Saturday, July 24, 2010

Ajloun: Part Duex

Things move quickly around the Alissa house. One moment you could be getting ready for a cooking lesson and the next you are being ordered to put on your shoes quickly because you are going to AJLOUN.

Ajloun is a a beautiful city just north of Amman and is the home to my host mum's sister and her family. The greatest point of interest in Ajloun is the Ajloun Castle which sits a top one of the city's big hills. I went to the ancient site a few weeks ago with some other interns but going with all the family made the experience feel a lot more personal. The feeling of belonging to this family always grows more poignant as the number of family members increases. Three of my host mum's sisters and their kids went with us to the castle. The steep road leading up to the hilltop fortress was packed with cars and people walking with large bags in hand. Fridays are the days that families hit the hill and bring their bags of dismantled argila pieces with them.

The night air smelled like pine trees and a smooth breeze was well appreciated as I looked over the old city of Ajloun. There are moments when I feel like the places I visit are like home. ( Jordan and Southern Utah are really the same place)I am always asked about why I am here in Jordan and how I have liked what I have seen........and I always answer honestly. I love it here. I meet so many people here desperate to get out and it becomes very real to me that beautiful places are not always as wonderful and exotic to the people who are struggling within the country's borders. Along with the beautiful site, the nice family dinners, and the safe walks at night, I have also seen the homeless, discouraged, and desperate. The intertwining of the two experiences makes things bittersweet but also puts a well needed reality check into every day.

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