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"Jordan: When Even the Word 'Speechless' Doesn't Suffice" by Miranda Russo

"Jordan: When Even the Word 'Speechless' Doesn't Suffice" by Miranda Russo

Flying was new to me on this trip. I sure hope I forget the stomach jolts and roller-coaster butterflies, but I know I will never forget the view above Amman. Photo credit: Russo, 2019

On our city tour of Amman, we saw the Temple of Hercules and the Roman Amphitheater. After this, my standards were super high for Amman and the city continued to surprise me for the rest of my adventure! Photo credit: Russo, 2019

Was really feeling part of my Italian roots here in Amman! The amphitheater was HUGE. I honestly almost wiped out on my way down the steps – Proceed. With. CAUTION! Photo credit: Russo, 2019

Not the most beautiful picture – but the most delicious dessert: kanafeh. I would eat this for the rest of my life! This was the very first time I tried it and I was most definitely hooked. It's a must-eat. Photo credit: Russo, 2019

Mt. Nebo. A view I wish to see every time I close my eyes. According to some scriptures, this was where Moses saw the Promised Land before he died. There are a plethora of olive trees and shady spots for when you're elevated in the heat! Photo credit: Russo, 2019

Our visit to the Dead Sea. Pro tip: Do not splash, do not get the water in your eyes or cuts, and be careful when on your stomach – you will flip! It was waaay warmer than I thought and it starts to burn after a while but make sure to grab some of the mud and cover yourself in it; even take some for the road because the exfoliation is incredible. I will never have skin so smooth. Photo credit: Russo, 2019

Hummus from Hashem downtown. So delicious and lemony. I also recommend everything here: fool, falafel (stuffed falafel with onion), pita, tea with mint, french fries, and fatteh. So good. So inexpensive. One of my favorites and one of the oldest spots. Photo credit: Russo, 2019

En route to Wadi Rum, my favorite part of the trip. Where I got to ride: C A M E L S. Photo credit: Russo, 2019

Our Jeep tour of Wadi Rum, we all hoped to race each other and see who could be faster! While on the jeep tour, we saw ancient rock carvings and messages, met with local bedouins, and saw the beauty that is Wadi Rum. Photo credit: Russo, 2019

More pictures from the jeep tour in Wadi Rum! Photo credit: Russo, 2019

The sand was naturally formed this way; I totally geeked out and had to take a picture. Photo credit: Russo, 2019

Still more from Wadi Rum. What's so awesome about Wadi Rum is that it legitimately looks like Mars! Even the movie "The Martian" was filmed here. It's really nice to get away from light pollution and this is the perfect location to do so. Photo credit: Russo, 2019

Ah, yes the moment we have all been waiting for: The Camels. They are so amazingly cute. Photo credit: Russo, 2019

My camel was incredible because OF COURSE he was the one that in the middle of our walk decided he wanted to munch on a huge branch. Photo credit: Russo, 2019

After our Conflict & the Struggle for Peace program portion of classes in Amman, our professor Dr. Omar Rifai took us all out for a traditional Jordanian meal. Photo credit: Russo, 2019

My host sister Jenna was like my little best friend. I love this girl so much; I always wanted a little sister and it's safe to say I will now have one for life. I also had three host brothers who were so intelligent and kind. Photo credit: Russo, 2019

This is my host family's cat Toffee. He came to greet me in my bed every morning. Their other cat Roche had kittens while we were there and they were absolutely adorable. Photo credit: Russo, 2019

Sometimes students even need a break from the walls within AMIDEAST. SO... oftentimes I would go to this really cute cafe by my house called the Coffee Club Cafe (if you're interested, it's right by Istishari Hospital). Good vibes, delicious coffee, and next to a great pizza place. Photo credit: Russo, 2019

One of the most iconic spots in Jordan: Petra! The way there we were all so full of energy, but the sun really gets you by the time you're on the way back. Safe to say Gatorade was my best friend. Photo credit: Russo, 2019

Me in the Siq, or the long narrow gorge that serves as the entrance to Petra. Photo credit: Russo, 2019

A trip to Petra isn’t complete without a picture of the Khazneh, more commonly called the Treasury. Photo credit: Russo, 2019

One of my best friends on the trip (Laurie – and you should check out her blog posts!) and I were luckily part of the same extended host family. Due to this, we all went out together! This is a picture of us from what our family called "the farm," which was a beautiful resort just for the family with a pool, volleyball net, soccer net, outdoor seating etc. Photo credit: Russo, 2019

Here comes the food. There was too much to share, but here were some of my favorites. This was the cheesecake ice-cream from Bekdash downtown! Photo credit: Russo, 2019

A surprise breakfast from my host family: fool, falafel, and hummus, which is my absolute favorite breakfast. The falafel in America just does not compare. Photo credit: Russo, 2019

Delicious homemade mansaf, my favorite Jordanian meal. A great restaurant that makes this dish is Al Kuds Downtown. Photo credit: Russo, 2019

The view from my host family’s mountain house in As-Salt! Photo credit: Russo, 2019

Me and my host family at the mountain house in As-Salt. Photo credit: Russo, 2019

Another great view from my host family’s house in As-Salt! Photo credit: Russo, 2019

Ajlun Castle! One of our last excursions visited here. It's so nice and cool inside – no need for air-conditioning here! Photo credit: Russo, 2019

Also on this excursion we visited Jerash. Here is me in the ruins of this Roman city! Photo credit: Russo, 2019

The last picture I ever took in Jordan. I couldn't wait to get home, I really missed my family, but the second I was in America, I missed the falafel, the people, and the culture. This trip not only changed my life, but it changed me and my perspectives. Love you forever Jordan – Shukran! Photo credit: Russo, 2019

Miranda Russo is a student at Drexel University and participated in the Conflict & the Struggle for Peace Program, followed by session 2 of Intensive Arabic in Amman.

From AMIDEAST Student to AMIDEAST Intern: Sara Micare

From AMIDEAST Student to AMIDEAST Intern: Sara Micare

"A Typical Day in Amman" by Laurie Jones

"A Typical Day in Amman" by Laurie Jones