Live, from Jordan

Here it is, the long awaited First Post From Jordan. We’ve been here exactly one week and have gone through an incredible range of emotions. The overriding one, however, is that this experience will be what we make of it. In other words, we will embrace the adventure and get comfortable driving, eating, living, and loving life in the desert.

The trip here was long, but uneventful. Even the Crack Puppies did well on the plane and are adjusting to the heat nicely (and I know that EVERYONE is especially anxious for an update on the puppies!). They have settled in and made themselves right at home. So at home, that they have moved me to the floor for making phone calls:

Lexi has claimed the head of the dining room table, has had her coffee, and is now blogging on her own. I, however, have lost my place and am sitting on the floor to make a phone call.

The campus is huge and beautiful and we’ve taken many walks with the dogs. The campus is gated, and just on the other side of the fence are Bedouin and wild dogs who bark all night. The puppies have been extremely well behaved (although befuddled by the noise) and haven’t barked back.

We’ve spent most of our time on campus, and what a campus it is! Beautiful with amazing facilities. There are no students yet, and the full faculty hasn’t arrived, but everyone has been so welcoming, helpful and kind. The other faculty kids have welcomed the boys with open arms and we’ve hardly seen them since we’ve arrived. They scooter around campus as a pack, play tennis, basketball, squash, handball, tag, etc. Then they move as a pack to the dining hall. Probably, the biggest adjustment for me is going from full-time homeschooling mom to pseudo empty-nester. I miss my boys!

Rather than describe the campus, here are some pictures:

Bell tower

And, two more pictures of the view from our apartment balcony:

Daytime view from our balcony

Sunset from our apartment balcony

We’ve gotten brave and have driven into Amman and Madaba for groceries and to wander around. I keep forgetting to bring my camera, so the next post will have pictures from both places. There are so many more things to write about, but it will have to wait until we have pictures to illustrate what we’re seeing and experiencing.

Know that we are safe and happy and thinking of you all.

Much love from Jordan

20 thoughts on “Live, from Jordan

  1. Glad you all are settling in. Sounds like the boys are making the most of their new home! I think boys handle moving so much better than girls. Looks like a beautiful campus!

  2. Wow! The views are gorgeous! I’m so happy the boys found a pack to hang with, and that the crack puppies are having a good time, πŸ™‚ When does the school year start? I can’t wait to hear more about your incredible adventure. I still don’t understand how you ended up there…it didn’t seem real, but now we have pics. Sigh.

  3. Welcome to Jordan! What a fantastic adventure of life and learning! Thanks for the blog post, Rachel, it’s a lovely ‘window’ into your experince although I imagine that the feelings that gird your lives right now are not something a digital camera will capture. Take good care and take things slowly.

  4. Rachel, Love the update! Wishing you and Lyman and the boys a wonderful time in Jordan. What an incredible experience for the whole family. Kenny and I send our love to all.

  5. so wonderful to get an update and see pictures of your new life. Keep posting with lots of photos! xoxo bethy

  6. This is an opportunity of a lifetime. Think of all the wonderful stories the boys will be able to tell their children. Thanks for sharing the moments.
    Love and kisses
    Liz

  7. Your being ‘gone from VT’ and actually in Jordan doesn’t seem real, somehow: but there are the pictures —.
    Thank you so incredibly much for starting this blog – and please keep your thoughts and dreams and experiences
    coming. The picture of Lexi displacing you at the (APPLE – talk about placement advertising!) computer is priceless.

    HUGE HUGS TO EVERYONE,
    Jackie

  8. so glad that all is well in a beautiful setting. this is how your parents brought YOU up, in an adventure that you make of it what you will. It will be a great adventure as yours was in Europe–I witnessed it first hand. Love to you all. Annie

  9. Thanks Rach for the update. The pictures are beautiful and we are all so happy to know you are settling in and the Boys (and dogs) are doing great! keep us posted and love t you all!

