Before reading this short blog, let us start with a song to get into the right mood.
This week was all about dancing! While walking in King Hussein Park on April the 19th, we stumbled across some young men dancing in the middle of the street. Naturally, I decided to join them. They were really welcoming to make fun of a stranger dancing with them. Communicating with them wasn’t easy. They all wanted to talk to me but only one of them spoke proper English. He told me he was from Iraq and was really interested whether I knew Saddam Hussein or not. I told him: yes, I know him. It made him proud and he walked away dancing. Strange.
On the 20th, JOHUD had an outreach event at the university to reach students and future graduates to volunteer at JOHUD. To set the mood there had to be dancing! We danced the Dabke (or at least I tried to). The Dabke is a traditional Levantine dance mostly danced at weddings and joyous occasions. For a proper Dabke performance, you probably should watch another YouTube video ;).
On Friday morning I got invited by Sam, a local member of AIESEC, to join their family for breakfast. Every Friday they typically serve falafel, stuffed falafel, hummus, foul, msabaha (a thicker hummus, also known as hummus plus) and pita! Lots of pita. It was the best meal I have had so far in Jordan. I am really grateful for that 🙂
Later that Friday I shared a meal in downtown Amman that was way worse than my divine breakfast but the view was worth it! I also braced myself for the hot weather of the upcoming days by getting a haircut. The barber was really nice and really meticulous in removing even the smallest hairs. Something barbers don’t usually do in the Netherlands.
On Saturday I went to Umm Qais and Irbid. Umm Qais is located in the northwest corner of Jordan, in the hills above the Jordan Valley. Umm Qais is the place where Jesus performed one of his greatest miracles; casting demons from two men into a herd of pigs. Umm Qais is a Christian place of pilgrimage and I wasn’t surprised that we saw a big group of Italians. The site boasts a spectacular view of Syria, Jordan, Palestine and Israel. Umm Qais is a nice viewpoint but unfortunately, it is a long way from Amman. To go by public transport from Amman to Umm Qais requires 3 buses. First from Amman to Irbid, then a transit between bus stations in Irbid and finally the bus from Irbid to Umm Qais. Taking buses is perfectly fine, but buses here normally don’t leave on a set time. They leave when the bus is full. You might have to wait for an hour and you might leave instantly. Nobody knows.
It was also really hot on Saturday. At the hottest part of the day, it was 41 degrees Celcius. That is no weather for a Dutch guy hence it was difficult to fully appreciate the beauty of Umm Qais. If you are planning to go, pick a date that is a little colder it will allow you to enjoy it more!
The weekend was concluded with a fresh sweet treat! It prepared me for my last full week in Jordan. I have 10 more days left in this beautiful country and want to enjoy every minute of it! I am going to enjoy Amman as much as possible (read: eat as many falafels, hummus, mutabel etc. as possible) and inshallah I am going to; Madaba & Mount Nebo, Aqaba, Jerash, and Wadi Mujib.