So I passed my final language test and was sworn in as an official Peace Corps Volunteer and moved to my permanent site, in Ramtha, Jordan. I live there now. My apartment is very very small, but I love where I live. I’m surrounded on all sides by fields and fields and fields and lovely green hills- I’m so far from the city that I can’t even hear call to prayer. The quiet is really refreshing. I live underneath my landlady and her family, who (like all Jordanians I’ve met) are ridiculously welcoming. My landlady has insisted that I eat with them every time they’ve had a meal…it’s okay if I have something else going on, but she likes to give me pop quizzes on what I’ve eaten throughout the day, so there’s no evading meals. I love hanging out with her and her family- they’ve been my biggest support the past few weeks- everything from helping me buy gas for my soba to driving me into the city to finding me an Arabic tutor. I can’t imagine a nicer family to live underneath for the next 2 years.
My center is closed right now for winter break, so I’ve been spending the last two weeks wandering around Ramtha, getting to know my way around the city and the area where I live. I’ve also been working pretty hard to get to know my neighbors, which has been a little challenging…because I don’t have a lot of neighbors. I love being out in the farmlands, but farms are big, and far apart. I have maybe 4 families who live a walkable distance from me, and I’ve visited 3 out of the 4 so far. People out here keep to themselves a little more than what I’ve seen in other Jordanian communities, and that’s a little disappointing to me, especially when I hear from my friends at other sites who have people knocking on their doors all day long- neighbors who offer unceasing invitations and visits and support. But I love the people I’ve met here so far, and I love where I am. So I guess I’m okay with my level of community looking a little different from the rest.
And I get to look at this every day: