The kids are crossing off the days on our calendar, and our countdown is now 24. Twenty-four days left to enjoy scrumptious yogurt, cucumbers, pita bread, olive oil, date syrup, falafel. Twenty-four days left to be surrounded by Arabic script, language and music. 24 days before we trade our spacious 3-bedroom flat for our cozy 1 bedroom basement apartment. 24 days to get medical and dental appointments taken care of so that we can avoid the crazy American healthcare system for just a bit longer. 24 days to see the last special sights in Jordan and Israel – hoping to make it to Petra, Karak, Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and Galilee.
Our friends have already been leaving for a few weeks now. Because Ramadan falls in the height of summer this year (and will for the upcoming years), even more Westerners are going on overseas vacations than would normally. Though I haven’t experienced it for myself, they almost unanimously agree that Amman is not a nice place to be during a baking-hot month of fasting. So between people leaving for home assignments and others leaving for vacations, we’ve said goodbye to multiple dear friends this month.
In a way, I’m grateful for early departures of friends, as Amman will feel less and less like home, the fewer friends we have here. And the less it feels like home, maybe the easier it will be to leave.