Monday, August 31, 2009

First Day of School cont.

Raed told me that maybe ladies were not allowed in the boys assembly area. Well, duh! You think! Anyway, I met Adam's teacher and she was a young, petite woman that was soft spoken and seemed very nice. I know that Adam will adjust to her very well. For the first time, he looked excited about school. He even said we could go. I worried about him for nothing it seems.

Once we left Adam's classroom, Raed and I wanted to see Rami settled in his classroom. Rami was still at the assembly area when we met up with him. He was standing in his grade line with a terrified look in his eyes. Raed went up to him to reassure him. Rami seemed so relieved to see us. Raed and I followed Rami to his classroom and met his teacher, Ms. Aminie. Raed and I left the school feeling confident that the boys would settle in nicely.

Later on, I anxiously waited for the bus to return the boys home. Around 3:15, the bus finally arrived. Adam was excited to tell all about his day, but Rami looked like he was about to cry. Rami, it seems, did not want to call attention to himself and make it clear to his teachers that he did not know any Arabic, and so the teachers assumed that the entire class spoke Arabic. Needless to say, he was very upset because they spoke no English the entire day. I assured him that if he does not understand, he needs to raise his hand and ask for the teacher to translate. Raed actually went to the school today to talk to the principal to make sure all was okay.

First Day of School

Yesterday was Rami and Adam's first day of school. We were all a little nervous about beginning school in a new country. But things turned out fine.

Raed and I chose to enroll the boys in the International Independent Schools. This school was the first one we toured from our list of possible schools. We did not even research their website prior to the visit ( Once we toured the school and studied the fees, we were excited to enroll the boys in a school with many amenities at a fair tuition price.

Yesterday morning, Muhammed (Raed's brother) drove Raed, Rami, Adam and I to school. Raed walked Adam to his classroom, and I walked Rami to the boys assembly area. I asked a teacher where Rami should stand and the teacher curtly said, "here. Goodbye." I was shocked at his tone. I quickly said goodbye to Rami and and left to join Raed at Adam's classroom.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Baby Birthday Celebration

Now, where was I. The ladies put the baby in a beautiful bassinet-like basket and held him up overhead as they danced. Candles were passed around for all to hold. All outside lights were turned off and all the candles were lit. My first thought was, "Oh my goodness! Children and lit candles. This is a catastrophe waiting to happen." I made sure Rami and Adam were by my side the entire time their candles were lit. One of the older ladies began to ring a bell and started to sing the traditional song for the occasion. Of course it was in Arabic, so I have no idea what the song was about. I would like to think that it was blessings for the baby.

After the traditional song, the dance music was turned back on and the dancing continued, with the lit candles. It did not take long......Mya, my niece, was burned on the forhead. Not bad, but enough that my sister-in-law, Sana, immediately ordered that all the candles be blown out.

We danced a little before it was time to pass out the refreshements, Pepsi and the best variety of cakes I have ever tasted. There was cheesecake with blueberry topping, carrot cake, chocolate cake, fruit cake, etc. And around midnight, the music was turned off so that we could relax and talk under the canopy of grape leaves outside in the courtyard. Raed told me that the last of the people left at 4 am. Sorry, I still cannot hack it. I had to go to bed at 1:30 am.
Last night we celebrated the birth of my new nephew. He was born the day we arrived here, August 17. Raina, his mother, is Raed's sister. His name is Ki'an. That is the best that I can spell it based on how it sounds. He is adorable and sweet.

The party was a ladies and children party only. Without the men, the ladies are free to dress and style their hair as they please. My 3 sister-in-laws spent the afternoon before the party at the salon getting their hair styled and their makeup applied. I opted not to go. I do not quite trust my arabic to make my wishes about my hair and makeup known. I did not want to end up with too much makeup or too much fro hair!

People began arriving for the party about 10:30pm. I am sooo not used to how late people visit each other here. Of course by then, Layla was quite cranky. I had to dance with her on my hip for about thirty minutes until she fell asleep. Once she was tucked away in her room, I was able to enjoy the music and the party more.

I will continue the story later. Layla will not leave me alone long enough to finish right now.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

August 26 - To New Beginnings

My family and I are on a great adventure. Can we leave the comforts of Denham Springs, Louisiana, what we have known our whole lives, and live half a world away? Thrive in a place where the language and culture are so foreign to the American way of life? Who knows, but we are sure going to try our best.

On the morning of August 17, 2009, my husband, Raed, and I with our 3 children, Rami (*spelling changes in Jordan), Adam, and Layla, boarded a plane in New Orleans, Louisiana enroute to Chicago. After a long 7 hour layover in Chicago, we began the extremely long 12 hour flight to Jordan on a Royal Jordanian flight. Try to imagine a 12 hour flight with 3 small children. It WAS that bad. I was so happy when we finally landed.

It was late afternoon in Jordan when we arrived, but to us it was morning. Jordan time is 8 hours ahead of Louisiana time. Unfortunately, one of the bags did not make the trip to Jordan with us, and of course it was MY clothes that were in the lost suitcase. (It was returned to me 3 days later).