Generous Jordan

Hello Dear Readers! Does it always seem like I’m saying I’m going to write more trip reviews for you guys? I realized yesterday perusing through my posts that I’ve promised a thousand and one stories…so I guess I’d better start making a dent. I told you all that I spent four days at the Dead […]

Hello Dear Readers!

Does it always seem like I’m saying I’m going to write more trip reviews for you guys? I realized yesterday perusing through my posts that I’ve promised a thousand and one stories…so I guess I’d better start making a dent.

I told you all that I spent four days at the Dead Sea, and I invited Alaa and his family to come hang out the pool. He showed up on the last day, but unfortunately his family couldn’t make it. We still had a great time! He was suitably impressed with my suite, and when check-out time came, we loaded up the car and took off for Amman.

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In case you forgot what it looked like

Along the way, he invited me to his son’s birthday party. How cool is that?? His son, Yaseen, was turning two, so we spent the whole rest of the day going around getting ready for his party.

I even got to pick out the cake!

Though I’m not going to lie to you guys, 100% of people were extremely confused by us walking around speaking in Arabic. Hanging out with a Jordanian gives me some serious street cred. Also, having Alaa with me means I don’t have to pay the tourist tax anymore! This means everything  costs about 98% less- from coffee to french fries.

We stopped off at his sister’s house (he has five), and drank some coffee while we chatted. His sister scrolled through the photos on my phone (danger!), telling me how pretty I was, and, matter-of-factly, that I used to be fat.

Thanks.

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She wasn’t wrong, per se’

After everything, we headed to Jerash for the party. It was at his mom’s house, where his whole family was waiting, including his mom, dad, two of his sisters, wife, and all three kids. You guys saw a photo of his daughter, Sally, before. She’s my new best friend, though literally impossible for me to understand. If you thought learning a foreign language was hard, try to understand it coming out of the mouth of a squeaky tiny little kid. Luckily she’s small so I can just laugh and ignore everything she says!

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Since I was the guest, I got one of everything, despite my protests. So, I had a piece of cake, some dessert I don’t know the name of, another dessert I don’t know the name of, some Jello-y dessert, and several drinks. I nearly exploded.

Honestly guys, I’m so happy. Nothing will ever replace the look on Yaseen’s face when I gave him his present (joy, combined with his intense fear of me), or the warmth I felt at being so welcomed into this family. Their generosity is profound, and I am so grateful to have gotten the opportunity to spend a little time with the people in this corner of the world.

-Carissa “Nour” Rawson

Going Native: Having the Time of My Life

Hello All!

It’s been a few days, hasn’t it? You can always tell when things are getting adventurous because my blog posts decline accordingly. After all, who can write when they’re exhausted from tramping around all day?

Luckily, I have some spare time now to write, and boy do I have stories to share. I suppose the biggest news is that I’ve decided to stay my full time in Jordan, rather than leaving and going to Germany for a few days.

I’ve told you guys in the past that a lot of the reason I decided to go to Jordan was to improve my Arabic. I also told you that I was having a lot of trouble communicating because the Arabic I learned is not even comprehensible to the average citizen. Imagine trying to speak King James’ English to someone from the backwaters of Louisiana. It doesn’t work out well.

Well, I mentioned a few posts ago that David and I met a really nice Uber driver, who could not only understand us, but was really nice and even loved Americans. He ended up taking David to the airport, and even offered to drive me to and from the Dead Sea. (I mean, did you guys see that suite??) I’ll tell you guys later about our awesome trip to Jerash and Ajloun, where Alaa (that’s his name) showed us around, but long story short we also got to meet his family and have coffee at their house.

So I invited Alaa and his family to hang out at the Dead Sea with me (after all, what’s luxury if you can’t share in it?). We had a total blast, and I was even invited to Alaa’s son’s birthday.


If you guys ever wanted to learn a language, try sitting in a room full of people shouting during a birthday party. It’s…educational. And fun! I’ve been hanging out with them ever since, and have been having an absolutely wonderful time.

I’ll have detailed posts for you guys about the birthday party, and my trip to Aqaba, and my forthcoming trips all around the rest of Jordan with my new awesome friends.

People always talk about meeting others as being the most satisfying part of their trips. I had hoped to make tons of friends while traveling, but for the most part hadn’t managed yet, possibly due to language barrier, or maybe because I’m actually kind of shy, but now I have, and they’re right. This is so rewarding, so cool, and so totally what I was hoping for. Talk to you guys soon- going to hang out!

-Carissa “Nour” Rawson