Amman: "Under Whelmed, Overwhelmed"

The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordon
May 25, 2007

So far here in Jordon I am mostly "under"whelmed.

The Citadel in Amman was good, overlooking the city as one would expect from a citadel.

The Roman Theater was, well, a Roman Theater. Good location, uncomfortable stone seating, and the usual good acoustics, as one would expect from a Roman Theater.

(Please forgive me if I sound a little jaded. After all, I did stroll around an ancient fort and I did sit for a while in a Roman Theater. A Roman Theater! I have seen several theaters and they are all quite remarkable. I am fortunate to have seen them.)

The King’s Highway: "Cheerfully, Taghreed Walks Me!"

Madaba to Wadi Musa
The H.K. of Jordan

May 27, 2007
Sabah al-khayr,
Good Morning,

Despite her severe traditional dress of a red scarf completely covering her head and neck and her loosely fitting black coat and pants, Taghreed, the Reception Manager, cheerfully first persuaded me to stay at the Madaba Inn Hotel, and then cheerfully negotiated with me to reach a comfortable room rate, and finally cheerfully pointed me in the direction of the sites of this small hillside town south of Amman.

Wadi Rum: "Is Anybody Out There?"

Wadi Rum

The Valley of the Moon

The Jordanian Desert

May 31, 2007

Is Anybody Out There?

I am alone.  Yes, I am sitting alone, on a mat, in the shade of an overhanging cliff.  In the middle of this sun blasted desert valley.

A few minutes ago, while I was exploring the Nabatean engravings on the hills nearby, Salim, my driver drove off in the white Jeep.  He just drove off.  I waved at him but he just drove off across the dusty desert floor, through the red hills and out of sight.  Out of sight.  Gone.

Petra: "Manal, Reyna, and One Hundred Camels"

Wadi Musa
Candidate for "Wonder of the World"
H.K. of Jordan

May 31, 2007

Salaam Aleycum,

It's 9:00 pm here in the dusty Bedouin Village in the dark hills outside Petra.  We just finished tea together and I am saying a final goodbye to my friend Manal.  We are shaking hands.  She is so sweet I want to give her a hug, but that's completely inappropriate.  Even a handshake is quite bold for a young Bedouin woman who covers her head and wears  full length clothing.  Woman?  I should say, girl.  Manal is seventeen, but "going on thirty-seven."

Ajlun, Jerash, Aqaba: "Ali Hassan"


Ajlun Governate
The H.K. of Jordan

June 2, 2007
Dear Family and Friends,

I am standing on a terrace perched on a steep hillside in the north of Jordan. The view is historic.

Below and to the west and south is the fertile and green historic Jordan Valley.

Beyond the tomato farms, olive trees and apricot orchards lies the historic Jordan River. Across the river lie the Palestinian Territories, Israeli Settlements, military roads and "no-man's land."