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Day One!!

Dear friends and family,

It’s Olivia and Malia; we are in charge of yakking!

Everyone is alive and in high spirits! We began our day with a physical, emotional, and bowel check in (we rate our poop consistency on a scale of 1-10). Then we had delicious breakfast at the hotel, complimented by A LOT of bread & hummus. Little did we know that a huge lunch and dinner would follow.

Our first activity took place at the Sham’s Community Center, where we began our orientation on cultural norms and personal goals. We also delegated responsibilities among the group. From eating with our right hand to keeping the soles of our feet grounded, we were enlightened by the cultural differences of Jordan. After exploring the Sham’s Community Center and playing with their two dogs, we took several taxis to Paul’s house. Paul is a former Where There Be Dragon’s leader and now works at the Norwegian Refugee Council. He and his colleague Mahmoud from CARE told us about their humanitarian efforts. Some major takeaways from our discussion with them were the challenges of photo journalism along with the misconceptions of the Middle East and the Refugee Crisis. Overall, we realized the importance of story-telling–its ability to humanize and de-stigmatize larger political issues.

Despite the jetlag, we were able to power through the day with the help of lots and lots of coffee and sugar tea. The weather (along with the Jordanian people) has been very nice and welcoming.

We ended the day on a sweet note with dessert and shisha. Everyone is excited to get some sleep.

See yak tomorrow!

Malia & Olivia