Health & Safety
Make Hummus Not Walls
Submitted by Jvogue - | October 24, 2012
My trip to Jordan this previous summer was completely amazing. There were many moments of confusion, but also gradual understanding. I felt like this was how it should be. Our first home stay in Southern Jordan was my first ever. I was initially very awkward as I attempted to grasp onto my surroundings during my homestay with the Bedouins. My host brothers were inseparable, but what else would you do in this vast desolate desert without a playmate, a brother, or a friend? Soon enough, I found myself trekking out into the middle of the desert with a small loosely inflated ball to play soccer, shooting slingshots at rocks, and teaching my host brothers to juggle rocks. By the end of my stay, I was able to enjoy the common humanity of spending time with my brothers and doing things their way.
The academics were taught by three lovely course leaders who were all highly skilled and accomplished.
What can beat laying under the stars next to a goat hair tent in the Wadi Rum desert, living with wealthy families in the middle of nowhere in Southern Jordan, staying with Christian Palestinian families in Beit Jala, or staying with families on the high tops of Rajef (a town close to Petra)? The diversity of home-stays is unmatched. I truly felt like I experienced many different lifestyles in Jordan and Palestine.
This was by far the most impressive part of the program. The director of the Jordan trip is highly connected and was able to locate amazing home stay families (who were friends of hers).
The director, Alena Bartoli, has unparalleled connections in the region. I always felt safe and well taken care of.
Health and Safety:
The program director is very connected, so safety should not be a problem, even when traveling to this region.
I had a great group, but I can see how this factor could easily vary.