On Saturday morning we left Aqaba for Amman, the last stop of our trip. In total the trip took us five hours. Although this was the longest stretch of time we had on the bus, we made a few stops that helped break up the long drive. Our first stop was at a little country side diner along the highway to pick up sandwiches for our lunch. We then headed to see one of the most famous mosques in Jordan. We were allowed to go inside the inner courtyard, but all the ladies had to have their arms and head covered. This was the first time since I had been in Jordan that I was required to cover my head. Having never been in a mosque, it was very interesting to see. The faculty leading the trip, Dr. Ahmad Audi, provided helpful explanations of some of the monuments within the Mosque. As a Muslim himself, he has been instrumental in helping the group to learn more about Islam and its practices and how that shapes the culture in Jordan and elsewhere. Ahmad is very open about his faith and I am grateful for his willingness to answer questions and engage in dialogue about Islam in a safe and respectful way, even with those who do not share his same viewpoints.
After we stopped at the mosque, we drove north again and then made a quick stop besides the road at a scenic overlook that marked the divide of the desert region and the green pastoral lands. Before long, we had arrived in Amman where we checked into the hotel and then out to dinner. The restaurant served fast food style Jordanian food, of which I tried Mansef, the national dish of Jordan. It is lamb stewed in a yogurt sauce served over rice and a pita bread. Although I am glad to try it, I must say that I did not care for it.
After dinner a few people went out for coffee and hookah. Given that it was my son's 6th birthday, I stayed behind to call and talk with him. It was delightful to see his face and exchange virtual Eskimo and butterfly kisses as we typically do in person and wish him a happy birthday. I was glad to see that he was having fun and a lot less emotional than me. It was also a treat to see and talk with my husband. I will always remember my time in Jordan with fondness, but it will be nice to be home soon.