March 17, 2016
As you probably know by now … I had an incredible opportunity to visit Jordan and get to know Amman and its hospitality and that’s something I’m very grateful for. Although I didn’t have a lot of free time to tour the country, we did sneak in a couple of chances to see some of the country- I can’t wait to come back and see more. (Petra, I’m looking at you.)
We visited southern, rural Jordan to work with under-served Jordanians in Tafeela. This was an agreement- in exchange for helping Syrians, we would dedicate a day for Jordanians (except the surgeons and dentists, thy stayed at their posts and held it down!). After, we were invited to lunch (note to self- za3tar/thyme in tea is delicious!) and then to see some of the area called Dana. It was *UNREAL* how beautiful it was. I’m still working on editing some of them but I’m attaching many of the pictures.
I’m also happy to report that I got my fill of amazing Jordanian and Syrian food- and every calorie was well worth it! We’d spend long days at the Za’taree refugee camp and various locations in Jordan, working hard to see as many patients and help as much as possible. Some days we’d work straight through lunch (and happily!) to make sure to squeeze as much out the day as possible. One of the specialists, the endocrinologist, saw about 60 patients in the span of about 3 hours one morning. She knew they don’t often have that specialty available normally and she wanted to make sure that she got to all the patients she could before she had to leave that day.
We also had the opportunity to visit a rehabilitation center in Amman home to about 40 Syrian refugees who were left handicapped and required care above the means their families could provide. Many were amputees and paraplegics. The center provided intensive physical and occupational therapy services in order to help rehabilitate the patients in hopes of “graduating” them. They also provided refugees with free tutoring, taught English and German language classes, knitting, crocheting and needle work (which many women sold and I was lucky enough to purchase) and arts, music, acting and crafts to children… Last but not least they had an OUTSTANDING kitchen staffed with Syrian women who put any restaurant to shame with their authentic Syrian cooking. **Food pics stolen directly from Barbara 🙂
I feel incredibly fortunate to have had the opportunity to have this unique and wonderful experience, to have met so many caring, brilliant and inspiring human beings (both refugees and volunteers) and have formed new friendships.
Written by Lara Zakaria, SAMS Tri-State Chapter President