University of Haifa International School Student Blog
Last weekend, a bunch of International School students went to visit the beautiful sites in Petra, Jordan. One of the students that went to Petra, Susan Kelly, cataloged her trip on her blog, Susan Doing Stuff. This post will feature part of her blog post from her time in Jordan. While in the US, Susan attends the University of Maryland where she created her own major of Peace Studies. She also participates in Maryland’s Help Center, and in the Alternative Spring Break program, where she led students on a service-work vacation to the Bahamas. In Haifa, Susan is enrolled in the Honors Peace and Conflict Program. Here’s what she had to say about her exciting time in Jordan:
I spent the weekend in Jordan with some Kool Kats. Ian, Maryjo, Hannah Mo, Sam and Matan and I went to Petra this weekend to see some sandy stone buildings in the desert. It was awesome.
Here’s what happened:
We went to the bus station late Thursday night thinking we’d be getting on the midnight bus to Eilat so that we could cross the border to Jordan in Eilat early in the morning. The bus didn’t have room for us. Soooo we went to TelAviv! We took a bus to Tel Aviv, got there around 2 am (the clocks got changed the same night so really we got there at 3 am), then we sat in a bar on the beach until around 4:30 am at which time we went to the bus station in Tel Aviv to get on a bus to Eilat.
6 hours later we got to Eilat and crossed the border. Jordan! Yay! From the border we took a 2 hour cab ride to Petra. We drove through the desert, passing the occasional town or Bedouin camp.
Jordan is the first place I’ve been (maybe ever?) where I heard hardly any American music. Our cab driver back to the border listened to it (maybe just for us), but everywhere else we heard Arabic music.
Our hostel was very nice. The staff were really cool, and on Saturday night Maryjo, Ian and I hung out with them for a little while trying to speak/learn Arabic. One of the guys working was Egyptian so he taught us some Egyptian dialect. The lady working there was Filipino, and she told us she learned Arabic after getting to Jordan. She couldn’t read it or write it – she could only speak it. She was our translator sometimes between English and Arabic – her English was very good and she was fluent in Arabic, while we could hardly speak Arabic and the other guys struggled a bit with English.
The hostel also had a roof terrace with a view of the city below and the desert beyond. We spent our evenings up there drinking tea and hanging out.
On Saturday we spent the day in Petra seeing the ancient carved stone buildings. They are incredible.
On Saturday night we ate at a local joint and we weren’t disappointed. Hannah and I shared humus with foul (beans), babaganoush, and Arabic salad (it was the same thing as Israeli salad). After dinner we walked across the street to a bakery where we got to try lots of the deserts before making final decisions. We got knafeh to share, and other cookies that we ate with tea. Knafeh is an Arabic dessert that is sooo gooodddd.
On Sunday we left early in the morning for the border because Israeli border control is infamous for being picky and slow. Then we hung out by the Red Sea until it was time to hop on a bus to get back to Haifa! I left my hiking shoes on the bus and I’m still in the process of trying to get then back/find them. Wish me luck so I don’t have to by new ones!