We went to the SOS children’s village which was quite impressive. Nine children live in a home with a mother from birth to fourteen. At fourteen, they move to a youth house which is similar to a college dorm until they are eighteen. The entire system was very impressive. As a group, we sponsored one of the children for an entire year.

It was our leader, Dr. Kubow’s, birthday so we arranged to have the driver tell her we were going to dinner while we kept her occupied with intellectual questions. An hour and a half later, we surprised her by returning to the Dead Sea. This time, the Dead Sea had high waves, which were therapeutic to float on. You do not want to get any of the Dead Sea water in your mouth because it is the worst taste I have ever experienced. Even worse is getting Dead Sea water in your eyes because it burns so bad you have to get out and rinse in regular water. I swam for about an hour in thew Dead Sea and then went to the outdoor pool and swam laps for about an hour. The sunset over the Dead Sea was absolutely amazing but I did not have my camera at the pool. You will have to imagine a beautiful orange sunset over the water (the mountains of Israel are across the sea) with a palm tree in front. Our tour guide was able to arrange to have the restaurant, which is usually only open at lunch, open for us and we had kabobs and fries. Lamb kabobs are really good. Since the economy is bad, they have been serving us chicken at almost every meal. The chicken is imported from China because it is so cheap. I will not be having chicken when I get home for a very long time. We had a birthday party for Dr. Kubow and returned to the hotel.

Yesterday we went to the Queen Rania Center for Technology, which fits right in with my PhD research. Queen Rania, and Jordan, have embraced the idea of using e curriculum to help balance educational inequities in the country. The project has been going on since 2003 and lots of international money has been pumped into it. International companies such as Microsoft, Zane, Cisco, and some from Japan are subcontracted to design the curriculum. The courses are focused mainly on math and science, of course, and were very interesting to view. It would make a good dissertation topic to study the impact this style of elearning is having on Jordanian students. After our brief visit at the queen Rania Center, we went to the Jordanian Center for Human Rights and discussed honor killing, human trafficking, and immigrant rights. The director was an amazing person who has presented to the United Nations as well as a laundry list of other impressive accomplishments. We left the Center and stopped at a shwarma stand. A shwarma is a lamb sandwich which I discovered I enjoy. We then went back to the US embassy to talk with the director of immigration issues, who was out so we met with an assistant. She gave us a good overview of the major immigrant issues in Jordan. The US embassy in Jordan is heavily secured with multiple check points to get in. We returned to our hotel and I went in search of an Internet Cafe to get better connection. The first Cafe’s Internet was down, the second did not have office so I went in search of wireless. I found a high speed connection for wireless that was $2/ hr and worked for an hour. While I was there, I ordered a banana drink which was 2.2 jd on the menu. When I went to pay…they charged me tax and a delivery fee which made the Internet cost $15 US. Jordanians know how to exploit tourists.

Today we are leaving to go to the Department of Education and the Domestic Violence Department of the Jordanian police. There are lots of places that do not allow pictures so I am not getting as many pictures during this leg. We will be coming home in one week.