I'm at my desk on the day after Christmas, all bundled up with the Soba (propane heater) near me for warmth (but it is low on fuel and not putting out much heat). I know it must be colder back at home ... but atleast there the buildings are built for such cold ... in the winter these stone buildings here in Amman are like dank, teeth-chattering caves.
My arabic teacher just told me that the weather is much better in Aqaba and that there is a travel agency that sells special trips there from Amman for only 10 JD (14 USD). Sign me up!!!
I had a good arabic class today with my teacher ... she is very sweet and an excellant teacher but I don't know how long I can afford to take lessons at 12 JD an hour ($17 USD ... that's alot on a not-for-profit Iraqi NGO salary)! But she is methodical, explains things logically and is very, very patient. I remember when my Iraqi friends have tried to teach me sometimes they get impatient with me (one of my old housemates used to spend alot of time yelling at me ... I told him if he was going to yell at me, he should atleast do it in Arabic!). But I still need to study and try to speak more.
The other day I was taking a cab home and I forgot the words for telling the driver to stop ... my brain just froze up or something ... I made alot of sputtering noises trying to remember what to say and the driver finally figured out what I wanted. Argh, Arabic is sooooo hard for me some times.
Christmas has been pretty quiet around here ... but I am getting alot of Christmas greetings from my Iraqi friends and I can always find some cheesy Christmas music should I want it (but why on earth would I???) at the big hotels in Amman. An good friend from my home in the Northwest sent me a package of fine chocolates ... he mailed it on Nov 22nd and it arrived just in time for Christmas ... the chocolates look like they have been to Hell and back ... at some point they must have been in some warm place (Hell?) because it looks like they partially melted and then resolidified ... but thank the Lord, they still taste great! I think my mom might be is sending me some Christmas Stollen (a German fruit bread) ... I hope by the time it arrives it isn't covered with mold!
Well that's it for the Christmas news from Beit Anna. I hope everyone is happy and safe and warmer than I am! And let's all hope and pray for the same plus a speedy release for our Christian Peacemaker Team friends held captive in Iraq (as well as the new Jordanian guy and anyone else who has been kidnapped there).
Peace to all!