Marhaban! Welcome to Jordan!
This is where I will be working for the next three months (I come home exactly three months from today). It's the Ministry of Social Development, and it's about a 2-minute walk away from where I am living. I am in the legal department and share an office with a man named Marwan. I'll be doing other tasks as well, however, and I'm excited to stay busy.
Sleeping in an apartment by myself is interesting, to say the least. I've lived in foreign states and countries before, but never by myself and never not knowing the language. I must look Jordanian because people try talking to me all the time. I just have to stare, shrug my shoulders, and walk away in shame. I'm trying to learn some Arabic, but come on...Google some Arabic and tell me it's not the most intimidating language out there.
The people here are super nice. Almost too nice. Walking to work yesterday I was stopped by a man named Rashed. He spoke English (most people know at least some conversational English) and seemed genuine. He called his friend over, Eunice (a man) and we all spoke for a bit. Then Eunice asked for my phone number because he wanted to hang out sometime. Never thinking he would call, I didn't think much about it. Well guess what? Sitting at my desk today my phone rings....and it's Eunice. Why he thought of calling me then is unknown to me. Rashed got my number this morning and wants to go out for drinks. I had to learn the phrase "Haram fi diini" to get out of coffee and tea (it means "It's forbidden in my religion.").
Have I mentioned I live in a great location? Yes, I am by myself. And yes, my apartment smells weird and isn't the best. But I live directly behind some BYU students, and some more live down the street. I'm making some friendships, even though I'm forcing myself upon these people. They're all super nice to include me (or let me include myself). A few of us took a cab to a member's home for institute last night. The lesson: watching the first half of "The Ten Commandments" with Charlton Heston. It was awesome. I've never seen the movie all the way through. There are some great lines in it! Plus I had no idea that Moses' wife is the same woman who plays Mrs. Warren in "McClintock," one of my favorites.
Again, the BYU kids are great. We're planning a trip south the Petra, Wadi Rum, and Aqaba soon. And there's a possibility of me joining them on a trip to Israel. Wouldn't be foolish of me to live in Jordan and not go to one of the most historic, controversial, and spiritual places on Earth? I'm definitely leaning towards going.
Anyway, there's an update for the two who read this blog. More to come for sure. I'll leave you with a picture I took on the way to work. A little field jam packed with sheep. The field had no fences. When I walked by on the way home, the field was empty. I thought it was pretty funny.