Homestays and work begin

Orientation to Jordan and to Amman now ended, the students in Arabic had placement tests to see which level of Arabic (Jordanian dialect) they will study for the month.  We will have 3 classes of 8-12 students in each.  Journalism students also continued their work with Carlene.  And then all the students met their Jordanian "families" (homestay hosts/hostesses) and left for the night to start that adventure!  I am looking forward to Tuesday morning and hearing reports of the first night stays. 

Prof. Ilham, Dr. Heather and I ("Dr. Denis") will take our 47 students, divide them into 3 groups, and have "working lunches" with the 3 separate groups - to check in with them, and to assess how they are doing with our own assignments for the Middle East studies portion of the program.

I don't have any pictures from classes today, but here is one from yesterday's tour of Amman - we were visiting a mosque downtown Amman, and our SIT hosts were keen on telling us that an Orthodox church was right next door, symbolizing the equality of Christians and Muslims in this 95% Muslim country.  (This statement is one we will continue to discuss, no doubt.)  In this picture, you can see a number of our female students wearing the abaya (covering) and scarves, required of women inside mosques.  The women seemed to enjoy this new fashion, during the time they wore it - there were tons of pictures being taken of groups of women, showing off their 'uniform coverings' and scarves/veils.  I'm sure they're all over facebook - though I am not about to go searching :-) 

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