Walking down the old Roman road that leads into and out of Petra will never get old. I’ve been there four times now, and landing a job with Engaging Cultures means I’ll see the place twice more this summer. But something special happened last trip, something that embodies Jordan and its people.
I exited Petra and sat on a bench, waiting for us all to regroup. We were ten (including me, Jon and Daniel). The first to make it to my bench were Rob and Micah, two Iowans (people from Iowa). With them was a Jordanian man who spoke no English, but was having a great time trying to talk with the Iowans.
He insisted on buying us Pepsis. So he did.
I translated for the group: he is a coach at a High School, he is Jordanian, he was very glad to host us.
Then two more from our group walked up. So he bought two more Pepsis.
We kept talking, thankful for the Pepsis on the hot day. We were guests in his country, and he was going to host us the Arab way. Which meant when two more of our group showed up, he bought them Pepsis as well.
The fact that we were foreigners meant we were guests. The fact that we were at a tourist attraction and not at his house didn’t mean a thing.
Finally Jon and Daniel and the rest of the group showed up. Ten in all. He bought eight Pepsis and two juice drinks. We were his guests at the gates of Petra.