The first half is over…

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Me with straight hair for the first time in months!

It is a few days before Christmas… which I am spending out in the English countryside with family. I can’t believe it. I can’t believe my first semester in Jordan is already over. It went so fast, although that final month was certainly the hardest. Besides roommate issues and preparing well for my finals, I was caught up with lovely final Christmas events. I suppose it all paid off in the end! I improved a full 22 points out of 100 on my Arabic placement test - which actually placed me at having completed 6 semesters instead of the 5 I have actually completed. Wow.

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Christmas at the Boulevard in Al Abdali with H.

As you can imagine, I am so ready for next semester’s 100% Arabic immersion format! However, in England I am currently in a 100% English format! It will be weird to go back for way more reasons than this though!

I love England so far. My family here has been taking care of me: keeping me warm, feeding me, letting me sleep much longer than necessary. I play with their silly dog Louie all the time. The poor thing is blind in one eye though! It is so nice to not be stared at all the time here. No one looks twice at me for having an American accent.

I am going to London for the first time tomorrow. I am quite excited! I hope it will be fun(:

Anyway…. Here are some of the things I was up to before leaving Amman:

Christmas at the Boulevard in Al-Abdali

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Posing as a reindeer with M.

My friends and I stopped by a lovely event called Christmas at the Boulevard where the mayor of Amman stopped by for the Tree Lighting Ceremony, and we took photos with creepy angels on stilts that I am pretty sure were men! The best part was enjoying delicious mulled wine with everyone(:

Dowzan Wa Attar: An Eastern Christmas - Christmas concert
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Me and E. enjoying free wine at the Dowzan wa Attar show

Two of my friends joined a Jordanian community choir called Dowzan wa Attar this semester. We all came out for their holiday show, An Eastern Christmas, which used songs based on Eastern tradition that have literally never been written. The songs were from cultures that have been oppressed throughout history - from Chaldeans, to Syrians to Armenians. The show itself was so beautiful and professional - featuring a few semi-professional dancers and a beat boxer! They also had a children’s choir, and served red and white wine during the intermission and after the show! I was very happy because I don’t often enjoy wine in Jordan because it is far more expensive than necessary due to duties. So yay wine!

Not an event but…*
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Some necessary relaxing and several girls nights happened following finals. I think we were all a little sick of the immature boys, especially for those of us who were dating them or otherwise…

Souvenir shopping downtown
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Me in an rug and antiques shop.

Following finals, my friends and I headed to Wast al Balad aka downtown to go souvenir shopping. I bought some random presents and a beautiful silver bracelet for a special friend I will see soon in London. I can’t wait to give it to her!(:

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Me in a random souvenir shop. In this shop, several friends bought souvenir genie pots and had them engraved with the names of the receiver.

Final day in Jordan exploits.

My final day in Jordan was relaxed and lovely. I was suffering from food poisoning (and still am :( ) so when my friends suggested a trip to a Yemeni chicken and rice restaurant, I made no objections because I did not plan to eat. On the way, my friends tried the street corn for the first time – and both give a thumbs up! It is sweet corn heated and mixed with butter and several seasonings. They regretted not eating it before! Lol.

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Yemeni restaurant chowdown.

Everyone enjoyed the chicken and rice at the Yemeni restaurant. Considering this is basically what I ate everyday growing up, I don’t feel like I am missing out on much!

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I also proposed to H. in the restaurant. I’m not sure why we were talking about proposals but it somehow happened.

Following the Yemeni food restaurant, we went to visit the King Hussein bin Talal Mosque in Dabouq on the outskirts of Amman. It is massive, but we were only allowed in the women’s section of the mosque. That amounted to a lame room above the empty mosque. I was quite disappointed.

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This is me outside the mosque. I had to purchase the scarf that day because I had forgotten to bring a scarf to wear to the mosque. No regrets though because I think it is quite beautiful and it is super cheap!

I forgot to mention, I stopped by the Royal Automobile Museum the day before! It was super fun, with random photos of the Kings looking sassy with cars. Me, H. and M. had a blast messing around.

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Me and H. posing with some fake soldiers!

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Me and M. in the cutouts outside the museum!

Anyway, goodbye for now. I will update later with some lovely images of England. I hope London will be lovely tomorrow!

 
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