Diary of Jordan, Day 17: Learning a new language

By Chibuogwu Nnadiegbulam

Marhaba (hello). One of the only two arabic words I can truly say. I already told you about Shukran (thank you) two days ago. I would have definitely known a lot more, if I were Jillian, my colleague from the United States of America.

The other day at dinner, she told us that one of her dreams when she was three years old was to learn every language in the world. Now, she doesn't think she can achieve that anymore, but she's working hard at it anyways. I admire her a lot. And she is an expert at making (and keeping) friends.

Anyway, with the quarter finals concluded yesterday, today was the first of three match-free days on the cards. Class was for 10am, after which we had the rest of the day to ourselves.

I decided to skip breakfast today because I had this Pop Me Indomie noodles I needed to consume. I had bought it on the day I went to purchase a new memory card with Farah accompanying me, and had already opened it to see if it was the same as the Indomie I was used to back in Nigeria.

So I prepared it as was instructed on the body of the cup, took a good look at it with a squinted face for about a minute (you must already know by now that I'm not good at food adventures) before eating the first spoon. The taste was a little different because of the spices, but it was something I could finish and so I did.

In class today, we had two students from the Jordan media institute join us. It was reiterated that our trip to Petra was in the "pipeline". Then, our video mentor, Andrea talked us through the techniques of video editing; from the simple; like Farah's 18-minute stand-up, to the complex; like Rayanne's Zaatari camp report in which she used lots of written translations. 

Questions were asked about the best editing softwares to quality and prices of cameras and he answered all. I can easily call him 'the patient one' not necessarily because of his session today, but his sheer tolerance when shooting our many tries during stand-ups.

He told us he would be leaving after the semi-finals on Monday, but asked us to make sure we record videos even in his absence.

After Andrea was done, we had our usual coffee break. Then it was time for Martin's session.

Martin first did a brief recap of his previous teaching, before he got into the business of the day, Metrics.

It involved, x-raying the intricacies of sharing an article on any social media platforms, how we can make our articles attract readers, as well as how to monitor the traffic to a blog or website.

By 1pm, we were done with class for the day. Up next was lunch, after which I had an hour nap before our trip to the Amman Citadel at about 4:30pm.

It was 3JD for non-Jordanians to enter the tourists site, and once we did, taking photos was the order of the day. In fact, we had already started from outside - while we waited for the third and final set of Young Reporters to arrive (I was in the first cab.) Our Mentors did not come with us, but we had Farah and Heba who were our guides.

We went to the Temple of Hercules (161-166 AD), entered the Early Bronze Age Cave tomb, which dates to the 23rd century BC, and also explored the Jordan Archaeological museum.

It was at the Citadel, Farah told us about this awesome idea of taking a photo of us leaping in the sun. I so love my silhouette in the air.

From the Citadel, we went over to the Roman Amphitheatre climbing down many steps - it was a walkable distance from the Citadel. My thought however, was, hope we wouldn't have to go back the same way.

Today, I learnt a new word on our way from the Citadel to the Amphitheatre, Habibi (for male) or Habibti (for female). Meaning, my love...

The Roman Amphitheatre was already closed for the day. Heba said they usually close at 5:30. So we only took pictures from the outside. They were beautiful nonetheless. But how I wish we entered.


A very eventful day it was indeed, but Christine and I could not go with the rest to Downtown for dinner. I had to get back to the hotel to write this, and some days before it, even as I looked forward to our visit to the dead sea tomorrow.
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