me in the ME

the semester of fun, sun, and Arabic

Sand, sand, fi kul makan

This entire last week I’ve been recovering from our program trip to Petra and Wadi Rum. Personally, I had never even heard of Wadi Rum before coming to Jordan but once I was here, it was ALL I could hear about. Wadi Rum is beautiful, Wadi Rum is amazing, incredible, spectacular, beyond belief… I had no idea what was actually in Wadi Rum or what people do there. A couple of us had one of those moments where knowing some more Arabic vocab would have helped:

Person A: Yea, I’m really excited to go swimming at Wadi Rum!

Jordanian friend + the rest of us: Huh?!

Person A: Yea, Wadi means “river”, right?

Wadi actually means valley, which is still a geographical term and something which I had no idea of either. The more important part is that Wadi Rum is the opposite of a river.

Wadi Rum is sand. And a few mountains. But mostly sand. It is in the middle of the desert and I cannot for the life of me differentiate between where it starts and the rest of the desert or what makes it special/different. Nor could I tell a difference between this desert and the desert in Nevada. What can I say- I’m just not a desert person.

For disliking sand as much as I do though, it wasn’t bad. The weather was way better than it was when we visited Dana, so no freezing in our tents! Our first night we went on a Jeep ride through the desert, making stops to ride down sand dunes, scramble up sand dunes, tumble down sand dunes, climb up even steeper sand mountains, try not to die coming down from those. So much sand, in literally every place. I’m still finding sand in things and I don’t know if my shoes will ever recover. We watched the sunset on a rock outcropping type thing. Seriously, I have no idea what it actually was- I don’t do mountains! The sun always seems to set so much faster here than in any other place I’ve been. No sooner had we made it to the top, then the sun was already disappearing and then gone within 5 minutes. I’m always expecting the beautiful sunsets that I saw in Greece, with the sky turning pink and colors exploding outwards across the sky. The sunset is super efficient here though, so you have to look quickly or you’ll miss it altogether.

We had the whole next day in Wadi Rum, which in my opinion was too long. I’m a doer, as in I like to actually do things. Walking in the desert does not count as doing something. Mountain biking and climbing mountains (especially covered in sand!) count as torture in my book. There was some soccer, a bit of stargazing, music that never stopped at night. Same old, same old, normal desert activities.

The most important thing that happened in Wadi Rum though was camel riding! Dreams fulfilled, pictures to come. A note to those who haven’t as of yet ridden a camel: while you totally should, and it’s AWESOME… but it’s not very comfortable. And it’s very different from riding a horse! I was sore all over the next morning since you have to sit and balance in a completely different way, which you notice even when you first get on. There are no stirrups, but there are “horns” in front and back to hold onto. It was probably a good idea though that we didn’t do anything besides prowl around on camelback. I’m sure there would have been some real accidents if we tried to go any faster. As it was, we sometimes ended up banging together and legs got squished a bit. Though my camel was adorable and little and actually the cutest which made up for it. People who say camels aren’t adorable are mean, jealous liars. Just sayin’…

Quick overview: Wadi Rum= desert, soccer is still awesome, camels are the BEST, and alhumdililah Petra is next!


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  1. Pingback: P is for puppies…ponies…err Petra! « me in the ME

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