My first week in Jordan was definitely one for the books! Coming here, I didn’t know anyone in my program. I was diving in headfirst into something completely new. Classes were really hard for me considering we have to be placed into our levels. Being a native speaker and trying to be placed into a course that fit my difficulty level was surprisingly troubling! No one else was at my level until two days later when another student came and we had our own class and curriculum set up for us. I absolutely love the program right now. I’m learning so much that I was never taught before as well as learning the Modern Standard! It’s very exciting for me.
Every weekend, we have a trip to a new place. For our first week, we went to Petra which is one of the new seven wonders of the world. The bus ride there was crazy; it took us about 4 hours to get there and we stopped about three different times. The speed bumps here are no joke — they feel like a roller coaster drop.
Getting to Petra was very fun, but the hike was even more fun. We dropped off our stuff at the resort, and headed to the gates! I got stopped for being a Jordanian without citizenship and was eventually let in after a LOT of phone calls and a couple of favors thrown in. I never thought I’d be embarrassed to hear my name, but when the whole place is asking for you by name, you get a little shy!
Liz and I went inside and walked through the rocky path to lead to the Treasury. We immediately got bombarded by Bedouins trying to sell us camel rides. I’ve always wanted to ride a camel so I took the opportunity, haggled, and rode one! It was scary, but I am so glad I did it.
We kept walking and met with Taylor and decided to venture out some more. We found some really cool rocks — I found a really nice amethyst-looking one — and then we decided to hit the Monastery. It was a LONG journey. The path was completely made out of stairs — about 3 miles worth of them. Needless to say, I took many, many breaks.
We finally made it to the top where we felt so accomplished… and then we found “The Best View.” We had made it so far, might as well finish it up, right? We added an extra 15 minutes to our trek and made it to the absolute top of Petra’s safely hikeable trek. I can confidently say that it was definitely worth the exertion.