a little background

People keep asking me: why Jordan? and I have lots of different answers. I am studying economics and politics and there's a lot to learn about those things in the Middle East. I want to learn Arabic. I felt claustrophobic at Earlham  (my school, a liberal arts college of 1200 in Richmond, Indiana) and Jordan was almost far away enough for me. Really, I have no idea. I wanted to go, far away. I wanted to be somewhere totally different than anywhere I'd ever been before.  So: I went. 

I have always liked to write, and since I've been at Earlham I've spent more and more time doing it. Since coming here, however, I've been unusually wordy--I think because being surrounded by and speaking in a foreign language so much of the time has made me realize how much I love the tricks I can play with my own language. Also (and this is less poetic but maybe more true) since I am limited in how much I can say in Arabic it is a relief to be able to talk as much as I want, even if it's just to myself, on paper. 

So: here I am.  I am lucky to be on a wonderful program with wonderful people, and to be living with a host family that couldn't be kinder or more understanding and helpful to me. I am lucky to have an Arabic teacher,  Rima, who makes speaking this crazy counter-intuitive language seem like something I might be kind of okay at someday. And I am lucky  to have as much support as I do from my parents, brothers, cousins, aunts, uncles, friends of friends and friends back at Earlham--as well as all my friends who are having their own adventures everywhere from Mexico to New Zealand.