Hi all! Sorry I haven't posted in a while. Unfortunately, my internet in my current location is too slow for me to upload pictures. The one picture in this blog post took me an half-hour to upload. I'll be updating this post in a week or so when I'm back to fast Wi-Fi.
I have been in India for two weeks now, but first there are a couple of things I want to tell you about my last days in Amman.
Before leaving on my trip to Wadi Rum and Aqaba I went to my friend William's house warming party. I arrived early to help make some quiches (don't worry this isn't the interesting part of the story). A couple of hours later, other guests stated arriving. I was introduced to one guy named Christian. When I saw him I though he looked vaguely familiar, and I told him so. He said that I looked familiar too but neither of us though much of it. Amman is a small city and I just assumed I had seen him around the area.
Later as I was chatting with a group, I heard Christian talking behind me. All of a sudden I turned and asked him excitedly, "Did you go to Claremont McKenna College!?" He looked at me slightly schocked (eyes slightly wide and mouth open. The normal signs of surprise.) before saying, "Yes", confusedly. Then the memory flooded into my mind, "We were in Religion and Film together!" I had recognized the sound of his voice, some people might consider that strange but I consider it AWESOME! I slowly remembered a conversation Christian and I had our Junior year when we were in this class together where he told me he was learning Arabic. He was a Middle Eastern Studies major and he is staying in Amman for a couple of years working for an NGO.
I can't believe that I've had such good luck running into people from my life back home. And this wasn't the last surprise encounter (This is a shameless teaser for my next post about my first couple of weeks in India... coming soon).
Shortly after, I left on my 4 day trip to Wadi Rum and Aqaba. I connected with this group through my friend Simone. I met Simone when searching for apartments. Although we didn't end up living together, I ran into her one day and we got coffee. She was also doing research (for her masters), so we were able to vent and share tips about our experiences. I was traveled with her, her sister, her friend, and her neighbor. After driving 6 hours on a single highway we turned to find this sign (this is where I attempted frustrated to upload a photo but the internet wass so bad it might not have actually worked. Whoops!):
Apparently camels pose a significant threat to drivers.
Next the beautiful views came into view. We hired a guide (because you have to) to drive us around in a 4x4 (SOOO FUN! I want one!). We were able to hike and climb (a little bit). Then we stayed overnight in a camp in the middle of the desert. It was spectacular!
(Imagine beautiful pictures of the dessert. One friend described the one picture I posted on Instagram as a scene from the Marian.)
The next day we went to Aqaba, where I got my first chance to use the underwater capabilities of my camera. Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to scuba dive, but I did snorkel my a** off. Here are some of the resulting photos (that will be posted shortley). Some turned out better than others. I also saw two lionfishes!!! but my camera battery had died so I wasn't able to capture them on film.
After taking a 6 hour bus ride back to Amman, I got on my flight at 4am to New Delhi, India. That's where my story continues... in the next blog post...