We’re looking forward to welcoming you to Jordan in just a few days! It was great to speak with some of you over the past few days, and thanks to all who sent emails as follow up to the voicemails. I’m sure you’re busy wrapping up your work, preparing for the course, and packing! I would just like to share a few points based on common questions received from some group members:
Airport pick ups: We’ve arranged airport pick ups for each of you. These are arranged through the Moab Land Hotel. The driver will be waiting at arrivals holding a sign with your name. A few of you are arriving at the same time or on the same flight, in this case we have grouped you into the same car.
Hotel for night of 23rd March: I’ve booked rooms in Moab Land Hotel for everyone who is arriving on 23rd March (except for one person who made other arrangements). These are twin rooms so you may be sharing with another group member. Elley and I will be staying there too, so come and say hi when you arrive (unless it’s super late!). If you arrive on 24th March, then come meet us at the Moab Land Hotel, where we will start our orientation activities.
Contact numbers: If you have any issues, you can call Paul on +962796468645 or Elley on +962799748157.
Jordan visa: The Jordan visa costs JOD40 and you buy it at the visa section of the airport. There is an ATM and an exchange place just before the visa section if you want to withdraw or change money. You can also use a credit card to pay for the visa. There are a few lines at the visa section, so make sure you join the line for visa purchase. The immigration officer will ask where you are staying, you can tell them either Moab Land Hotel in Madaba (if you will stay there on 23rd March) or Zaman Ya Zaman Hotel in Amman (if arriving on 24th).
Luggage: A few have asked about bringing a suitcase instead of a backpack. This is fine as we will have a minibus for all our intercity travel and we won’t be trekking like on other Dragons courses.
Homestay gifts: we will have two nights in a homestay in a village in southern Jordan. It’s great to bring some simple, inexpensive gifts for the homestay family. We recommend gifts that are conversation starters and allow you to engage with your family, such as things that are related to your hometown or state. Toys or interactive activities also go down well with children in the family. If you don’t have time to prepare this, no problem, as we will have several days in Amman before going to the homestays.
Itinerary: We will discuss the itinerary with you in detail during orientation. I will just highlight a few points for now – the course starts and ends in Madaba, which is convenient for reaching both Amman and the airport. It’s a great small city with rich Christian history. After starting orientation in Madaba on 24th March, we will transition to Amman in the afternoon. During our three days in Amman, we will visit a school run by UNRWA (the UN Agency for Palestinian Refugees) and a community center for refugees operated by Collateral Repair Project. We will also learn ‘dabke’ the traditional dance in the Levant region, and meet with a panel to discuss youth issues in Jordan. This is just a few highlights, we have much more planned! From Amman we will travel to the Bedouin village homestays in the Wadi Rum area, to learn about traditional life in southern Jordan. We will then have a visit to the ancient city of Petra, which never ceases to amaze!
Arabic: We will have some Arabic classes during the course. But if you would like to get started you can take a look at this tutorial on Arabic greetings by ‘The Arabic Student’: See also other posts by The Arabic Student on YouTube
We hope you are looking forward to the course. We have been putting the finishing touches to the itinerary this week and we’re very excited to learn with you during next week.
Please get in touch if you have any further questions before your travels to Jordan!
All the best,
Paul and Elley