I woke up at 4AM at the airport hotel in Amman unable to fall back asleep, so helped myself to some hummus and coffee in the hotel restaurant, skyped home, and watched my first sunrise in the Middle East. On the topic of the sun, I read that Thursday is the solar equinox.
At this point, the hotel staff tells me the visa I obtained at the airport is only good for airport transit, and therefore to leave the hotel on the airport grounds, I have to go back and get a new stamp. If I can manage that, my plan for the day is to take a dip in the Dead Sea and have a shish kabob in dowtown Amman before my midnight flight to Aden, Yemen, where I’m visiting a friend from Middlebury who is four months into a two year assignment to oversee a poverty alleviation program in Yemen. Aden has historically been one of the most important harbors in the region and will provide my first glimpses of (the pirate ridden waters of*) the Indian Ocean.
*for my Mom
Also, to follow up on my packing, I did eventually finish. My favorite piece of luggage is my banjo case complete with snorkel and flippers.