As I am sitting back at home in Topeka, KS, I realize what an impact Jordan had on my life. I miss the constant conversation that is always taking place between people on the streets and their usually welcoming personalities. There is such a great community environment in Dhiban that you can’t get in many American towns. The way men greeted and interacted with each other was something I will never forget. They were not uncomfortable showing affection to their friends and while they could not show the same affection to female friends, it was still very refreshing. They have a great respect for their elders, family members, and friends. Relationships are extremely valuable to people in this part of the world. While outsiders may be considered less valuable and sometimes treated with less respect, as an outsider, I was still able to see the compassion that went into their interactions. But even to foreigners (or ajinab), most people are overwhelmingly friendly. They invite strangers to tea freqeuntly, and one of my most fond memories is sitting with a Bedouin woman at Petra, drinking tea and talking about her children.
I am also deeply grateful for the skills I acquired this summer. The field school provided me with hands-on experience as an archaeologist, which is not possible in a classroom setting. I was given the opportunity to be a trench supervisor for a week of the season and I learned the process that each supervisor goes through, including the measuring and drawing of the trench, finding elevations, and completing paperwork for each stratum. With the knowledge I gained, I have no doubt in my mind that if I chose to be an archaeologist, I would be well prepared.