19 February 2007

going for the gold.

I survived my first hailstorm. It hurt.

A guy in our program is now starting for the Jordanian national rugby team. He thought he was playing for a local pick-up sort of team, but he was wrong.

I have a job. (Well, in the sense that someone is benefiting from my labors, not so much that I'm reaping financial rewards). I got an internship with the Amman office of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, in the Iraq section. I start on Tuesday, so I don't know too many specifics yet, but I'll be working on IDP policy for Iraq.

On a related note, after three and a half years, my very first Arabic word (al-uman al-mutahida = United Nations) finally proved practical. I had directions to the UNHCR office and a street address (which is essentially useless since no one in Amman uses street names), and we made it all the way to the last turn before we got lost. He pulled over to ask a couple of shabab about the street, but they didn't know. I dropped my first word, and lo and behold, the language barrier dissolved and they pointed out my destination.

Candace is teaching me and Fleming to play the guitar. I'm so excited - I may actually have a semblance of musical ability by the end of the semester.

I dropped my history class to pick up the much-touted Islam in the Modern Context class after I heard about the lunatic professor who, on the first day, explained that 99% of Muslims don't fully understand their faith...because the West (read: America) won't let them. The textbook is an embarrassingly ungrammatical edit of the English translation of a relatively well respected Arabic Introduction to Islam. The American woman who edited the original translation explains in the introduction that this book led her to submit to the path of Islam and she hopes it will do the same for others. Typos and misspellings aside, I always enjoy attempts to convert me, so this should be an entertaining experience.

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