I haven’t posted in a while but I’m not Dead… Sea :)

First, I’m going to say that I’m extremely sorry that I haven’t updated this in quite a while. Life just keeps happening here and it seems like it won’t ever stop!

Second, let me update you finally!

After all the initial craziness and the first couple days of classes, I began to go to nearby coffee shops to do my work. Olga (my roommate in case you forgot) had mentioned that she had never had Starbucks before (WHAT?!) so we went there to do some work together. I was s-t-ruggling with my work and luckily a guy came over to help me with it! Olga and I got his contact information and ended up going to the Dead Sea with him! I know this sounds sketchy, but being a foreigner, it’s very common to have people approach you and want to become your friend since you speak English! Besides, how often can you go to the Dead Sea in your life? I guess as many times until you’re…. DEAD. Okay, that was bad.

Photo creds to the random lifeguard who took my phone without asking!

The weekend after that, Olga and I were invited by our friend Elias to go to Madaba, an area north of Amman, where we could go on a mountain and take some pretty sweet pictures. (If you look carefully, you can see the Dead Sea again). It was so nice because after we went to this amazing place, we went back to the home of his friend, Mohammed. I have NEVER drunk so much coffee and tea in my life. I’m not joking when I say I had about 6 cups of tea and 5 cups of coffee. Now these aren’t necessarily large cups, but still, continuously drinking coffee and tea can get kind off tiring and uncomfortable when your stomach becomes the size of a watermelon.

And this is what happens when they tell you to dance for some promotional video for a DJ in Russia!




Of course, my time here in Jordan wouldn’t have been complete if it didn’t continue the craziness that it had started with. Olga and I had decided to cook some noodles for dinner and we didn’t have a lot of bottled water left to boil so we used the water from the sink. Now, before you think that it wasn’t a good idea, I googled it to see if it was okay and everywhere I looked, I saw that you had to boil the water for 30 minutes. Not too shabby, I mean I even saw that you could purify water by adding bleach to it?! I was not about to drink bleach so I figured boiling it would be no problem. WRONG. After 40 minutes (I needed to be extra sure), our water had GREEN FOAM. GREEN!!! This next part was where I went wrong… I decided to pour the foam out and use the water anyways because how bad could it be? It was boiling for a while! Let me just say, it was pretty bad. I suffered the consequences of my mistake for about 5 days with only so much anti-nausea medication, but al-Hamdulilah! I finally overcame that just in time for our next trip!

Random photo shoot after some guy walked up to me and put some dust from a rock on my face! More natural than Bare Minerals!

That week, we went to Wadi Rum and Aqaba! I’ve already been to these places, but let me say, these are by far my most favorite places in all the world. In my opinion, I think they’re better than Petra, but of course, several others would disagree. Wadi Rum is a desert where there are several Bedouin camps for tourists to stay. That weekend, I was your typical tourist taking pictures of EVERYTHING. We first arrived in Wadi Rum and hiked around the rocks to get a pretty fantastic view of the camp and our surroundings. Afterwards, we went on this “Jeep” excursion (really, it was a pick-up truck with two benches in the back) around the area and saw some really cool things! For instance, in case you didn’t know, you can use the rocks to make make-up! There’s also a place where the Martian was filmed as well! AND there’s a plant that you can crush up and mix with water and make soap! You’ve got everything you’ve ever needed. Plus, at our camp, a great dinner was provided for us and following dinner was a HUGE dance party in the middle of the area. The best part was going out in the middle of the desert where there is absolutely no light, laying down in the warm sand, and looking up at the stars. You can see EVERYTHING—the Milky Way, shooting stars, constellations, airplanes, or whatever comes to your mind. It’s a beautiful time for reflection and relaxation, which you don’t really get while you’re here. It’s honestly my favorite feeling in the world because even in an unfamiliar country with so many crazy things going on around me, there’s a sense of peace that overcomes me. I can’t help but realize that regardless of how well things are going, there is a much larger picture of life that I can’t quite see, but I know that God has a mysterious way of fulfilling His will.


If you look closely, this is taken in front of the same rock that is in the other picture!! HOW COOL!



Photo creds to the amazing photographer riding in the other vehicle, Freja Ingelstam!

The morning after an extremely hot night in Wadi Rum, we headed to Aqaba for a luxurious day at the Red Sea! This is also the most beautiful and clear water I’ve ever seen, which is a good thing and a bad thing for me. In case you didn’t know, I HATE fish! I mean, they’re okay to look at but if they are anywhere near me, I will lose it. I definitely lost it quite a few times that day because a group of us decided to go out on a boat to see the coral reefs and swim further out in the water. Let’s just say I also learned how to swim REAL quick because I was NOT about to let some fish get anywhere near me. Despite all that, I absolutely loved the Red Sea and can’t wait to go back! Also, pictures will be coming your way in the next post!

The food was much more appealing than the awkwardness that appears in this photo

I also can’t forget to mention my language partner, Abeer! Her family was kind enough to prepare the traditional Jordanian dish, Mansaaf, for me to try and eat until I couldn’t eat anymore! Then they also made kataif for dessert, which is only made during the month of Ramadan. Talk about being welcomed with open arms! It was probably one of the best dishes I’ve ever tried in my life. Both of them! AND I ate with my hands, which is another one of my favorite things to do.





Every day, I always feel a range of emotions. Sometimes I want to cry because I’m going to miss this place or maybe the day was just very difficult for various reasons, other times I’m overwhelmed with joy because people will show me so much kindness that I’m so undeserving of. I can’t describe this trip in one word quite yet, but once I process everything, I’m sure I could describe it in a few words… I hope anyways! One thing that’s for sure is that I am learning more and more each day. Looking back, in the beginning, I didn’t feel confident in speaking to people at all. I’m not saying I’m the best or even good quite yet, but the amount of improvement that I’ve seen is something I’d consider an achievement. I’m able to understand significantly more now than I was before; now when people speak fast, I’m beginning to process the sentences as a whole rather than trying to translate every single word. THIS IS CRAZY TO ME! People can speak to me and I’m at the beginning stages of processing things in Arabic instead of English! The keyword here is “beginning.” I’m also learning patience in so many aspects. I expected to leave here almost fluent (wow, why did I actually believe that?), but I realize that there’s a lot more to learn to become fluent besides just vocabulary; I need to learn the culture in its entirety. Not just a short immersion, but I need to acquire every detail about this culture and language, or at least as much as I can! Stay tuned for my last couple weeks here!