Thursday, March 08, 2007

Arrivederci Amman!

Its the final day of the workshop. Everyone wandered off to home or caught flights out or are waiting for tomorrow's flight. Tim, Ruth, Amir, Kent, Hanada, and Ghada had dinner in the Marriott's Cigar Lounge. (It wasn't really smoky, but it has big comfortable chairs and is much quieter than the Champions sports bar.)

Ghada, our heroic workshop coordinator, finally got to meet Schlepp. I think everyone except Gen. Shiyyaab has posed with the furry one. Frankly, its been a good trip for a little bear and international security.

Travel home tomorrow starts at 5:30. There's a two-hour connection in London (tricky but possible) and then a 1:50 connection in Chicago. With customs, passport control, picking up and rechecking luggage, this will need a minor miracle to pull off. Stay tuned for tomorrow's post with all the exciting details.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Schlepp in Amman, Part 2

Today Schlepp went shopping down the street from the Marriott. By happy accident, he found a sports shop that sold football jerseys (soccer to you Yanks) in Jordan team colors. So we've got nephew Ty's birthday present worked out. We found Jordanian pastries for the gang at the office, some Afghan trinkets at the bazaar, and Dead Sea beauty products for the ladies back home. Now to a bear, they look like packages of mud and salt, but they're supposed to be great stuff.

For dinner the entire workshop went to Kan Zaman, a traditional restaurant. Excellent food, great company, and traditional music and entertainment. Schlepp made lots of new friends--Hanada, Rima, and Hakam from the Cooperative Monitoring Center at Amman.

Now its late and Karl has finished his e-mail to the States and he's done updating view graphs for tomorrow's final workshop sessions. Friday the long flight home begins early. There are close connections at Heathrow and a O'Hare, so stay tuned for the exciting transits through some of the world's most busy airports.

Time for a little bear to get to bed. TTFN

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Travel Schlepp in Amman

After an eventful flight over, Schlepp is at last settled in at the Marriott in Amman, Jordan. There have been meetings at the Cooperative Monitoring Center at Amman and preparations for the disaster preparedness workshop are virtually complete.

On Friday the Muslim sabbath, Schlepp toured the ancient Roman ruins downtown, especially the theater of what was then called Philadelphia. Now its 1:14 am on Sunday March 4 and Schlepp is up in the middle of the night to catch the total eclipse of the moon. Its deep rudy red, even here in the middle of Amman with only a slight lightening on the north limb of the disc. Beautiful.