I was in much need of a vacation. The alums, Opal, and I headed down to Aqaba, Jordan’s only port and beach town. There we beach bummed at the beach camp patrick and I came to know from last years weekend from hell. I gave a personal salute of disrespect to the town where last year, a knife wielding little punk came after us after we suffered major car trouble. The whole reason for going down was because I wanted to snorkel. Sean and I hopped on with a scuba dive boat, and stayed around the coral reefs off shore while they went below. The entire boat was Jews from Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. this made for some rather enlightening conversations, as we only get the Palestinian perspective from any arab we meet in Jordan. It was some of the best snorkeling I have ever seen. If it weren't for the waves and the wind, it would have topped Hawaii. The fish and coral were spectacular, and we could get very close. There is an issue that has developed, in terms of personal appearance. Living in a conservative society means polo shirts, if not full sleeves and long pants-no shorts. This has done absolute wonders for the rainbow of colors my body has become due to tan lines. All of this has manage to be undone by the wonderful sun of Aqaba, which when combined with the insane amounts of humidity there, leads to the worse sunburn I have had. Mother, I assure you next time I will wear sunscreen. The internet is down at the hotel, which is a major pain. The embassy has decided to not advice americans to go to the downtown part of the city due to the recent shooting. This really sucks, as it is the best shopping area in town, and the only way to see what real Jordanians do in their daily life. As of now we are only allowed to go to the places where americans hangout, namely huge malls and craft areas. (I wonder what the thinking was for that one, only allow americans to congregate in areas known as hangouts for westerners?) Oh well, we will find more creative ways to talk to the other side of Jordanians. Hope everyone is well.