Our family's adventures living in Amman, Jordan

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Signs of spring

We have had a bit of every kind of weather you can think of lately! Windstorms, duststorms, rain, hail, and sunny, warm days.  Today is cold and blustery with sand in the air, but this sight gives us hope that spring is on its way!

 

Winter in Amman

Believe it or not, Amman has a cold, rainy season in the winter.   It is upon us now and we are enjoying the change in weather, as in the spring, summer, and fall the skies are always blue (unless there is a sandstorm or pollution is bad) and it is sunny.   This time of year, we light all the candles around the house, cook lots of comfort food, and turn on all of the lanterns we have collected from around the area.   Ken is rarely home for dinner due to his work schedule (read: 28 hours a day) so often the girls and I eat at the coffee table and watch Andy Griffith. You laugh, but the girls love the old classics:  Dick Van Dyke, Gilligan’s Island, Leave it to Beaver, and well, Mork and Mindy!  Sure beats Zack and Cody.

The  latest recipe we are loving is dumplings.  Natalie is a vegetarian, so we omit the chicken and just enjoy the dumplings.  Such wonderful comfort food on cold rainy evenings!

Egypt

I won’t bog you down with the details, the pictures speak for themselves.  This was a trip we had been wanting to take for years and finally got around to making it happen.  We spent three nights in Cairo, then flew to Luxor for four nights.  Although we left much of Egypt unseen, this was the most we felt we could do reasonably with two kids and a budget.  Cairo was everything you imagine it to be:  dirty, busy, exciting, historical, and fascinating. We saw two pyramid sites and learned there are around 100 pyramids around the Cairo area.  The museum was extraordinary and the girls were amazed  to see actual mummies!  Luxor, with it’s resorts along the Nile was more relaxed.  The Valley of the Kings was incredible and we loved seeing the massive temples and tombs with the hieroglyphics.   It was a trip made all the more special by the news of late. I hope no more treasures from this amazing culture are destroyed and that changes are coming that will benefit everyone in the country.

Here are some highlights of our week there:

Up close to the Pyramids

In front of the Sphinx. It was smaller than we had imagined it to be. This was Natalie's favorite thing!

In Luxor

Karnak Temple in Luxor

I think this is so cool! There were rows on both sides of the pathway.

Can I get one these in front of our house?

Luxor Temple

Luxor; Felluca boats on the Nile

One of the highlights of our trip was riding a felluca on the Nile!

Being on the Nile at sunset...what an experience!

So, funny---we watched this man try to drag his cow to the water. Cow wouldn't go....THEN, the cow decides, okay, I'll go to the water. We watched as the man tried to then drag his cow OUT of the river. Nope. Not budging. We laughed as the farmer then washed the cow's face and tried to coax him out after a bath. Nope. As we sailed away, that cow was still in the Nile and the man tugging on his rope.

Just in the Nick of Time

We went to Egypt Jan. 2-10.  There was nothing to indicate that this would be a wisely-timed trip and that current events would be what they are today! We are unspeakably grateful that we were able to take our trip of a life time and get back to Jordan before chaos unfolded in Cairo. We are also grateful that we booked our trip for Christmas break and not spring break!  I will blog about our trip and post a lot of photos (I took about 600  YIKES!) in the next few rainy days.

Yes, Virginia.

I’m going to start blogging again.

Today, in fact.

It is raining in Amman and it is safer to stay inside then traverse the flooded streets and brave inexperienced rainy-weather drivers.  It rains only in the winter here and infrequently at that, so the city is just not prepared with drainage systems, culverts, and storm drains.  Roads flood very quickly as do houses whose flat roofs become overwhelmed and the water runs down inside the buildings.  Thus far, our house has stayed dry during this rainy week, but I woke up several times in the night thinking I was hearing dripping.  This rainy season is crucial to showering this summer, however, so nary a complaint from anyone here! In the fourth water poorest country (did I say that correctly? water poor?  you know, on the countries with only a little water we are number 4…)  in the world, a rainy winter is critical to having water in the hot, dry summer.  So, fill up those cisterns! Let it rain, let it rain, let it rain!

Vacation in Tel Aviv

September

The girls are in school, temps have fallen below 100 degrees, and football games are on AFN at midnight.  It was must be September! I am happy to report that Elly loves her teacher and Natalie is thriving as a middleschooler.   Everyone has friends and for the moment the friends are being nice so it’s all good!

We celebrated Elly’s birthday at the end of August with 10 of her friends at the house where they made bracelets and played games.

I have found homes for two cats!

I have started another masters’ class that promises to be a giant pain in the booty cuz it involves group work via skype.

At the end of October, I will begin to long-term substitute for a first grade teacher going on maternity leave.  I am really excited for the opportunity, but nervous for many reasons as well.  I am processing to work in Ken’s office in the embassy, but processing to work for the government is a ssssssssslllllll0ooooooowwwwwwww thing!

Elly will swim, horseback ride, and take piano lessons again. Natalie will ride, take piano, and play volleyball and flute.   Life will be busy once Ramadan is over and lessons begin!!

Here are a few photos from what’s been going on:

First Day of School

Can you blow out firework candles?