When Lyman got an email from King’s Academy about a history position, he asked me what I thought about pursuing a job in Jordan. My first response? “Absolutely NOT!” Of course, that answer came from what I thought was a place of fear, but really, it was ignorance.
I’ve traveled a lot, but mostly in Europe and Asia. All I knew about Jordan was that it was next to Israel, Syria and Iraq. Not places that give the Middle Eastern ignoramus the warm fuzzies. We’d already read about the school, which sounded amazing, but it was in Jordan. JORDAN! So, like the obsessive researcher that I am, I started reading everything I could find on the Middle East. I started with the news. That may not have been the best idea. Then I moved on to blogs. Better, but very limited. Lyman and I both read King Abdullah’s book “Our Last Best Chance” and it was an extraordinary eye-opener for both of us. We’ve bought and devoured every guide book on the area and are slogging our way through Pimsleur Arabic. We’ve talked with everyone we know who has lived or worked in the Middle East (and there are an amazing number of them).
Yes, the Middle East is volatile, but the personal experiences we’ve heard from countless friends and family is that Jordan is welcoming, lovely, rich in history, and, as far as the region is concerned, safe. Is it as safe as rural Vermont? Well, I suppose that depends on your perspective. My mother, during her 17 year battle with cancer, often told me not to live in fear because she could just as easily get hit by a truck while crossing the street as die because of cancer. When the boys worry about bombs, missiles, terrorists, what have you, I remind them that we could hit black ice on the way home from skiing and all die in a car accident. Perhaps not the best parenting, but effective. And true.
Will this move be easy? Probably not. Will it be life changing? Most definitely.
xo from VT