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Author Topic: US Woman nominated for Jordanian Countryside  (Read 3709 times)

Offline CaitlinR

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US Woman nominated for Jordanian Countryside
« on: February 03, 2014, 02:57:19 PM »
I'm a US woman, age 38, recently nominated for the youth development sector in Jordan. I know that doesn't mean I'll necessarily go to Jordan - a lot of factors might change. But I want to start my research now.  What kind of special issues does a Western woman face in the Jordanian countryside?  I am unmarried, and I will be working, of course.  I understand I'll be teaching English, working on developing conversational English programs in the community, and focusing on youth leadership. I expect I'll probably be assigned to work with girls and young women, right?  I don't expect they would have me teaching boys or men.  As an unmarried, working female, I know those two facts will make me an oddball already. But what else do I need to be prepared for culturally and socially?  Most blogs and forums focus on women's experience in cosmopolitain Amman. But PCVs are in the countryside.  So what specific issues do I need to be aware of for rual Jordan.  I'm okay with not drinking alcohol.  I know I will need to dress conservatively, but what are the specifics on that?  I bet I will face curious questions about why I'm not married and have no children, and I'm curious to know how other women volunteers in conservative or muslim countries handled those kinds of questions with grace and sensitivity. Thanks, everyone!

Offline Jeff

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Re: US Woman nominated for Jordanian Countryside
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2014, 04:12:44 PM »
I've never been to Jordan, but this might be a good resource (although it looks like it was last updated in 2012):

http://files.peacecorps.gov/manuals/welcomebooks/jowb440.pdf

Jeff
Jeff
RPCV - Ghana, 03-05
PCV - Macedonia, 15-17

Offline CaitlinR

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Re: US Woman nominated for Jordanian Countryside
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2014, 04:38:57 PM »
Thanks Jeff!  I'll check that out.  I'm also definitely hoping to hear from other women posted to Jordan, or to muslim countries in general.  Or from their friends.  But this is a great help in the meantime. Thanks!

Offline Jeff

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Re: US Woman nominated for Jordanian Countryside
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2014, 07:05:05 PM »
You're welcome - and I would caution you (although you seem to already realize this!) not to get too caught up in your nomination country.

I would guess that more than 50% (probably much higher than that) of applicants do not get placed in their country of nomination; I've been through the process twice and both times my invitation was different than my nomination.

Good luck with the process!
Jeff
RPCV - Ghana, 03-05
PCV - Macedonia, 15-17

Offline PeaceCorps1

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Re: US Woman nominated for Jordanian Countryside
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2014, 04:36:29 AM »
I lived in Jordan area. I loved covering my hair for work. It made for quick-dressing.
"If it were not for the reporters, I'd tell you the truth"', President Chester A. Arthur

Offline Steve S

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Re: US Woman nominated for Jordanian Countryside
« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2014, 01:57:29 PM »
If you go to Jordan then you should be prepared by the country staff for most issues, and many pleasures, that almost all youth development volunteers find. In addition to cultural impacts such as,marriage customs, unemployment,rote test based education in schools, dress codes, gendered travel arrangements,good food and shopping, and what not, there are some organizational aspects ingrained in the Ministry you will be working with (formerly Sports). This often leads to requests for services and funding arrangements that call for a good deal of patience and formal politeness. The slow process of learning Arabic may pose issues for easy informal interaction. Experiences and demographics, such as your immediate local counterpart (mudeera?),host site, or the young girls you may officially be teaching some English, may be more "diverse" then you might think.
Steve