This week has been a weird one – maybe because it’s our penultimate working week in Jordan. I started Sunday on a massive high from our trip to the Red Sea, which was amazing on nearly all counts. Being back at my desk on Sunday morning quickly brought everything back to Earth!
However, my work this week ended up being quite varied. One day we went to go and volunteer at an entertainment event for Iraqi refugee children (from Mosul). Most of them have been living in a church in Amman for a couple of months now, helped by the charity Caritas. They all sleep together in the church hall, with little areas fenced off for different families. My company put on this event for the children, as, although a lot of their basic needs are met by the charity, they get quite bored with nothing to do all day.
It was pretty strange to begin with, as very few of them spoke any English at all, and my Arabic conversational skills are pretty much limited to ‘I am Kitty’, ‘I am from Britain’, and ‘What is your name?’ The children were quite shy at first, but we helped distribute sweets and milkshakes, and dance and play games, and some of them became a lot more confident. I hadn’t taken my camera as I was worried they might not want to be photographed, but by the end of the event they were all asking if they could take photos of us! One of the other event organisers took some photos, so if she sends them to me I will try and upload them.
The other thing we did this week was go to a Studio-X showing of a documentary at the Columbia Global Center (a pretty cool venue).
The documentary was about the exiled citizens of Futaba. Futaba was a town which fell within the exclusion zone surrounding the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Although rather slow-paced as documentaries go, it had some moving footage of the citizens returning to their homes temporarily in order to reclaim possessions.
Aside from these events, I’ve spent most of this week preparing for my next trip to Australia (and after). There is always so much to organise when planning an extended trip away! Doctor’s appointments, contact lenses, boarding passes, visas, currency exchange, bank statements… The list goes on. My camera has got some dust on the sensor so I’m going to have to figure out the cheapest way to fix this before I go. I’m planning to make some big developments on the blogging side of things too.
Then there’s the ‘fun’ planning for the trip – random Googles of places I might visit, or things I would like to do. My notebook is filled with pages and pages of ideas and memos.
However, my stay in Jordan is definitely not over yet. This weekend, we are hoping to visit the Dead Sea (finally!) and Dana National Park. I’ll try and get around the dusty camera situation, so check back soon for some photos.