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Thursday, October 3: Day 164 – Livin’ the Vida Local

We are staying at the Intercontinental Aqaba Resort. What a treat!!! Comfy beds, beautiful views, and sandy beaches. We slept soundly and our bed was so comfortable. We set a late alarm so that we didn’t sleep too long. We were looking forward to our breakfast with Adeeb and his family.

Here is the main chef, Amany. She is a very talented 20 year old.

And two more of our young and talented cooks, Areeg and Aya. All girls are his nieces. They wear the hajib when men are present with whom they are not blood related. An uncle by marriage is not allowed to see them.

I asked Aheeb if they would take them off the minute Rob leaves. “Yes.” I guess that it is like kicking off your shoes when company leaves…except more personal, of course.

Here is a picture of Aheeb and me sitting on the cushions in front of a low dining table. We are trying to learn about the culture of the other. We used Google translate a lot but his English was good enough. My Arabic was non existent. Rob and I have tried to learn a few words in each country that we are visiting, but we go to a new country every couple of weeks so it’s very confusing. The sounds are hard for us to replicate AND we have the memories of gnats!! We heard that it takes ten years to be able to master Arabic.

They had several cats and birds. The youngest daughter, Eleen (5) informed me that one cat was a mother. I thought that she meant had been a mother but she went into her room and brought out five kittens still with their eyes closed.

Look at our sumptuous feast. Amany, my new Facebook friend, is in the middle. Her mother Fatima is on the left. She is Aheeb’s sister.

Fatima went to the store and bought fresh warm pita bread and hummus. Her husband just woke up since he gets home late from work. Imagine his surprise to find a houseful of guests, some foreigners. They took it all in stride.

Eleen is the youngest and had to go to school once we finished our meal. The school hours are from 2-5. They were very hospitable and lots of fun. The house was full of laughter… especially as they showed us how to roll up the pita in a little cup to scoop up some delicious food! There is also the pick and pinch method. We used them both…a lot!

We dropped Eleen off at school and then headed to meet Adeeb’s family. He has two wives as his culture allows this. His first wife and Adeeb tried everything to have children for 16 years. It was a hard time for both of them. His extended family was having many children. The doctors confirmed that his wife could not have children. She suggested that Ajeeb take another wife. He loves her very much but agreed to marry an additional wife. He has a lovely young second wife who is the sister of his sister in law.

They soon had boys: 5½, 4½, 3½ boys. The doctor said to stop for a year. Then they had boy/girl twins that are 1½. He said that the children have two mothers! This must be a busy family.

We went with Adeeb to his brother in law’s juice bar. It was delicious!!! He makes lemon juice and sweetens it with orange juice. Then it freezes onto a cylinder.

He scrapes it off into a glass.

It is a healthy delicious slushie!! He says that it is made in Syria. He is from Syria and this technique is common there. He is the only one in Aqaba.

We plan to put out a five star review if we can figure out the name of the shop!!! (We found out that it is called Agha Juice. If you are ever in Aqaba, go thirsty, my friend!

We said goodbye to our delightful Aqaba friends and came back to swim in the Gulf and relax by the pool. Here was how the day ended!!

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