The Wonderful Children of Jordan

Jerash Jordan

The girls wanted nothing from me but a photo.

What’s your name?

What’s your name?

– janice

Ah, beautiful. Beautiful.

– what’s your name?

Jasmine, Farah, Halah, Raniyah…

There were so many names and so many beautiful, exuberant, outgoing girls on school excursions to Jerash the day I was there. They wanted to take my picture. They wanted me to take theirs. They wanted to know my name and for me to know their’s. Mostly, they just wanted to talk to a woman who was  obviously a foreigner, practice their English which they start learning in grade one and have fun!

Children giving the peace sign.

Children are a reflection of their culture.

The children I met in Jerash were open, friendly, confident, curious and boisterous. They freely came up to me asking me questions, sometimes bouncing up in front of my face to get my attention in a crowd.

And the teachers supervising them were not uptight and concerned about their safety nor were they annoyed by their noise – I’ve seen both in North American teachers as they take responsibility for students here. They took delight in them. They would usher the children away so as not to bother me but they seemed to truly enjoy their time with the children.

So, what did I learn about Jordanian people from these children? That they are friendly, helpful and considerate. I also learned that the issue of strangers doesn’t seem to exist there. After watching these children I felt that Jordan was very safe. Given that I had a guide with me almost all the time I felt it necessary to confirm this belief with independent tourists. And it was confirmed – over and over again.

And they were talented too.

In addition to taking pictures, the girls shared their talents with me. This is not great video but it does give you a feel for what I experienced. There are three sections.

One teacher told me that the children were thrilled that I was chatting with them – that other tourists had ignored them earlier in the day. What a shame. In a land with Petra, Wadi Rum, the Red Sea and the Dead Sea. In a country with so much to offer, these children were, without doubt, a highlight of my trip.

Regardless of what a country has to offer the traveler, it is the people and their culture that makes the trip either wonderful or simply a checkmark on a list. Jordan was wonderful. It is a place to visit again.

Want more perspectives on Jordan. Check out:

Visiting the Dead Sea: a Sanctuary by Isabelle’s Travel Guides

Diving the Red Sea in Aqaba, Jordan by Wild Junket

I was a guest of Visit Jordan on this trip. They did not influence the experiences or opinions I have chosen to share on Solo Traveler.

 

  • Swetha Reddy

    Bargain Online for the best hotels at MyDeals247.com.
    For more please watch the video..http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UWigWICKsII

  • http://budgettravelerssandbox.com Nancie

    Their smiles are contagious!

  • http://www.cailintravels.com Cailin

    That is such a nice experience to of had and not only did they make your day but you made theirs too! :)

  • solotraveler

    Thanks Jeff. They truly were a delight.

    Deb & Dave, I think that Mahmoud (my guide – see tomorrow’s post) said that the schools are required to organize 6 day trips a year to explore their country. What a fabulous policy.

  • http://EuroTravelogue.com Jeff Titelius

    What a fantastic and inspiring post! How wonderful of you to share your experience with the rest of the world on what a delight the children and you are!!

  • http://www.theplanetd.com Dave and Deb

    I agree with you Janice. It was amazing the amount of students that approached us in Jordan. They were very curious and friendly. What I loved is the amount of field trips that schools take in Jordan. Students seemed to be at every historical sight that we went to.

  • http://dailypropaganda.com/ Kurt W

    Great photos, Jordan truly is a wonderful place.

  • http://retrospectivetraveller.co.uk Jonathan (@retrotraveller)

    Wonderful article – brought a smile to my face and (don’t tell anyone) a tear to my eye as it reminded me of all the wonderful people I met in Jordan and the other countries I’ve visited!

    Loved the video – it is moments like that that make a trip!

    One little thing made me chuckle in the video – the little boy who moves in to try and sell some flags to the girls and gets the brush off!

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  • solotraveler

    Thanks for the comments. These girls still make me smile 2 weeks later.

  • http://www.lorihenry.ca Lori Henry

    Fabulous! I didn’t chat with any teens, but with younger children in Jordan. They were equally as lovely and eager to interact. LOVE, love, love Jordan!

  • http://www.sophiesworld.net Sophie | Sophie’s World

    Lovely post, Janice.

  • http://www.onmywayrtw.com megan

    I can’t believe other tourists ignored them! They look like a lot of fun! Sounds like a great experience.