Tuesday, July 10, 2012


My Adventure this week: the Roman Theater! 

The place is a playground of history: I loved clambering over the dusty stones and imaging the thousands of years they have witnessed.

I was amazed by the scale, the engineering (I could hear the footsteps of playing children on the stage from at least three stories up), and the geometry. The way the Roman architects blend straight lines and curves, and the play of sun and shadow across this landscape of shapes was stunning.

Another week in Amman and I am finding patterns. As life takes a definite shape the world starts to make sense, fitting around the obstacles thrown up by my American expectations. Culture shock: that nagging shadow in your head that looks at something different and says 'but that's just not how it's done.'.

Arabic, too, is a language of patterns. Arabic is not so much about learning the order of words but the patterns of letters that surround them -- prefixes and suffixes can hold the key to a sentence. As my infamous spelling skills attest, this is not easy for me. My driving reason for coming to Jordan was to save my relationship with Arabic (never did I imagine I would be grateful for my first 'C' grade). But incredibly, I am making great progress. I can't really take part in other's conversations yet, but I can chat with Taxi drivers and new acquaintances, and hold a halting conversation with my infinitely patient family.   

The other day I realized with shock I have less than a week to go. I will leave for Palestine/Israel this Sunday after visiting Petra and the sea. I am so excited for another adventure, but also terribly sad to leave this one...  Time has a strange quality here. I cannot believe I have been here more than 2 weeks and yet I feel I have lived here forever... 


  1. Anna, as always I love reading about and seeing photos from your adventures. Your spirit and enthusiasm are an inspiration. I hope you can maintain this curiosity and exploration (and reporting back to us) for a long time. I'm not sure where you will find yourself as you grow and mature, but I'm certain it will be far from the mundane and ordinary.

    Michael Mewborn

  2. Thanks for the post! I love the pictures, especially the next to the last. Sounds like Jordan has been a great experience & I look forward to much more conversation about it soon. Like, what are those things that strike you as "that's not how it's done?" I am curious about the "obstacles of your American expectations." Can't wait to adventure together!

  3. Great photos and thanks for the update. So jealous of your Petra visit!

    - John C