Today we took a bus tour of Amman, including a tour of the Amman Citadel. Very little seems to have changed outwardly in the city, though I’ve heard through the program and from Jennifer that inflation is incredibly high in almost all sectors of life, and poverty levels are rising rapidly. It was a little weird to be here in this big group of Americans who hadn’t yet had any of the cultural training that we got in Peace Corps Pre-Service Training, who have mostly been to the big cities of the Middle East before, and many of them to Amman itself, but have not been prepared for village life, dress and propriety like we had been by the time the J7s got our bus ride around Amman.
But probably the weirdest thing was just being there on the Amman Citadel, in such familiar surroundings, without the familiar faces I’d been there with before. No Jennifer, no Naureen, Jeremy or Audra, no Sultan or Samiir…. Perhaps it was because I spent all that time last week (was it just last week?) trying to make prints of Auntie Viv and Oren’s pictures of the Amman Citadel, but it seemed that all I could think about as I wandered around up there was when I had been to the Amman Citadel with the two of them. I would look around me and think, That’s where Auntie Viv took that picture of Oren and I that I love so much, or That’s where Oren took that picture of our shadows, or If I just went around that corner, I’d find the medeival squatter toilet Auntie Viv photographed me on, or That’s the relief on the floor that Oren took that really neat, artsy photo of. It’s funny, really, that Auntie Viv took much clearer pictures, and I had a lot of them in mind, but it was more Oren’s pictures I remembered, the grainy, unfocussed shots made with his PDA. Maybe you’re right, Oren, and the candid shots, the unplanned moments are the best.