Friday, April 19, 2013

Iraq Al-Amir

'Iraq al Amir (Arabic:عراق الأمير), is within the municipality of Amman in the Jordan Valley. Located about 15 km southwest of the town of Wadi Al Seer, it has a population of about 6000 people, mostly members of the tribe of Abbadi. It is located on the hills with high and medium altitude, the area has many springs, and is famous for its olive trees, in addition to other forest trees. About 0.5 km south of the town is located the so-called Al-Iraq historical site, which was built by a Persian prince in the 3rd century BC. There are many caves in the hills which date back to the Copper Age.  Sited from wikipedia

We are taking our 2nd grade class here in 2 weeks time to discover the ancient site of Iraq Al-Amir. The story I heard went a little like this:  It was built by a Persian prince in pursuit of his true love.  He wanted to marry her, but her father told him that he must build her a palace fit for princess.  He built this fortress.  When it was complete, he returned to the princess's father to inform him of the completion to which the father replied, "Nah, you can't marry her anyway.  You are not worthy and never will be!'  Not sure whether that is historically true, but it's the story I heard which is quite fantastical.

There is also a LOVELY little shop about 3km drive from the site.  It is The Iraq Al Emirs Women's Association where local women craft pottery, rugs, wall hanging, clothes, soaps and paper.  It is quite reasonably priced, plus you can sit and have a cup of sweet mint tea with your friends.  It is a delightful place.  I found a rug that I liked for 60JD (which is really good!)  I just have to convince Robert :-)  It has pink in it so not sure he'll like it.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Health Care

One of our main reasons for being in Jordan besides from work is my health.  In New Zealand, I suffered from lung problems.  I could not breathe there.  It got so bad that I could not walk up the stairs without huffing, puffing and my heart beating like it was going to explode.  Last year, I was admitted into hospital for a bronchoscopy - then the lung collapsed and I was in hospital for 27 days after the doctors performed a lung biopsy which created lots of holes in my lungs.  They finally gave me a diagnosis.  I was incredibly allergic to something, what, they couldn't say, but as I only suffered from this problem in NZ, I figured, it must be the dampness of Wellington.

So Robert and I signed up for international teaching in the hope that some nice, warm, dry country would accept us, and here we are, Amman, Jordan!  Since being here, I have improved a great deal.  I do not cough anymore, thank goodness and my lung capacity has increased.  In September, when I first started to receive care in Amman, my lung capacity was below half.  I should be at 3.85, but then I was only breathing at 1.95.  Now I am breathing at 2.30.  So there is improvement,  I expect by this time next year, my lungs will be functioning normally once again.

I am most impressed with the health care I have received in Jordan so far.   I don't need to wait weeks for an appointment to see a specialist.  (I waited 6 months to see a specialist in NZ).  I don't have to wait weeks for tests or tests results - everything is done right there and then.  When I go to see my lung doctor, he performs lung function tests there and it takes 10 minutes.  I'd wait for 2 hours in NZ.

The best aspect of health care in Amman is that it is all in one area so there is no need to run half way across to the other side of the city for this test or that test.  Ibn Khaldoun Street is a health care haven.

As I have already said, I am impressed with the level of health care I am receiving,  I really like my doctors and I have excellent health insurance!

Cute little stray cat!