March 28, 2009

This morning, we all had a realization that we’re finally here in the land of brotherly love. Being the second day, the reality of it soaked in. After breakfast we had our second session with our respective groups. We discussed conflict causes and resolutions, and how the different aspects are interconnected. We had the opportunity to share some personal conflicts and identify the causes and how the problem was resolved. Each group was able to connect more intimately and openly, resulting in a breaking down of barriers, showing us how similar we really are. We also began the cultural presentations. Some of the delegates from Jordan, Poland and Colombia shared facts and traditions from their counties. We learned how to say “Jordan” in Arabic (Al-Ardon), we tasted wonderful chocolates from Poland and that Colombia is the “happiest nation on earth.” (It’s a fact, you can google it!)

Following the presentations, we boarded the busses to Jerash, to have lunch and visit some ancient Roman ruins. We ate lunch in a restaurant that was somewhat outside, and it was quite cold, but the food was delicious, as it always has been thus far. So we walked through some of the ruins, and witnessed for ourselves the breathtaking sights of history, well preserved for us now. Seeing the temples of Zevs and Artemis, surrounded by beautiful yellow and purple flowers, gave us a sense of how significant this country is historically and culturally to our civilization today. We all took lots of pictures, and enjoyed ourselves immensely. On the hour bus ride back to Amman, through hills, some o us solidified friendships, while others caught up on much needed sleep.

The hour and a half free time we had upon returning to the hotel was spent on getting ready for the big night ahead. In the presence of His Royal Highness Prince Ghazi Bin Mohammed and Her Highness Princess Areej Ghazi as well as other high profile guests from Jordan. We had the opening dinner of both People to People International’s Peace Camp and Global Peace Initiative under the patronage of His Majesty King Abdullah II Ibn Al Hussein. This was in celebration of 60 years of peaceful Jordanian-US relations, and 10 years since His Majesty King Abdullah II Ibn Al Hussein assumed constitutional powers. There were a few speeches including ones by Mary Jean Eisenhower, President and CEO of People to People International and Father Nabil Haddad, executive manager of the Jordanian Interfaith Coexistence Research Center. The food was amazing, which included some traditional Jordanian cuisine. At the end, we were honored to get a photo of all the Peace Campers with His Highness Prince Ghazi and Her Highness Princess Areej Ghazi.

Unfortunately, when this was over, it was almost 10:30pm, so we had to head to our rooms, because tomorrow – Sunday – we will be getting up early. Today we really broke down international barriers, and felt that beneath them we are all similar. We have created one united group of people from all backgrounds. We are eager to discover what awaits us tomorrow, not only in Petra, but along this once in a life time experience.

Much love from,

Anya Arndt – USA
Mark Chan – Malasyia
Sarah Abbas – Egypt
Shannon Rilley– USA

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Rosanne Rosen said...

Sounds like you are continuing on an incredible journey! We can't wait to hear more about your experiences in Petra!

nada said...

thats great
u make all of us wanna make with every student very long conv. we cant waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa8 till u return

gratings 2 all of the campers n "our sarsoora"