- Basil Qaqish Family
2.2.05 - Arrived in Madrid just as sun was coming over horizon. Waited in airport for several more hours, got a handful of Euros, and boarded our Royal Jordanian flight for Amman. Had excellent service and a very pleasant flight. Dave got to know a Jordanian man who was living in Paraguay, and now returning to Jordan after 16 years away. After a refueling stop in Vienna, we contined to Amman, arriving around 6pm. Bought our visas with no problems, picked up baggage (also no problems!) and met the brothers of Dave's uncle who were waiting for us. They drove us to Basim's house, where his family, Bilal's family, and their parents (Fouad and ?) met us for a huge welcome feast. We ate as much as we could handle, and then we all sat around and got to know each other through very limited English. Went to bed tired but happy.
2.3.05 - Slept in late. Very late. Finally got up around 11am, and the rest of the family looked at us a bit strange as we ate our breakfast. We then went with Basim and his son to visit some of the historical places in Amman (Roman theater and the Citadel). Returned to the house, ate another big meal, rested for a bit, and then visited both sets of grandparents. Returned again to the house, ate supper, and relaxed in front of the satelite TV before bed.
2.4.05 - Got up a bit earlier this morning. Ate breakfast and hung out in front of TV. Went to Basim's friends house to use internet for a few hours and then went to the grandparents house for another large meal. Returned back to house, received phone call from Kendall Derstine, from Dave's home church. Basim drove us to a big mall downtown, where we met him for coffee. Dave and I returned back and stayed up quite late, reflecting on trip and interviewing each other.
2.5.05 - Woke up late and had a big bowl of corn flakes for breakfast. Sat in front of the TV for most of the morning, then had lunch. After eating, we thought about going out to walk around, but found out that we would be staying grandfather Fuoad's house for our remaining days here. Packed up our things and went to grandparent's house. Spent the afternoon talking with Fuoad, eating dinner, and visiting with Basim's family. Watched TV for a few hours before going to bed.
2.6.05 - Again woke up later than we expected. Had breakfast and went for a walk around for a few hours, despite the constant rain. Caught up on emails at an internet cafe and did a bit of shopping. Had lunch back at the house, then left for Basim's factory to use internet and work on article for Crossroads. Got some writing done, and then took a tour of the factory. Returned to house and had dinner, then watched television until going to bed. Eric attempted getting up at 2am to watch the Super Bowl, but couldn't find a channel that was broadcasting it.
2.7.05 - Got up around 530, packed our bags, and said our goodbyes over a quick breakfast. Basim took us to a downtown taxi post, where we got a taxi to the King Hussein (Allenby Bridge) crossing into Israel. Arrived at Jordanian customs early, and had tea with the custodial crew until it opened. Got the necessary exit stamps and made our way across the bridge. On the Israeli side, went through the typical security checks and safety precautions, and were admitted entry with very few questions. Took a sherut up to Jerusalem, where we stopped at the embassy and then did some shopping on Ben Yahuda street. Walked to bus station, traveled to Tel Aviv, and attempted to contact Slomit (for Israel Trail maps) with no sucess. Decided to bus down the coast to Ashkelon and spend the night with Lin and Janet Stutzman. Linford met us at the bus station, and we enjoyed a delicious dinner on the boat. Caught up on stories from the last few months, and eventually were rocked to sleep in our own comfy cabin after a long day.