Friday, July 31, 2009

Children's Museum Jordan

Hello All! What a great day! Yanal, Aisha, Omar and I went to the Children's Museum of Jordan. What a great place to bring your kids! It is very similar to the Children's Museum's you would find in big cities around the United States. Hands on learning for young growing minds. Aisha ran around the place like she owned it! How much fun it was to watch her!! My little girl is usually alittle reserved, she gets nervous around new things and new people....not today! She ran back and forth, through the exhibits, up and down the slide, threw the stardome, splashed in the water and didn't care if there was anyone around! My little, nearly 6 month old, Omar was in the Bjorn carrier and he was grabbing at anything he could get his little hands on! His favorite was the Red Sea aquarium, he loved all the colorful fish swimming by. We bought a membership for only 30JD = about $42.00, not bad for a year membership for our family plus 4 visitors and discounts throughout the place. Here is a link for those of you interested in visiting or are just interested!

I also found a blog belonging to an American woman who moved to Jordan with her American family almost a year ago. I have been emailing with her over the past 24 hours. She may be helpful in my adjustment here. She has already told me a few things helpful....Thank you Leslie! I hope we keep in touch and meet someday!

FYI-The people here are still celebrating the recent high school graduates! Festivites every night with music and fireworks at their parents homes!! We went out yesterday and said congrats to Yanal's cousins. It was fun to be involved and to say congrats to those we know!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Great Website about Jordan

For those of you who are looking to learn and see a little bit about Jordan, click on the link below!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

When Posting Comments....

Hello All! Please remember that when you post a comment I don't know who you are unless you identify yourself in the comment. If you want me to know who you are, please tell me who you are :-) Take care!

Graduation Day in Jordan

Today is the day that all high school seniors are waiting for. It's the day the kids find out if they passed their senior exam. "What is a senior exam?", you ask. Well, in Jordan all seniors are required to take a senior exam during the last days of their senior year. The exam is taken over a variety of subjects. If they fail any part of their exam, they have to retake that subject(s) during the upcoming senior year...and if they fail the following year, then again they have to retake the subject(s) the next senior year and so forth. Even more important than graduating from high school....this exam determines which areas they can study in the university. It is not like the United States where you can choose whatever area of study that you prefer. This test determines which area they will study based on the score that they recieve. For instance, if they score 95-100 they will study medicine and if they recieve 90-95 they will study Mathematics, 85-90 will be another field, etc. (Someone from Jordan please advise me on the correct scores and subjects).

What does this mean to me? Today, all day and in to the night, I hear the whistling of teenages, honking of horns, fireworks blasting and gun shots firing in the air followed my car alarms and crying babies (including my own)! Gun shots firing in the air?! Yes, in Jordan, many people celebrate by shooting their guns in to the air. The streets are filled with teenagers driving their parents cars. They are hanging out of the windows hooting and whistling with excitment. They block the streets on either side making it nearly impossible to pass to the nearest store. Many have parked their cars and are singing and dancing on the edges of the streets. They will continue to celebrate in to the night by doing the same and having extended family members visit their homes.

Jordan, it is a country filled with life and excitement. At times I wish there were such a thing as noise pollution/control, especially on a night like tonight. Yet, they are having fun never the less and it is fun for me to experience them as they celebrate. Congrats seniors!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Our First 10 Days

Our first 10 days have been filled with three things:

1-To find an apartment.
2-Adjusting to the time difference.
3-Healing sick kids and self.

FINDING AN APARTMENT: In Amman it is not as easy as finding an apartment in the United States. There are not many internet sites to help narrow your search. Mostly people find apartments through word of mouth. We have tried a few different approaches, starting with and continuing to use word of mouth. We have also found an agency that helps you find a place; however, their prices were more than we were willing to spend on monthly rent. Lastly, we have used the approach of driving around and looking for FOR RENT signs...this has been the least to our advantage. To date, we have looked at a handful of apartments ranging from 'cute but too small' to 'great size but old and ugly'. We are certain that we will find 'the right' place, but it will take time.

ADJUSTING TO THE TIME: has been our biggest challenge. Not usually much of a challenge for Yanal and myself, but it is for the children. Our kids sleep all day and are up all night! Mom is still nursing her little one and he asks for milk at least 3 times a night and then is ready to play at 430-530am...God give us strength and patience!

HEALING SICK CHILDREN AND SELF: yes, we are again sick. Those of you who know of our last trip here 2 months ago, know that we battled the flu/strep throat/bronchitis for 3 of our 4 week visit. Currently, both kiddos and Mom are battling a simple head cold/congestion. At this point we are not as sick as before and hope that it passes soon!

Life in Jordan so far feels as though we are visiting. We are staying with Yanal's family as we usually do, yet we are looking for a place to call our own. Yanal spends his days at work, and I am home with the kids and his family. I hang out here watching my kids play with their cousins. We spend our evenings outside the home together: visiting family or out to get ice cream and/or sweets. At some point I'm sure it will hit me that we are here for longer than usual, and I have had a few moments of weakness..but so far the first ten days have been good!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Off to our new land of experiences

We left as usual. We have done this flight six times now, this was our second with the children. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary. We packed our seven suitcases and five carry-ons as usual. Making sure we had them all to the 50 pound standard. It seems like a lot of luggage and I'm certain the people in the line behind us were wondering what one family would need with so much luggage. If they only knew that this flight was different for us. This flight was the flight that would lead us to Amman, Jordan, where we would stay for at least a year before returning to visit my homeland of the United States. My family was at the airport with us for support and to say goodbye. We said our goodbyes through our tears, yet trying to be strong knowing that we will see each other next summer.

It was July 17, 2009. We were preparing for this move for only a few weeks. "What?!", some may ask, "only a few weeks preparation for a move half way around the world?!" My response would be that this is all the time we had. After recieving word from Amman that my husband indeed had secured a great position in his area of Economics, we had little time other than a few weeks. "Come as soon as you can," is what his new boss told him. Shortly thereafter, I notified my work that I would be leaving in three weeks. During this time we quickly packed all of our posessions into boxes and wrapped our furniture and vehicle so that they would survive the seven week journey across seas. We loaded our loot onto the back end of a semi-truck on June 17th 2009 and then headed to Minnesota to visit my family for a month.

During our month in Minnesota we spent time with my family. We stayed with my sister and her husband in Minneapolis for a few days and went out boating and hung out around the house. We also spent time at the family cabin where we went boating, fishing, swimming and relaxing together. We said goodbye to my beautiful Grandmother who passed away after her battle with cancer. It was a great time spent time with my wonderful family and long loved friends.

I remember these last days at home as we landed in Amman. I wondered to myself quietly, what are we doing here again?! We were just here two months ago for a visit with my in-laws. We come to Jordan every 2-3 years to visit my husbands family who all mostly reside in Jordan. I have always enjoyed our extened trips here. However, this time was different of coarse. We are moving here...and what does that mean?!...I kept asking myself. I wondered what the differences will be from visiting versus living. How quickly will I learn the language? When and where will I find work or will I prefer to stay at home with our two small children? How will my life, my husbands life, the lives our children and of our families be affected by this? This is the uncertainty that will keep me questioning over the next days, weeks, months, years (?!) to come. The strength that will keep me going during this journey is that we have the support of our families and in each other, and we have our faith that will keep us together.