Ahlan wasahlan! Hello!
Right now my friends at home are finishing up their finals week, and some of them will be graduating in a week. Meanwhile, I have another month left in the Middle East to finish classes and hopefully do a little traveling.
I’ve had a few more adventures in the past couple weeks. My favorite was a weekend trip to Wadi Rum (وادي رم — also known as The Valley of the Moon), a desert valley in southern Jordan. Wadi Rum is best known for its connection to British officer T. E. Lawrence and as the filming location of Lawrence of Arabia. Wadi Rum was a much-needed escape from city life. Amman is beautiful in its own ways, but the experience of camping out in the desert in an area so unchanged by human life is a truly unique opportunity.
We arrived in Wadi Rum at night, so the ridges we were able to make out in the dark were revealed in the morning as part of a larger, endless landscape of mountains sprouting up from a floor of reddish sand. We spent a full day rock climbing, hiking up sand dunes, watching the sunset, and then sleeping under a beautiful night sky on top of a rock.
We stayed in a Bedouin camp and ate traditional Bedouin meals, served with the most delicious tea you will ever taste. It was interesting to see how many aspects of Bedouin culture have remained prevalent in modern Jordanian society, such as the importance of hospitality.
The next morning we reluctantly packed our gear and rode out in jeeps, taking in every last bit of the scenery before returning to Amman. My trip to Wadi Rum has been my favorite part of Jordan so far, and it’s a good thing we’re going back next weekend because once is just not enough!