I’ve been pleasantly surprised to experience a spirit of volunteerism here in Jordan. Last weekend after a tasty juice of lemon and mint on Rainbow Street, I was so surprised to see a large group of kids in orange vests carrying trash bags, I had to take a picture of it.
Lillie, an friend who was in Morocco with me noticed this picture and said she would have had a heart attack if she saw volunteer kids picking up trash in Fez. I tried to explain this to my new American friend here in Jordan when he asked me why I thought the volunteers were photoworthy: I just never experienced much of a motivation for community involvement and volunteerism in Morocco, and was happy to see it alive and well here in Amman.
This Saturday I got to do a little volunteering myself. I went with Hamza, his friends, and nearly 100 other young Jordanian volunteers to plant 1,000 trees north of Amman with volunteers from the Ministry of Agriculture.
Only 0.9% of Jordan is covered with forest, and has big problems with deforestation and desertification.
I planted around 20 trees with Ziad, a volunteer with the Ministry of Agriculture who also works as a night guard in Amman. He has invited me to his house next weekend for a meal of mansaf with his family: a traditional Jordanian dish made with lamb and rice!