Volunteering

One of the guys I studied with in Jordan two years ago is now the program assistant for the organization, and sometimes we get to join in on fun adventures that the students go on! Last week Claire, Hannah and I got to be part of a panel discussion about reintegration into America, finishing college, and what the students can look forward to if they decide to come back to the region after graduation. Also, they paid us 40JDs and fed us so I was pretty happy about that.

When I was a student the program organized volunteer service trips to schools around Jordan, and the practice has continued which is great! I got to attend this week’s trip to a small girls’ school just a little bit outside of Amman in a place called Wadi Seer, which is green and hilly and beautiful. Even though it wasn’t far outside of Amman we could still see the Dead Sea (SO. STINKING. COOL.) and the air was fresh and clear.

The program chose this school because one of the coordinators had his car break down right down the hill from the school. He had been on the lookout for a school to do these service trips to, got in contact with the principle and ended up creating a wonderful relationship between the American students and the girls at this school (grades 8-12).

We painted, cleaned, scrubbed, and laughed with the girls who were so excited to help. The atmosphere was not that off the beneficial Americans coming in and cleaning up, but rather a coordinated effort to improve the quality of the educational experience this rural school could provide to the girls attending.

Also, I got to paint on the roof of one of the buildings and the view was great. I got splattered in paint, sunburned and sweaty but I enjoyed it! The home-cooked Arabic meal (two in one week?!) that we got for lunch was food-coma inducing, as was the chocolate cake that appeared out of nowhere.

Enough talk- here are pictures!

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To the left you can see the hazy depths of the Dead Sea..

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Some good natured roof painting fun

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Yes, we climbed up that and yes, I did ask myself if my health insurance would cover it

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Poppy flowers overlooking the mosque

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Arabic calligraphy done by a member of the village

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From left to right: the Arabic words for God, Country and King

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Basketball with some of the students was a huge hit!

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Everyone got a hand print

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Making their mark on their school

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And the beginnings of a good, old-fashioned paint war truce!

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