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Merhaba!

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"Picture This: My Semester in Jordan" by Samantha Manno

"Picture This: My Semester in Jordan" by Samantha Manno

The first picture I took in Jordan! This was the view from the window of the conference room of the Belle View hotel. This was before everything, before I met my host family, before classes started, before I had barely spoken a word of Arabic in Jordan. I was fascinated by the stacks of identical looking beige buildings. It looked so different from anywhere I had been before. It’s funny to look at this picture and think about I was feeling at the time, and I had no idea what to expect. Little did I know how much I would learn and how much I would enjoy this experience. Photo credit: Samantha Manno, 2018

Me eating Kanafeh, one of my favorite foods in Jordan. It made with a cheese base, and soaked in a sweet, sugar-based syrup. It is absolutely delicious. The best place to get Kanafeh is in the Balad (the downtown area) at a place called Habbibas. They have several locations in the Balad, and almost every time I went downtown I would get the sweet treat. There are two kinds. You can either get na’ameh which has a soft crust, or kheshneh (my favorite) which has a shredded crust. If you ever have the chance to visit Jordan or other areas in the Arab world, I highly recommend it! Photo credit: Samantha Manno, 2018

An occupied street in Hebron, Palestine. During my spring break, I had the amazing opportunity to visit Hebron, as well as Ramallah and Bethlehem. My roommate and I stayed in Jerusalem, and had guided tours of the Palestinian cities. Visiting Hebron was especially heartbreaking. It was virtually a ghost town and contains over a hundred checkpoints guarded by the Israeli military. The markets that are bustling in Jerusalem are reflected in the similar markets of Hebron that are virtually empty. The limits of Palestinian mobility were especially present here. Our Palestinian tour guide was unable to go certain areas and walk down certain roads, seemingly at random, while the American and European tourist were able to explore the city as they pleased. I pray for justice in Palestine. Photo credit: Samantha Manno, 2018

Some donkeys of Petra! I found a new found love for donkeys during this excursion to Petra, the Rose City. They were everywhere and they were so calm and good natured. Sometimes during the tour, I would wander over to the donkeys who were waiting in the hot sun. They appeared tired and overworked, but I would pet them for a while and admire them. Once we had completed the tour of Petra, we had the opportunity to ride either a camel, donkey, horse, or mule back to where we had started. I of course chose to travel on a donkey. Even though I felt a little guilty because of how overworked they appeared, I was still very excited. Photo credit: Samantha Manno, 2018

Me and the pre-intermediate class at JRS. During my time abroad, I was able to volunteer at Jesuit Refugee Services (JRS). It was by far my favorite and most fulfilling experience in Jordan. I shadowed two English teachers and helped teach two English classes, but I learned much more from the JRS community than they learned from me. I was nervous at first. I didn’t know how people would react to some random American girl with virtually no teaching experience, let alone life experience, joining the class. However, they were the kindest, warmest, and most welcoming people I have ever had the pleasure to know. I will never forget the amazing people I met! Photo credit: Samantha Manno, 2018

"A Moment Each Day" by Mallory Mrozinski

"A Moment Each Day" by Mallory Mrozinski

"Language, Dance & (of course) Camels!" by Luci Meade

"Language, Dance & (of course) Camels!" by Luci Meade