Monday, May 31, 2010

The Citadel

We've had a bit of extra time during the last week to do a some site seeing. I don't think this will be the case during the next two months because I'm sure Jerid's internship duties will pick up. This last week he spent about an hour or two a day at a shelter for battered boys. He loved the time he had with them to play and try to jib jab in arabic, but they're in the middle of their finals at school so they couldn't use Jerid as much as they thought. He started his new "rotation" at the ministry building today and I'm sure he'll be putting in a good 6-8 hours a day now. Hopefully he'll be able to go back to the shelter once school gets out and they have more time away from studies.
On Wednesday we went to the Citadel. It was one of Rome's fortresses along with their temple of Hurcules. I'm sure I'm going to be saying this a lot in the next few months, but there is nothing like walking on the paths and streets of a people that lived thousands of years ago. To try to image what the buildings looked like when they were brand new and bustling with people... it's fascinating. There was a cave in particular that amazed me. I don't have a picture of it, but it was used for the burial of people around 3500 BC, then thousands of years later the Romans started pulling limestone out of the cave around the tombs to build their temple. Walking into the cave was something else. I really just wanted to know what those people looked like and what their lives were like.
Here are a few pictures...
The Temple of Hercules.

Dead sea scrolls...

Location:Amman, Jordan

Monday, May 24, 2010

Part Four - Home Sweet Home

We flew the last leg of our flight on the Royal Jordanian airline. Good Choice, Jenny! What a great little airline. It was a two hour flight that included news papers, hot hand towels and delicious halal meals served by great flight attendants, it put United to shame, let me tell you! We don't even do pretzels anymore on flights under 3 or 4 hours. There was a young woman sitting across from me who literally stared at me the entire flight. I started to think that maybe I had buggers all over my face or something, it was beyond me. She was this pretty little arab with some serious bling happening. Anyway, I thought that was a little weird. Maybe I did have something all over my face and Jerid didn't want to tell me.

The branch president from Amman picked us up from the airport. Jerid spotted a man holding a white sign with "HENSLEY" on the front. I was hoping the church decided to send a limo driver for us, but nope, it was President Hoffman himself. Immediately we loved Amman. The weather was cool with a nice breeze and there were picnickers lining the highways under the trees with their children running around playing together. The president gave us a quick 40 minute run down of the history of the country as we drove the scenic route around the city and through the Palestinian refugee camps. Unfortunately I don't have any pictures of these sights yet, but I'll be sure to start taking more pictures of Amman in the coming weeks.

President Hoffman dropped us off at the LDS Cultural Center where the Missionaries live. The building was once the Swiss Embassy which is pretty cool. President and Sister Boyd have welcomed us warmly and we've been a part of the family ever since. We'll stay here until we find an apartment which we've been our searching for at least a few hours of every day.

Last night we took a trip to the Dead Sea for a real Jordanian BBQ. Ballal, who is married to a woman in our ward (Lori), cooked us up some lamb and beef shish-kabob's with eggplant and hummus. I've been having a bit of heartburn lately and so it absolutely killed me that I couldn't stuff myself to the quick just like everyone else. It was truly one of the best meals of my life! Jerid was in heaven too! He likes this food more than I do!

Looking across the Dead Sea you can see the ancient town of Jericho and after the sun sets you can see the lights of Jerusalem. You couldn't help but feel emotional standing and looking over a land that has been walked by so many prophets and even Christ himself. We have so many places to see in the next few months and if it gets any better than this, we're some of the luckiest people on the earth. We are truly blessed to have this opportunity.

- Posted from iPad

Part Three - Kuwait

Jerid and I took the early flight from Sacramento to Washington DC where we had a two hour layover before jumping on the plane to Kuwait City. Luckily we made first class on the flight so we had the chance to get some well needed rest. I felt homesick for the first time as we were landing that day. I looked out my window and all I could see was dust and smog. There was no vegetation and I could literally see the waves of heat coming up off the earth, it was 107 degrees when we landed. Little did I know that Amman is NOT so barren and hot, but in that moment, I just wanted to be back in the states where I knew there would be at least shade and ice cold diet coke. Being homesick is not a feeling I've had very often in my life, so it didn't sit very well with me in that moment.

Jerid and I stayed the night in a hotel at the airport. We checked in and took a long nap. When we woke up it was after 10pm their time and we hadn't eaten so we ran downstairs to see what we could find. When we walked into the restaurant we asked the waiter if we could get some menus, but he told us that we had to come back later when dinner is being served. We were both a little lost. He then told us that the cook doesn't start cooking until 12:30am because that's when it is cool enough to cook. Crazy! So, we had some great dinner at 1:00am with a group of indian people heading to Sri Lanka the next morning all of whom smelled a little funny and starred at us a lot. That was just the beginning.

Jerid standing in from of Prince Abdulla of Kuwait and another prince.

- Posted from iPad

Location:Kuwait City, Kuwait

Part Two - Australia

Jerid and I have been married for a year and a half now but we really haven't had much time for traveling because Jerid has been finishing up school and I've been working at least two jobs to get us through. So, we decided to take a quick little jaunt to Australia to see Donny and his family before heading out to the Middle East for the summer. Even though we only had four days to work with and one major set back (a cancelled flight from Sydney to LA) it was well worth the extra jet lag! This was Jerids first international experience and what a place to go!

Business class on the way over! Booyaa! Great food and an extra great sleep on the completely lay flat seats!

Ferry ride from Circular Quay to Manley.

Don picked us up and took us the Bondi beach. One of the most beautiful and well set beached I've seen in Australia. It was a bit cold (it is winter in Australia) and very windy but gorgeous nonetheless.

We spent the night in Sydney at the Marriott downtown then headed out early for the long drive to the Gold Coast. It was a great drive with lots to see including our first wild kangaroos. Unfortunately the girls were asleep when we got home but in the morning we got to meet our sweet little niece Emmeline, the newest member of the Ward family. She is really beautiful and looks just like her Mom, Elise.

Next, we headed out the Wildlife reserve with the kids. Nope, that's not our baby...

Taylor got to pet the baby Kuala Bear.

Annie just wanted to give all the Roo's a cuddle. I think the Kangaroo's were so sick of eating that they were in a slight comatose state.

Ridiculously large crocodile!

End of Day 3 in Australia.

Location:Sydney, Gold Coast Australia

Our Journey Begins: Part One - Saying goodbye to family

Jerid's family came down for his graduation and spent the weekend with us at the Little America. We had a great time swimming, dining, going to Lagoon and just visiting and having fun. Here are a few pictures of the trip.

We went to Cedars of Lebanon for dinner after Jerid's graduation. We had some great dinner and some great belly dancers to entertain us!

We drove our cars up to Fruitland and flew out the next morning for a stop at my parents house to say hello and goodbye to them. We snapped a quick shot before we were out the door to head to Australia.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone