Contrary to popular belief (inferred from all previous posts), we are not just on a summer long vacation riding camels, swimming in beautiful slot canyons, visiting ancient religious and archeological sites, and shooting the breeze with Arabs. There actually is a purpose in our being here and we’ve even developed daily and weekly routines here in Amman. We thought we would add a quick post filling in the gaps – explaining what we do in between our weekend excursions.
ANDREW: Every day Andrew wakes up at about 6:30 to work on homework. He studies for about an hour before he heads off to the University. The University is about a 15-minute walk from our house, which is nice and convenient. At the University he takes a variety of classes all of which are in Arabic and range from writing to international relations. After hours of classes (some days 1 hour other days 5 hours) he heads off to do his speaking. He is required to speak at least two hours of Arabic with native speakers outside of class each day. Andrew typically goes around campus and talks with friends he has made. Some days he switches things up by going to mosques to speak with sheiks or by going downtime to talk to shop owners and people in coffee shops and restaurants. The other major half of his homework is to spend 2-3 hours a day reading and translating Arabic newspapers, which he does sometime in between classes and speaking. He finally returns home between 5:00 and 6:00. We eat dinner and then some nights he gets to play and other nights he has newspaper homework or other assignments from classes to work on. He has been an Arabic machine all summer! I’ve been amazed at the progress he has made.
CHANA: Every day is a little different for me. But they all start with all of the wives coming over to work out. The gyms here are very expensive and most don’t allow women, so we have made our own gym in our living room. We work out to a couple of different videos throughout the week. After that my days vary with what day of the week it is. Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday I go to a beginning Arabic class. Andrew’s program director started it for us so that we could learn to read signs, recognize numbers and tell the taxi drivers how to get us home. We still have a long way to go, but it makes the days go faster. On Monday and Wednesday I spend most of my time at home reading books and working on my online class (it’s true I have one more class until I officially graduate from BYU- actually I only have two more lessons and a final!) Throughout the week I do laundry, clean the house, and sometimes go on outings. As wives we try to keep ourselves as busy as possible. Some of our outings have included lunch and swimming at the American Embassy, shopping, making and taking baby hats to the hospital, and exploring our neighborhood.
On Friday Andrew and I go to church and spend the day together. On Saturday we typically have an outing planned with the group or we create one ourselves. Then next thing we know the week starts all over again. Although life is VERY different here we love it. It has been such an amazing experience and we are sad to see the days passing so quickly..... well, kind of.