.....

We also visited an ancient Roman amphitheater right in the heart of Amman.  You may not know that Amman is the ancient city of Philadelphia, mentioned in the New Testament.  Anyways, there's an extremely well-preserved amphitheater downtown that is still used to this day for concerts and plays.  You can just feel the history as you walk through the place.

Tomorrow we are planning on going to the Dead Sea.  For those who may not know, it's the lowest place on earth and the water has such a high concentration of salt that you float effortlessly.  It's fairly difficult to go underwater, but you wouldn't want to if you could.  Just a splash of the water in your eyes can burn badly and a drop in your mouth would make you want to gag.  We've gone before, but not since Emily was a baby so this will be a nice treat.  Since that time, they've built an amazing water park there too so we'll be hitting that tomorrow as well.  Should be a welcome change from the city and heat.

Tonight, though, we will say goodbye to one of my sisters-in-law and her family.  They are relocating to Canada for a year or two.  They all seem to be excited about the move, even the three kids.  We wish them well and hope that they settle in quickly and make new friends easily.  We know, all too well, how difficult it can be to move to a new culture, especially with kids.  

Well, I'm off now to listen to the sounds of family laughing, Arabic cooking shows on tv (think Food Network, but you don't recognize any of the ingredients!!), and heat rising off my brain.  Did I mention that Arabs are extremely resistant to air conditioning???


Claire said...

Thank you for the update! I did see the pictures of the site at which they believe Jesus was baptized. And you got to go there! Yay! Can't wait to see pictures. What a great trip! :)


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