So, yeah.

Ok I keep (well, I have multiple times previously) saying I’m gonna start writing on here again and then, uh, not starting.

So.

Here’s another attempt. As you (inshallah) already know, NJD and I are finishing up in Jordan next month. We’ll be in California from December 20 to Jan 15, and then off to Brazil.

A couple of people have expressed concern about safety in Brazil. I realize it’s not the same thing, but after having been the conspicuous white person in multiple countries and almost getting kidnapped in India, I feel like we can handle Brazil… :p But rest assured we ARE aware of Brazil’s reputation as being, well, not-super-safe. We’ve (well, I’ve) looked into the situation and decided to go for it. Even if Brazil is not the safest country in the world, it’s still unlikely that something would actually happen to us. I mean, stuff can happen anywhere. No, that doesn’t mean we should take unnecessary risks. But there’s a fine line where “avoiding risk” becomes “holding yourself back from the things you really wanna do in life.” Brazil has long been on my list for many reasons and NJD is all for it.

So to sum up, yes we are aware of Brazil’s reputation, yes we are aware of the actual state of crime in Brazil (as aware as one can be without having been there yet), and yes we are taking steps to reduce the already-low likelihood of having a problem.

Planning to post pictures here once we get there, so, yeah. Look out for that. FRUIT AND BEACHES. And hopefully a few monkeys.

Hugs.

Times they are a-changing

So… as usual, sorry for the radio silence. I was sick, and then lazy, and then they changed the posting format so I got grumpy, then I forgot. So.

A lot has changed for me in the past year. I went from Japan to Jordan (technically that’s over a year, but work with me). I upped my language count from four to six. I learned that people aren’t always who they seem, and that can be both good and bad. I found that in Jordan, you don’t shovel snow, you squeegee it. Oh, yeah, and I met, fell for, and decided to marry NJD. You know, as you do.

Speaking of NJD, we should be on our way to Amman now, preparing to fly home. But the weather decided not to cooperate, and dumped snow on us. We’re both snowed in. So we’re going to arrive on Friday instead of Thursday. We’re still coming, don’t worry! Just a day later. We’re both super excited, and hopeful to see what the changes for us will be in the next year. 🙂

Petra pictures

I’m working on catching up on all the pictures I haven’t posted, so here are pictures from Petra.

The Siq – the long entrance

The stairs leading up to the Monastery

The Monastery; ridiculous number of stairs to get up here.

Monastery entrance, for size

The ruins of the Princess Temple

The old town

CAMEL CAMEL CAMEL.

The end of the Siq – arrival at the Treasury

The Treasury

Some of the rocks

After climbing past the Monastery, we found this. We also found a sign that said 250 meters to Israel, but I’m not 100% sure either of these signs is fully accurate. Although, both kind of could be, actually.

Hey baby, I think I wanna marry you.

Ok so, uh, I should probably mention the news that everybody already knows, you know, that whole I’m-getting-married thing. So, err, I’m getting married. To NJD. In January. Woot!

Yaaaaay life is awesome!

Home rocky home

As usual, sorry for the delay. My internet has been awful, so I couldn’t get pictures to upload.

There’s a video tour of my house posted a while back, but I haven’t posted much about my town, Taybeh. Here are just a few pictures of the area.

My school.

Local rocks.

More local rocks.

The old town center, now used as a cool hotel.

Below town.

My side of town, taken from the upper area of town. That mosque in the middle is the one that’s really noisy and interrupts all our Skype calls.

My day, in internet pictures

I have a lot of internet pictures saved up to use on here. And I thought, why not just use some of them to show you how a typical day goes? So here it is.

At 5:15 my alarm goes off:

I get grumpy at the thought of going to work, but then I start to exercise and I feel like this:

So then I finish exercising, and remember I still have to go to work, which makes me want to say:

However, I have to go, so I remind myself of why I’m here and go back to this:

But then, I get to school and start dealing with my counterparts. One tells me I’m not doing anything as a volunteer (ignoring that most of my effort is focused on her…), and that to remedy that, we should start a community garden. Right now. Who cares if we don’t have a place for it? Just call Peace Corps and tell them to bring some money tomorrow (’cause that’s how the government works…) and we’ll make a community garden right away. We should have it finished by the end of the week, right?

Which quickly changes to:

I explain that that’s not how it works, and we finally agree that maybe we should just start by doing stuff at school. Like using more technology in the classroom. So she says, tell Peace Corps to give us money for CDs. I explain that it doesn’t work that way either, because that’s not sustainable. What happens when the CDs are all used? We’d become dependent on Peace Corps’ handouts. Not the point. So she tells me what’s the point of having Peace Corps volunteers if they can’t buy us whatever we want to use?

So then I have to calm myself down.

I decide to hide in the bathroom for a few minutes, and hope nobody notices:

But then, sixth period is over, and I’m ready to go to one of my after school activities. So things are looking up.

Today, I’m heading to a local souvenir shop to help the employees with their English, while also learning Jordanian Sign Language from a Deaf employee there. That’s awesome, except for one thing. He wants me to be his second wife. Not second as in, he’s divorced or widowed, second as in he has a wife and a baby at home and he wants an additional wife.

Once I’ve been there for a couple hours, I head home, grab a couple things, and head down the street to help two guys with their English. They’re studying for the TOEFL, Test of English as a Foreign Language. It turns out, they basically want me to be a human tape recorder. Because apparently the only thing anyone wants from me is English lessons. The fact that I actually try to have free time almost angers some people. Why am I not teaching their kids English after school every day? I mean, if I have time to cook, I should be at their house eating their lunch and making their kids fluent, native-like English speakers instead, right? And I really oughtn’t to exercise so much, because getting up early for that means going to bed earlier and I could’ve been teaching English during that time.

But then I get home, make dinner, and go upstairs to visit my landord’s family. I like them, and it’s fun, though I’m never 100% sure if their oldest son is actually joking about wanting to marry me. He also said if he couldn’t marry me, Maddy would be fine. Because as the younger sister, she’s probably less stubborn than I am…

I finally get away and head downstairs. I pull up Skype and since it’s a weekday, I’m not calling home, but instead I call NJD and I feel like this:

Then, if I’m really lucky, he sings me a Sinatra song, and I do this:

Have a good day, everyone. 🙂

Home sweet home

Hey there! I made a video of my house to show you guys quite a while back and had trouble uploading it. Well, my house looks a little different now, so I’ve just made a new one. Here you go!