  10. Rachel, I’m *finally* getting to this post….what a wonderful experience you are giving your boys! I often said to my daughter about my views on education that it is not what one takes out of the learning experience but rather what one puts into it that is the measure of the quality of the education – exactly what you are saying about your experience in Jordan! I know that you will put in some amazing efforts to enable your family to extract every last drop of learning from your time there. Hugs from afar, and wishing you well!!!

  11. Hi Rachel! I just read every word you’ve written on this blog since February. Isn’t that terrible? You spend months putting it up, and I spend a day reading, and am left wanting more. πŸ™‚

    When you first emailed me that you had moved to Jordan, I wondered about your doggies, and was happy to learn they came there with you. Now I’m wondering if you have your own yard, or if they live in your apartment.

    And it was fun to read how your kids have become what I would call, “staff brats” from my days working at Jewish residential camps, and older staff often brought their kids for the summer. Some of those kids would also be campers, some not. But the group was definitely a cohesive group, with their own culture.

    Pictures are fun…but even if you don’t happen to have new ones, I’d love to hear about how your boys are adjusting to being school kids, how well you and Lyman are picking up conversational Arabic, what you feed the dogs in Jordan, and did you ship American mattresses or are you using Jordanian ones, and if so, how do they feel?

    Yah, random, but those are only maybe 5% of the questions that came to my mind ::evil grin:: I thought I’d give you a break, and leave it there.

    Oh, last thought…nice to know I won’t have to worry about any of you falling through the ice this year.

    • Oh my. The response to your questions may require it’s own post… πŸ™‚ However, I’m about to write a post about our first trip to the Dead Sea, so I’ll try to answer some of your questions here.

      Crack Puppies live in our apartment. The campus is 150 gated acres, so they get lots of walks. They are on leash for the first time in their lives, but they get so much attention from the students that it’s worth it.

      The kids are enjoying being “fac brats” and the group is amazing. Andrew is a 9th grader at King’s so he’s both a a fac brat and a student. Kind of a strange combo. We hardly ever see the boys b/c they are off playing.

      School… ah, the ups and downs of school for homeschooled kids. It’s been a roller coaster for Charlie. One day he loves it, one day he hates it, most days, it’s meh. Andrew loves his classes but is reeling from the really long day. As for our Arabic. Let’s just say that the kids are picking it up faster than the adults. We’re all taking lessons (Lyman and I have an AMAZING teacher), but holy cow, it’s a tough language. Andrew did recognize a word on a banner today, so I hope it will all click soon.

      Jordanian mattresses. I could write a book on them. However, since I’m so sleep deprived from trying to sleep on the a fore-mentioned mattresses, I won’t be able to write more than this sentence. Does that answer your question?? πŸ™‚

      Nope, we won’t be falling through the ice this year. Thank goodness for small miracles. πŸ™‚

      • Love it, Rachel. Great response. And about the mattress…Dave and I slept on Chinese mattresses in China for about a year, and that is what got us to pay the freight for our king size American mattress to be shipped to the Philippines when we moved there for 2.5 years. Maybe we Americans are soft. But a good mattress makes such a difference, and they seem really hard to come by in most of the rest of the world!

        As for learning Arabic, well, I grew up with a smattering of Hebrew, but when I lived in Israel, it still took six months for the language to really kick in. Somehow I did much better at Chinese! Well, my auditory and spoken Chinese. Writing Chinese did not happen. I’m pretty good at Spanish (grew up in Los Angeles, I’m sure that helps), and can glean meaning from written German, but have never been able to make any headway with French. It surprises me how different my abilities to learn different languages have been.

        In Israel my group joked that after a few months we were losing our English, but the Hebrew hadn’t yet kicked in, and we would soon be mute. πŸ˜€ The Hebrew did manage to kick in.

        I’m looking forward to reading about your trip to the Dead Sea. Of course, I’ve only visited from the opposite bank! Hope someone warned you not to shave before going in! πŸ˜‰

  12. Rachel, Your ambivalence about moving to empty nester from homeschooling will dissipate. I remember our year at a boarding school and the boys (Myles was only 6) had the run of he campus, various frigs with chocolate milk and snacks around. Lots of energy to keep going and they had so much fun, excitement and learning. It is wonderful to see your blog.

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