Yalla Bye

We leave Jordan tomorrow morning. I am really going to miss this place.

Hordes of neighbors stopped by our house throughout the day to say goodbye but also to worship at the altar of Miriam Damascus. At one point the doorbell rang and I opened the door to about eight little girls standing there, asking for Miriam.

Tonight, we spent the evening with Lulu, Tina, and Natalie. Miriam played with them like usual, except that this time we let her stay up with them until ten o'clock. She has no idea that if she ever sees them again, it won't be for almost a year.

I think that's the main thing I'll miss this year: Miriam's little friends. She has many more friends here in Amman than she does in Tucson. And now that I think about it, most of the few friends she did have in Tucson will have moved away by the time we get back. Also now that I think about it, we have more friends here than we do in Tucson. We'll have to work on that.

Besides friends, both big and small, here are some other things I'll miss about Jordan. If I overlap with last year's list, please forgive me.

1. Evening walks around the "exercise street" near our house in Dahiyet ar-Rasheed, cooled by the almost constant pleasant breeze here in Amman.

2. My class at Amideast. I love my students, I love teaching English, and I love having an influence (however small) on what Arabs think of Americans. That way, I know they're getting something besides MBC2. One of the best moments of my life in recent memory was meeting with former students in Damascus last month. I hope I can see these students sometime in the future as well.

3. Gerard, Riim al-Bawadi, Habibeh, Amman Waves, and Hamadeh falafel & hummus near our house.

4. Traveling to cool places like Crusader castles and ruined Roman cities.

5. Cruising for cheesy bad movies on the MBC channels and Dubai One. Also the series "Most Amazing Videos" on MBC Action. That show is AWESOME.

6. The Children's Museum!

7. Hanging out with our wonderful BYU and NMELRC students.

8. Having Miriam learn Arabic from other people with little effort on my part.

9. As always, the friendly and safe society.

10. Shopkeepers who give Miriam free stuff, especially the kind folks at our corner grocery store. I hope the constant stream of free Chupa Chups has not made too big of a dent in their profit margin.

The only things I'm really looking forward to are:

1. Our piano. I cannot wait to get playing again.

2. Our wonderful house in Tucson. It is our refuge whenever we are reminded how little we like that city.

I'll still be posting updates on this blog, so stay tuned. And check out My Adventures in Tucson for updates from the other side.

In which I get even closer to cursing than last time

Shawerma of Death