Monday, June 8, 2009

Update and Pictures from Past Couple of Months

I’ve not been doing a good job of keeping up my blog!   It’s been a busy couple of months here in Jordan, filled with both work and fun.
On the work side, our IRD Jordan programs are going strong.  The two US Department of State funded programs in health and livelihoods will finish at the end of August but we have 2 proposals in to continue and expand those activities for another year.  Hopefully we’ll hear good news from the donors soon on those! 
The education program, CMP, continues to move ahead quickly.  The CMP team has now worked with 20 school communities and with the each of the Community – Parent – School Committees (CPSCs) they are planning for the summer extracurricular activities which will include summer camps for the children and adult education courses for the parents and community members.  Here are a few pictures from a recent CPSC meeting in a small school on the outskirts of Amman.

A lot of work, but we’ve managed to get in a lot of fun as well.  We are really trying to explore all of Jordan with our friends Eric and Ledina who are also part of the Peace Corps community! 
At the heart of spring here in Jordan (end of April, early May) we spent a day at the ruins of Umm Qais, which was one of the ten cities of the Roman Decapolis.  The ruins lie in northeastern Jordan on the border of Syria, Palestine, Israel and the disputed Golan Heights, with a beautiful view overlooking Lake Tiberias (The Sea of Galilee). Supposedly this area was occupied as early as 7th century BC and came under Roman rule around 218 BC.  

In our on-going quest to hike each of the Wadi’s along the Dead Sea, Paul and I picked another one and started trekking.  It’s amazing how different each canyon is as they are all in similar desert terrain along the rift on the Jordanian side of the Dead Sea.  The one we chose for this hike was one of the rare water filled wadi’s – Wadi Zarqa Ma’in (lower canyon) which carries a thermal stream with numerous cascades that originate at Ma’in Hot Springs.  We parked the car on the side of the road at the Dead Sea, passed the Arabic sign most likely stating “Do Not Enter” (but we can’t read Arabic so meant nothing to us!) and started scrambling over rocks into the canyon.  Picnics of PB&J sandwiches in this environment are absolutely amazing!

For more pictures from these adventures click here!

No comments: