**WARNING LOTS OF PICTURES**
For the past week, I’ve been hosting my dad on his visit to the Middle East. Since I knew I would have Holy Week off, I had told my dad to plan his visit during this week precisely. It worked out fabulously! I planned a hectic itinerary that included visiting parts of northern Jordan, the south of Jordan, and some places in Amman. We rented a car to make it easier for road trips and loaded each day with something new. I think one of the best aspects of this trip for my dad is coming to a new place completely out of his comfort zone. And even though it was all so new to him, I knew he would be able to find resemblances between Colombian culture and Jordanian culture, maybe through hospitality or even certain areas aesthetically similar to cities in Colombia. Also, it’s always different to be told about a place, then to discover it or feel it for yourself. Visiting Jordan with his own eyes gave him perspective and understanding of life here he wouldn’t have from just this blog. He left very happy needless to say!
The next day, we covered Madaba, Mt. Nebo, Jesus Baptism Site, and the Dead Sea.
Then, we went on the epic road trip my university crew to Petra, Wadi Rum, and Aqaba. The funny thing was that since my dad is from Colombia, he looks Arab. So, needless to say we passed him in Petra as a Jordanian, without question. But since I was dressed in layers and wearing a hat, a bit androgynous (not as your usual super girly Jordanian girl), the guard looked at me and asked for my ID of Jordanian Residency. My friends all laughed, but were so glad that my dad’s entry went from 50 JD, as the foreigner rate, to 1 JD the resident/citizen rate. On the streets, everyone would start talking to my dad in Arabic, and he would just look confused and smile in return.
The day we got back from that road trip, our bodies were dead from all the walking we did. So, the next day, we took it slow and went to Jabal Al’Qala, Roman Theater, and Cave of the Seven Sleepers. (My dad has some of these other pictures)
Then Wadi Mujib and Jerash…
I think my bargaining skills are increasing as time goes by. I was able to get my dad in as a Jordanian to Jabal Al’Qala, and bargained the prices on some souvenirs he bought. Before coming to Jordan, I was a lot shyer to do this. I am slowly learning.This is a good skill to have, especially to defend yourself when someone is trying to charge you more in taxis or while souvenir shopping. It’s one of the many milestones of living in Jordan for 7 months already! For Wadi Mujib, I was able to get the tour guide to take pictures with his camera, since mine had no waterproof protection and was dying of battery. I reminded the man at the reception that last the last time I hiked in Wadi Mujib, our tour guide took pictures on his phone for us. After a bit of negotiating, he agreed and the tour guide sent me all the photos to my phone!
Lots of pictures to show for my dad’s trip, and even more for him to show back home. I am so happy he was able to come, and now if I extend my stay here in Jordan, I will happy to welcome my mom and brother next. There is truly so many beautiful places to see here in Jordan.
Now…time to work hard for the English Language Olympics coming up next week!
Peace from the Middle East!