So, another student in my program, Chris, knew this girl, Heba, who had been a Fulbright Scholar at Smith, teaching Arabic at the Five Colleges. We only met once, and very briefly, during the summer, but we’ve become friends since. Heba went to Smith with this girl Abby, who’s now working here in Amman. As I recall, Abby first came to Jordan as a volunteer teaching English at the Greek Orthodox School in Madaba, which is doing really amazing things I seriously considered becoming part of, and all for the Jordanians who really need it most.
In any case, Abby knows Emily, who’s doing this really cool project, “Meet the Foreigners,” trying to introduce Jordanians to us odd duck foreigners who’ve decided to give up what many Jordanians would love to have in America in order to come here for as many different reasons as there are expats. Heba put us all in touch, and I agreed to do an interview today, which I will put up on this blog and on Facebook as soon as it’s available.
But it doesn’t stop there! Oh, no! The network of expats in Jordan is much more complex than that. Because when I found out that Emily was working in Madaba at the Orthodox School, I realized that she had probably taught with my friend Chris, whom I taught with at the Modern American School. Not only that, but Chris’s husband is still teaching at the Greek Orthodox School with Emily. And, of course, Emily and Heba have met through Abby as well.
So Emily, Heba and I met for the fabulous Friday breakfast at Books@Cafe, where we determined that we really have a lot in common, and should do this more often. Then Heba had to go home, and as I was finishing up my latte with Emily, her friend Arnoux showed up. (He’s using Books@ as his office for the week, between trips to Lebanon and Iraq.) I recognized him immediately from a concert we went to in the park of the National Gallery for Fine Arts to see Ramallah Underground, where some of the other girls from the CLS Program had a nice chat with Arnoux. (Come to think of it, I saw him again in the crowd at Ramallah Underground’s subsequent appearance on the back patio of Books@.) Oh, and Arnoux used to teach at AMIDEAST, and I noticed when I was dropping off my timesheet yesterday that his phone number is still up on the bulletin board in the teachers’ lounge. And he gave me some fantastic suggestions for finding my next job!
I could go on, about how a friend of Abby’s I met tonight works with my roommate Ryan at his second job, and how another friend of Abby’s who also interviewed with Emily tonight was just at the home of the current financial guy at Peace Corps. And then there’s the copier repairman I met at AMIDEAST this week who is also the copier repairman for the Peace Corps….