I was packing my bag for school when I heard a knock on my door and a shy voice calling out my name. As I stepped out, I saw Osama, my little host brother standing outside the room. In his hand, he held a broken hair tie. I remember my hair tie breaking the day … Continue reading It’s the Little Things that Really Matter
I’ve been to a church before. I’ve been to a Sikh temple. And a Hindu temple. I’ve even been outside a Buddhist Temple before. Sunday, however, was my first time visiting a mosque. Walking into the King Abdullah I Mosque in downtown Amman, I was astounded by the beautiful blue tile mosaics that adorned the … Continue reading An Hour in an Abaya: Visiting the King Abdullah I Mosque
In my broken Arabic, I asked the bus driver what time I would have to be ready the following day. “Bukra thamaniya?” or “Eight tomorrow?” I asked. He nodded and replied, “Inshallah”, or “God willing”. The following morning, at 8:00, I looked outside the living room window, ready to run down any second when the … Continue reading Inshallah
Arabic calligraphy? No problem! It's just Arabic with a fancy pen, right? Not really. Ever since I started learning Arabic, I loved writing letters and words with my felt-tip calligraphy pen that I bought off of Amazon. Walking into calligraphy class last Sunday afternoon, I didn’t expect it to be very different from what I … Continue reading Calligraphy, Cooking, Feasting
This past Friday, I woke up at ten in the morning and didn’t go to school. Why? Skip day? National holiday? None of the above! Here in Jordan, Friday is the Holy Day, meaning that we have Friday and Saturday off, and we go back to school on Sundays. Fridays in the Arab world are … Continue reading Around Town: Weekend Adventures in Amman
The book, broken. The house, broken. The room, broken. Practically everything is broken. Confused? Allow me to explain. With Arabic school a few days in, we have started diving into more vocabulary and of course, grammar. Currently we’re studying the plurals, which can either be masculine, feminine, or broken, which basically means that the word … Continue reading Grammar, Nesquik, and the Fourth of July
I could spend this blog post talking about my journey to Amman: the eight hour Arabic study session during the plane ride from D.C. to Vienna, the way we were given diplomatic status upon our entrance in Jordan, or the hours we spent in In-Country Orientation when we arrived. But none of that seems as … Continue reading Amman: First Sights, First Thoughts
The past two days of Pre-Departure Orientation have been such a blur! From travel, to arrival, to meeting everyone in our team, my NSLI-Y journey is off to a great start! Travel: With this being my first time flying all alone, I was definitely a bit nervous at the airport. Up until security, everything was … Continue reading From Austin to Washington: Travel, Arrival, and Pre-Departure Orientation
It’s Friday night and I leave for Pre-Departure Orientation (PDO) on Monday. This past week has been incredibly busy. In addition to cramming last minute Arabic vocabulary, choosing host family gifts, and packing my luggage, I was lucky to spend this week doing one of my favorite things: volunteering with refugees. Every summer, Interfaith Action … Continue reading A Rewarding Last Week in Austin… T-3 Days until my NSLI-Y Adventure!
With the first week of summer underway, I find myself sitting in a cozy log cabin overlooking a gurgling stream. We are on a week long family vacation at Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. The nature here is absolutely beautiful, and the best thing, in my opinion, is the abundance of snow up in … Continue reading Arabic, Snow, and the First Week of Summer Vacation!