So, I thought I'd do a quick post about the two conclusions I've come to after my first 24 hours here. They are:
1. It's good to be a Fulbrighter, especially in Amman. Being a Fulbrighter means that someone meets you at the airport and carts you and your luggage back to a hotel. It means that there will be some sort of orientation after your arrival and someone to turn to for advice. In Amman it means more than that, because there is a full-fledged Fulbright Commission, headed by a charming executive director, Alain, with a host of helpful staff, all housed in an actual office/home that you can visit. Being a Fulbrighter also means that you'll be in good company, with a pack of other new arrivals, some of whom will already know the country intimately and speak Arabic fluently, others who will be brand new to the whole scene. But all of them will be interesting, because they are the sort of people undaunted by the prospect of taking a chunk of time out of their lives to go somewhere completely different to live and learn and be challenged in ways they can't really anticipate in advance. Which brings me to conclusion 2:
2. No matter how much you try to prepare for a trip like this, you can't. Of course I am already wishing I would have packed some different clothes (less short sleeved tops and more with 3/4 or long sleeves, plus more formal clothes), taken 12 passport pictures (which I did and then threw out both times I went to Tanzania for extended stays), and brought different books. But even more than the packing is the mental prep, which I guess is just impossible. There's no way of knowing how things will unfold until they do. You can't force it, and that's one of those life lessons I keep having to re-learn. Experiences like this are good for that.
|It gets a little chilly at night (hence the scarf) and we stayed at Books long enough to get the spectacular view of Amman in the evening. A great way start my first Thursday (Friday-ish) night in Jordan.|
Next week we have orientation and the University of Jordan opens and (fingers crossed) I'll find a home for the next ten months. I'm sure there will be plenty to post about, but for now,