Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Tuesday 20 April |

Hello from Jordan!

Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 04/10/15

So I arrived in Amman around 4 p.m. My memory is hazy, but I think the flight was about 10 hours. I slept fitfully, but at least I slept. (Royal Jordanian Airlines, by the way, is incredible. We had two really good meals and the nicest flight attendants.) After making our way off the plane, our merry band—there are 12 of us, just like the apostles!—were quickly guided to the desk where we got our visas.

11143265_10205037289626722_109546976292645031_n-575x766

Then, it was off to baggage claim to get our bags (almost no wait at the carousel) and meet our guide for the next 10 days, Ra’ed (the fellow below on the left). He’s spent his entire life in the Middle East, but I swear he sounds like a New Yorker to me.

11148920_10205777141680229_899214661_n-575x431

I’m having a good time getting to know some of my companions on this journey—bloggers from all over the place, including a few from Patheos. I got to meet, at last, the elusive and mysterious Max Lindenman. For a man of towering intellect and incredible verbal dexterity, he’s awfully short. (I say this as a man who, even on his best days, is straining to reach 5’8.”)

11128718_10205777034997562_18519342_n-575x431

After breaking into groups to visit teller windows and exchange our dollars for dinars, we loaded on our bus and began the 40-minute ride to our hotel.

IMG_0100-575x384

We’re staying at the Amman Sheraton. As with many places these days, there is heightened security: every time you enter the hotel, you have to pass your bags through an x-ray machine, step through a metal detector, and be frisked. It’s almost like going through the TSA at the airport. It’s quick and easy, though—and, I should add, reassuring. They leave nothing to chance.

IMG_0126-575x384

The hotel is quite swanky, as you can tell from the bathroom in my room.

11149303_10205777579211167_5793057444772433889_n-575x766

After getting settled, we walked a few blocks to Whispers, a nearby restaurant. Among other things, it has a tank in the middle of the dining room occupied by a couple of sharks.

IMG_0114-575x384

Dinner was a delicious and exotic “mixed grill” of various types of seafood, wraps, chicken and spring rolls, prepared in sauces that left us swooning. Being Americans, there was only one thing we could do: take pictures of our food.

IMG_0120-575x384
IMG_0118-575x384
IMG_0122-575x384

So far, it’s all off to a great start. Our fearless leader, Christine Moore from the Jordan Tourism Board, is taking very good care of us. Tomorrow, we hit the road to see some sites. A highlight will be attending the Easter Vigil Saturday evening at a Melkite Catholic church.

Thank you all, meantime, for the many warm wishes for a safe trip. At the sacred liturgy tomorrow, I’ll be carrying the intentions of The Bench readers with me—along with a heart full of gratitude for being able to embark on this journey. More to come! Stay tuned.

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Top 10
1
SPANISH FLU
Bret Thoman, OFS
What Padre Pio saw in the Spanish Flu of 1918
2
EUCHARIST
Philip Kosloski
5 Fascinating facts about Jesus in the Eucharist
3
MASS
Philip Kosloski
5 Essential things used at Mass and their symbolism
4
PADRE PIO
Philip Kosloski
Padre Pio’s favorite prayer of petition
5
COUPLE
Cerith Gardiner
7 Joys to be had from a lengthy marriage
6
OSORNO
Brett Salkeld
How to vaccinate like a Catholic
7
PRINCE PHILIP
Cerith Gardiner
The lasting lesson from the late Prince Philip
See More