Two years ago today we stepped off the plane and arrived at one of the less inviting airports of the world: Damascus International.
We hurtled down the airport highway at break neck speeds and arrived at our temporary accommodation; a part of town that is probably two thousand years old. The streets were narrow – most far too narrow for a car; the old multi-storey buildings leant in toward each other; linked together by the overhead mass of tangled electric wires. Our accommodation was traditional Arab: rooms backing onto a central courtyard. We shared our room with the house cat.
As we walked through the
maze neighbourhood looking for a phone (and desperately trying to remember how to get back to the house) it started to rain.
It was about then I began to wonder if we were in over our heads.
Two years later, that initial introduction to the Middle East feels like it was a lifetime ago. Now we have routine, jobs, friends and neighbours; it is only very rarely that I remember that life would be different if we were back in Australia.
We’ve missed out on a lot being here (especially significant events in the lives of our Australian friends and family) but we’ve gained so much as well. I never thought in all my life I would have the chance to teach English in Amman, get to know Jordanians, help out (if only in a little way) Syrians suffering from that horrible conflict and host people from all over the planet.
For all of the struggles, difficulties (and complaints too ), we are very grateful for our time here, and for those we love back home who have supported us through it!