Love in an Over-Sized Bird

This week I learned about love. Eid Al-Adha was October 24-28th. It is a Muslim holiday that celebrates the day Abraham was to sacrifice Ishmael. I have never been more excited about a Muslim holiday. Not because the streets of the Arab world would be flowing with the blood of sheep, but because it meant school was cancelled. And what does a study abroad student do when school is cancelled? Go to Istanbul, Turkey, of course. My mum has always told me she wants to visit Turkey. I never understood. How exciting could a country be that shares a name with … Continue reading Love in an Over-Sized Bird

I’m a Barbie Girl in a Veiled World

When I started telling people that I would be studying abroad in Jordan, I was usually asked a series of three questions:   1)  Where is Jordan? 2)  You’re gonna get blown-up. You know that, right? 3)  Are you gonna have to wear one of those scarf-things?   In response to the first, I began introducing the topic by saying I was studying abroad in “Jordan-in-the-Middle-East” before anyone could ask. To the second question, I would just smile and say, “There are worse ways to go.” And to the final question I would respond, “Umm.” In truth, I had no … Continue reading I’m a Barbie Girl in a Veiled World

The Brink of Uncertainty

Sometimes, we teeter on the brink of uncertainty. Felix Baumgartner knows this sensation better than anyone. Last night, the Austrian skydiver fell faster than the speed of sound from the astonishing height of 128,100 feet. I sat on the floor of my host family’s living room and watched history being made. As I watched, I couldn’t help but compare the two of us and our separate adventures. Felix: In order to leave the atmosphere, he prepared himself. He perfected his skydiving techniques, said “see you later” to family and friends, and put on his special suit. He then sat in … Continue reading The Brink of Uncertainty

Culture Shock: A Reflection

I vividly remember when I moved to Mongolia. I was the most excited nine year old girl you’ve ever seen. I was practically bouncing in my seat as our Korean Air plane landed in the valley in which Ulaanbaatar is located. I had been dreaming of that moment for years. I didn’t care that the ground was littered with broken glass or that the weather was going to be the most bitter of cold. It was my new home. As I look back at my transition to the nation, I note the ease with which I did so. Sure, there … Continue reading Culture Shock: A Reflection

Rain, Rain, Don’t Go Away

I’ve decided it’s time to take off the I-love-Jordan-all-the-time hat. I usually prefer that hat because writing about your feelings? Yeah, that’s tough stuff. However, I am feeling particularly brave today. So here you are: my unfiltered feelings. LANGUAGE Living in a new culture is hard, but studying in a new culture is even harder. I took Modern Standard Arabic class for two and a half years. I worked really hard at it and always got good grades. Can you imagine my shock when I landed in Jordan and no one understood a word I was saying? The dialect here is … Continue reading Rain, Rain, Don’t Go Away