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Thursday, 30 September 2010

Another Day, Another Dinar

Greetings from the capital of the Hashemite Kingdom. It's been a good fortnight over here and I'll share a bit.

I've been working quite a bit lately, which I like. With little experience with green building, the various regional and international standards, and technical & political aspects of this process I'm learning a great deal. I'm in the midst of bringing together the component parts of a document which will, inshala, be the first draft of a comprehensive Jordanian regional standard for green building. Water and Energy are the two most important aspects as Jordan is one of the poorest water states in the world and they import over 95% of their energy. By the way 'inshala' translates more or less to 'god willing.' People say it all the time and a lot of times it just means it's not going to happen- kind of like when you were a kid and you would ask your mom if you could get ice cream after going to the grocery store and she'd say "we'll see."

A few weeks back I drove up Pella to hike up through some ancient ruins. At the foot of a group of columns I met a shepherd, who kept telling me he was a shepherd, with a handkerchief full of Greek, Roman, and Byzanntine coins that he wanted to sell me.

The hike was hot and dry with steady elevation climb. The view to the west overlooking the ruins, Jordan River Valley farmland, and across that all important imaginary line was spectacular.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Welcome to Jordan

Back at the screen and ready to spill with two weeks of the Middle East under my belt. It feels like I've been here a lot longer.

Looking towards Downtown perched on Jabal al-Qal'a

I love this jazzy mother

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Amman & Ramadan

After a mix of planes, trains, and automobiles and just over 24 hours of travel time I arrived in Amman, Jordan. I was on a flight from New York to Amman with three of my colleagues from the program: Katrina, Meridith, and Zahra. During the flight a flight attendant came on the PA and said "We want to inform you that smoking is still prohibited during the flight... we know someone smoked in the lavatory because we can smell it." We all got a little scolding but I don't think anyone suffered the wrath of the Federal Aviation Regulation Commission.