Saturday, September 16, 2006

Reflections on My First Days

We have a new team member who will be studying Arabic in Amman. Here are some of his experiences from his first days in the country.

I arrived last night in Amman at 3 am local time or about 8 pm Eastern Time. It is a little strange but exciting at the same time being here in a different city and in a different culture. I went to Church tonight (Saturday) instead of Sunday because here Sunday is a regular workday for many believers so services are on Saturday night. The service I attended had almost every tongue, tribe, and nation represented. It was really a great experience to worship with so many different people from all over the world it reminded me of chapter five verse nine in the Book of Revelation.

It is strange to me to hear the call to prayer as there is a Mosque right down the road. They tell me that I will get used to it over time

A day or two later, he writes…
I have been quietly observing the people where I live, a very conservative town on the eastern side of Amman. It is a great place to live and learn the Arab language but also to learn the culture. The town is made up of predominantly Palestinian and Iraqi refugees, many who have been here for years. The people here celebrate weddings with a lot of shouting and fireworks. Some people back home would consider it very noisy here. They celebrate weddings with fireworks and walk the streets having conversations, meeting, and greeting each other. Because very few places have air-conditioning here, including my home, all the windows are open so you can hear all the conversations. Even though I do not understand them, I can tell that they are enjoying life during these celebrations.

Tomorrow I plan to go to the store myself, which should be interesting, but most all of the products have English and Arabic labels so shopping is not that hard. I feel less intimidated on going out by myself, I guess there was an advantage on being raised in New York and going to the City often. Living here reminds me a lot of New York. I remember visiting my family in the city and it was very much like here. Having grownup in an Italian culture, I see many similarities with Arab cultures.

Posted by RL

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