We visited the Department of Education which was in a really shabby building. The Dept of Ed writes and produces the textbooks students are required to use. Then we went to the Domestic Violence Center where they help battered women. Family and marriage are really strong in this culture and they do everything they can to keep the family together. The facility was very modern and impressive. Jordan has six facilities in the country, but only one battered women’s shelter.

Yesterday, we went to visit a Palestinian Refugee camp, but the camp had given us a run around and had us show up on a Friday (the start of the weekend in the Arab World). Luckily, our guide had a friend who lived there. He showed us the original house his family received from the UN after the 1967 war, which he still lives in with his two brothers and their families. He has been saving all of his life to buy some land and is building an amazing house for his family. The house is his whole life’s work and he is not compromising on any of it. He hopes to be done building in three years. He was very frank about US policy in the region as well as UN policy. We then went to a traditional Amman picnic at the national park which consisted of lots and lots of kabobs made of lamb, chicken, and goat. The park was packed with city dwellers and their families. We were treated to a Bedouin who played the traditional one stringed violin. We loaded back in the bus and went to Rainbow Street where a craft flea market was going on. The place was packed. I bought an ice cream cone. Instead of Peanut Butter and Chocolate, they have Nutella ice cream here……which is really good. After we returned to the hotel, many of us played Jeopardy….I lost. I did get the Beatles 2000 question….but little else….

Today we are going to a Turkish Bath (steam room, stone rub, and massage) which should be interesting and then we may get some Henna done. Tomorrow we will be at Jordan University studying Jordanian education.

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