Tuesday, March 22, 2011


March 22

Today starts our second day in clinic. The Church wishes to feed us breakfast today, so we will arrive at clinic early and eat above the patient area. The weather continues to be delightful Spring. It is mostly sunny and generally pleasant in the 70’s during the day. The night is a cooler 55-65.

Yesterday we were fed our main meal at 2 PM, which is the tradition. We were fed chicken on top of rice and almonds, a very traditional Arab meal, and of course it was quite good. We had Shwarma again for supper at about 8 PM.

Jordan is a pleasant country, from the little we have seen of it. It is typically paper strewn with little concern about rubbish, but the homes are clean. The people are quite varied, perhaps because of Jordan’s location. But there seem to be people from Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Afganistan, and Iran. Subsequently the dress is varied amongst the Muslims. There are all gradations of Muslim dress, from the most conservative “eyes only,” to Western styles. Some of the shops even display very Western dress, which was a surprise to me.

Ziad (J) explained that the women are becoming more and more resistant to the traditional dress. Never-the-less, women are very subjugated here as has been our experience in other Muslim countries.

Medicines are available over-the-counter. Therefore there is considerable antibiotic abuse. The people use antibiotics at the first sign of a sore throat, headache, earache, etc. The obvious (to us) result is considerable antibiotic resistance of bacteria, making appropriate use of antibiotics most difficult. I’m happy to say, that despite pressure, we distributed very few antibiotics yesterday.

The illness are typical: headaches, gastritis, colds, bronchitis, arthritis, hypertension, diabetes, heart disease. Unfortunately, there is also considerable anxiety, especially amongst the women.

Most everyone is open and accepting of prayer, and as I mentioned yesterday, they all leave with dramatically lifted spirits and emotions.

There is discussion of hardships, family members stuck in other countries because of nationality and politics, death and illness, etc.

I did some laundry last night, and I mention it to show how spoiled we are. I was lucky because rather than using a sink, there was a washing machine in this apartment. The washing machine had to be filled by hand, and I only had a small pot to carry water from the sink to the machine. Then you can turn on the agitator and set a timer. You have to manually turn the switch to drain the washing compartment, AFTER placing the drain hose in an appropriate location! Then you refill by hand the machine to rinse, re-drain. The clothes are then transferred to the spin side of the machine. Unfortunately the spin section didn’t work, so I hand wrung the clothes and then hung them on a line out doors. They are almost dry this morning, and I will do the rest of the laundry tonight.


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