Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Holy Land Touristing

To all my followers.....hold on just a little bit longer. The pictures are coming. Internet is just not what it use to be here in the Holy Land.

For Mom: I AM SAFE AND HAVING A BLAST. Love you and miss you.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A frozen tundra no more

Fact: The Middle East does experience seasonal changes. It gets cold here....even comparable to a brisk Provo evening. My household has experienced this fact firsthand due to our lack of central heating in our home. For weeks it has felt like a frozen wasteland with visible oral condensed water molecules spewed from our mouths. Things have been miserable.

The Solution
Finally, there is heat. We have warmth. Of course there is the chance that we could die from asphyxiation from our propane-fueled space heater....I take that over hypothermia. Life is grand in here in Jordan. 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Away for a few days

Day One: Rainy Amman

Windy Karak

Musical rababa player with a shifty salesman brother.

Walking through the Siq up to the Treasury

Bedouin Army Man

The most dignified cat I have seen in Jordan so far

nationalistic pit stop


Southern Utah?

Tourist Ants

This is Audi....like the car

jeeping in Wadi Rum

Camel keeper.
It was good to get away this weekend and get some touristing in before we all have to buckle down and study hard for impending finals just around this month's corner. Like all vacations, the end is always the sweetest part. After long days, exorbitant soda prices, and crowded public places, I am so glad to be back home in my frozen tundra home.
This weeks goal: get our apartment's heater working. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

No more junk.

Meet Galayet Bandora.

The Rachel Ray inspired rubbish bin.

Toasting up some pita.
Finished product.

So, I have been in Amman for two months and I made my first real grocery trip to the store today. Honestly the shopping culture here is not like back home. I am use to those big trips to Costco and stalking up for the next 6 months on pantry goods but here people make nightly trips to the local corner store rather than the big French chain store. Tonight I made a visit to my local store for more than just my usual Pepsi and galaxy bar fix. Instead, I bought supplies to prepare my favorite easy food in Jordan. 

Green Peppers
Chili Peppers
Olive Oil
Wheat Pita

Best eaten with hands.

All prepared for less than 2 American dollars.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Dumpster Dog

Last night, Jordan and I heard the sound of distress coming through the window from the street. The other night I had met a little puppy out on the street and it followed me for a bit and I knew it had to be the same dog. Street animals are not an uncommon resident in any Jordanian neighborhood. However, a dog is! The majority and the mangiest of the street critters who frequent the local garbage dumpster in Jordan is the cat. I do not have a soft spot in my heart for the diseased felines of Amman but this pup from the other night was special. Jordan and I hit the street in search of the little guy/or girl. We were about to give up the search when we saw some neighborhood  shabab(youth) kicking the dog and causing it to cry out and seek refuge under the dumpster. The boys had run away by the time we got to the little pup. Jordan was able to fish her( we found out latter that it was in fact a little she pup) out from underneath the refuse receptacle.

It was love at first sight for Jordan. He swept her up in his arms and brought her immediately inside. I must say that I am usually opposed to bringing rabid street animals into homes but like I said previously this dog was different. She was scared and covered in dirt, filth, and grime. Jordan washed her till the water ran clear and he fed her some chicken and we got her some water. She was exhausted from the evening's events and went straight to bed out on the boy's balcony for the night.

I was excited waking up this morning with hopes of taking Hiba (puppy) for a walk or teaching her some tricks. Dreams fizzled out as the boys informed me that the puppy's owner had come for the dog. The guys came across the little kid while playing tag football in the street. The little boy swore he didn't know anything about the dogs misadventures and promised to take better care of her. A little while later the boy returned asking if they had the dog again. The irresponsible brat had lost Hiba again. If I find her again, I will not be giving her back. I hope I see/ or hear from the pup soon.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Delicious Egyptian street food in Amman. Due to popular demand more Sami pictures will be posted. Layla, pass this blog onto your mom. Sami isn't good at letting her into his Jordanian adventures.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Blog Fever

For those interested in seeing what my apartment looks like here in Jordan click here. There is a lot of blogging happening on this study abroad. Most of us are saying the same things and doing similar activities. Makes post like these easier with other people doing all the ground work. So check them out.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Afternoon with Sami in Ruseifa

"Ruseifa smells like poo!" - Sami al-Jamal
 Ruseifa is a small town outside of Amman from where my dear pal Sami's extended family lives. For those who have been following my blog for awhile, you might remember other posts about Sami. Sami and I study Arabic together at BYU and are now studying Arabic in Amman, Jordan. Sami al-Jamal is a half Louisianian-Palestinian from the village of Sureef and he lived in Ruseifa and Amman till he was eight. Today, he invited G-rat, Papa John and myself to journey to this small urinal-smelling town. The beginning of the trip started off rocky with the lack of public transportation running from Amman to Ruseifa.
We ended up taking a taxi to the town for 5 dinars instead of our pre-estimated 40 qersh(50 cent) bus ride. 
Above: Sami exiting taxi after haggling costs with the driver.

To qualify the ghettoness of this place I have included these graffiti abandon building wall arts.

Yep.....that is Sami standing next to his name.

G-rat, Papa John in back and Sami in front...walking through the streets of Ruseifa. Sami wanted to show us his baba's house.

Sami found his Uncle Musa.

When we arrived at Sami's auntie and uncle's house, we were greeted with kisses and Ma'loubeh. Ma'loubeh's awesomeness has also been noted in previous blahg posts. I also feel like the pictures speak for themselves. Just look at G-Rat's face! 
The hardest part about being in Jordan is being so far away from family. I love being able to experience family life here whenever I can. The people here are so warm and willing to do anything for you. Sami's auntie asked if I had  a warm coat for winter here and when I replied, "No." She immediately ran out of the room and returned with jackets in hand. Arabs will literally give you the clothes off there backs. The hospitality in this country is remarkable and I grow to love these people more everyday. Thanks again Sami for sharing your family with us today.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Back Home Again!

Back in al-Ashrafiya
Same old mangy trash cats.

New shabab (group of boys).

Good finger foods.

Lady flat mates.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Thursday, May 26, 2011

never too late for lent.

I am taking a stand, making a change, choosing a better path. It has only been two days but I have quit Dr. Pepper cold turkey. In fact, I have quit soda all together because lets face it there isn't really any other soda than Dr. Pepper in my beverage world. The reasoning behind this life change, and believe me this is a life change, is purely for fear of my old bones. The word "phosphate" just sends chills down my spine. Secondly, I have developed an unhealthy dependency on the drink and I am out to regain my independence this summer. Finally, to make things a little more interesting, I am saving all the money I would have spent on the delicious drink and putting it towards a good cause. New SHOES. It is going to be a long summer.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

niece pulled a natalie

The darndest things kids do. My niece and nephew decided to act out a scene from V for Vendetta and sissy opted to play the role of Evey. I think she pulls the Holocaust victim look off better than Natalie does.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

for sarai.

Monday, May 2, 2011


Sami al-jamal loves my distractions andI love photobooth.