Madaba and the Dead Sea, Jordan
Today was our third group field trip, altogether with the Beginners and Intermediate students. You know what’s great about these field trips? When you’re travelling in a group of 50, you’re going to look like a tourist no matter what you wear, so I feel free to wear my sleeveless shirts and tight pants despite the presence of Arab Muslims. I don’t mind dressing conservatively most of the time; I think it’s important to respect the cultural norms of your surroundings. At the same time, it’s so bloomin’ hot here, it’s nice to get out of the long sleeves once in a while!
When we got to St. George’s Church in Madaba, there were flyers up that the Orthodox School next door was looking for native speakers to teach English in the fall, and as I was scribbling down the contact information, the souvenier shopkeeper suggested that I just go over the school and talk to them. The director wasn’t there, but I did talk to a woman from the school’s administration, gave her my name and number, and she said the director would be in touch. Just in case, I’ve just now emailed him my resume.
We also went out to the Madaba Mosaic School, which is a really cool place; I wish I’d gone before. They have all kinds of handcrafts, from painted ostrich eggs and jewelry to clothing and, of course, mosaics, and almost a quarter of their artisans are disabled, many of them homebound.
And then it was time for the one thing you must do when in Madaba: lunch at Haret Jdoudna! Everyone I know who’s been there agrees, it’s the best restaurant in Jordan, in terms of the food, which is nouveau Lebanese, and the atmosphere. And, of course, HJ has real sentimental value for me. We went there fairly frequently in training, and then again when Scott and Anyess were living in Madaba. I’ve taken Auntie Viv and my parents there. Most of all, I suppose, there are lots of things about Madaba that remind me of Oren.
We also went to the Dead Sea and swam at the Dead Sea Spa Hotel. This time I remembered not to shave my legs the day or two before the trip, so I was able to stand going into the Dead Sea itself, and playing in the mud. And, of course, playing in the regular pool, too, because there are some places that the public shower just can’t reach to get off the salt!
Even if it was 44 Celsius, it was a great day!