Almost 11 months ago…

10 Mar

There came a point last year when we had done so much, and I had gotten “so behind” on blogging that I just gave up.  Of course, there’s no need to document every detail of every day (I have to remind myself not to go OCD on that), but there are some pretty cool things that have happened since I last wrote.

March 9, 2012 at Sports City Park in Amman, Jordan.  The green grass begins to appear!

March 9, 2012 at Sports City Park in Amman, Jordan. The green grass begins to appear!

At this point, we have just over 100 days remaining in Jordan.  Phillip has been accepted to UT Austin’s PhD program in Applied Arabic Linguistics — the best program of its caliber in the country — on a full-tuition waiver!  He has also been offered a teaching assistantship right of the bat to start this fall (his first semester) along with a nice stipend.   To think how far he has come:  almost starting from square one by reviewing textbooks on the fundamentals of Arabic grammar in our Atlanta living room during our pre-Jordan months of 2011.  Now the authors of the most used Arabic language textbook in the U.S. want to pay him to come study and teach with them in Texas.  I have a brilliant husband!  I’m so very proud of him.

Walking to work by myself most mornings and occupying the back seat of every taxi alone (while Phillip sits — culturally appropriately — in the front next to the driver), I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on our life here in Jordan.  Two years seemed like such a mountain of time when we began in August 2011; and I spent lots of emotional energy trying to face each of those early days in a totally foreign environment.  But now, I look around and see our life as a pretty thriving one here in the Jordanian context.  It is not “thriving” in the American economic sense of the word, but we have friends; a routine for work, leisure, exercise, and rest; good food to eat; some money for excursions; and a great place to work and study and contribute to our community here in Amman.  Dear friends and family have made the two-day journey over miles of ocean and sand to come and be with us; they have no idea how encouraging their visits have been.

As I was hanging wet laundry to dry this weekend (it takes at least a week for jeans to dry inside during winter), I thought of what a great place our apartment has been for us these two years.  It’s much more spacious than we need, but it was also the cheapest, cleanest, and newest that we saw within walking distance to CGE & UJ.  And I love the kitchen with it’s 5 burner gas stove.  :)  (A house and a blessing to our lives.)   I thought of all the images, walks, routes, and scenes that are so very familiar to me now and how their details will start to dissolve day after day once we leave Jordan later this summer.  Someday, I want our children to know about this time in our lives and to be able to recount to them some of the stories of our experiences and investment here.

I will not promise to write everyday, but I do resolve to write more — even if only briefly — on themes as they come to mind between now and our remaining time.  If you’d care to follow my thoughts, please subscribe to our blog (click here) which is where I’ll be posting words and pictures.

I’m looking forward to a big celebration when we return to Georgia!  This whole decision, process, and commitment to come to Jordan was a huge risk — and at times a frightening challenge — but it was also a hoped-for investment that الحمد لله (praise be to God) has resulted in success right before our eyes.


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