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

Katy Perry Drinking Coffee in Mongolia

Coffee: Not just a drink, a way of life First of all, you should know that I used to work as a barista at a coffee and jazz house. It was the best job ever. I absolutely loved it. Coming home smelling like coffee and talking to strangers about coffee always puts a smile on anyone’s face. However, due to being surrounded by coffee constantly, I stopped drinking the stuff for the better part of two years. When I started picking up the occasional latte again in college, I found that I’d contracted a very strange problem. I am now … Continue reading Katy Perry Drinking Coffee in Mongolia

Grace, Grace, Grace the Explorer

Just call me Indiana Jones. ‘Cause Harrison Ford’s got nothing on me. Well, except for the whole Han Solo and being famous thing. But, you know, whatever, I’m working on that too. This weekend was straight out of a movie. Actually, I think I’ve seen the movies. Indiana Jones, the Mummy, Aladdin, Lawrence of Arabia, and Hidalgo are some that I can think of off the top of my head. Beautiful red sand dunes and setting suns. Bedouin tents with decorated camels. Brilliantly blue sea meeting towering mountains. Ancient ruins with foreign etchings. This and so much more is Wadi … Continue reading Grace, Grace, Grace the Explorer

A Zombie Analogy

The Walking Dead. It’s a show on AMC that I’m a bit…obsessed with. Back in my dorm room at Cedarville, I would get all cozy late at night as my roommate slept, and watch the latest episode in the dark. Now, for those of you who watch the Walking Dead, you know this is a terrible idea. Not only can some episodes be terrifying (as the show is about zombies), but there are also many surprising moments where you might gasp or even scream. I might have woken up my dear roomie once or twice. You may be curious why I’m telling … Continue reading A Zombie Analogy

Cats, Dogs, and Smokers! Oh my!

Surprise! The Middle East is hot. Now, to preface that statement, it actually can feel like a cool, summer day when you’re in the shade. However, in the direct sunlight it feels a little bit like what I imagine hell would feel like. The worst of it though is being so entirely covered up. I wear long maxi skirts or jeans every day and a blouse that covers my shoulders and usually reaches my collarbone. With this kind of heat, I’d rather be walking around in short-short–shortshorts and a tank top. However, that would attract even more unwanted attention. So, to … Continue reading Cats, Dogs, and Smokers! Oh my!

Buffalo Wings and Souk Jara

I have test-success blues. What are those you may ask? The test-success blues are what happen when you do better on a test than you expected and now you are facing a very difficult class ahead. I was placed in Advanced Arabic I, which is where I’m sure my Arabic professor from Cedarville would say I should place (according to where we are in the textbook). However, this means that, this semester, we will go through the entire Al-Kitaab 2 textbook. That concept is terrifying. Last semester, we went through three chapters. This will be ten chapters. My host family … Continue reading Buffalo Wings and Souk Jara