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Marc Luoma
Amman Jordan
World traveler, development worker
Recent Activity
This weekend I moved from Adams-Morgan to Bethesda. In no special order, these are the 10 things I will not miss about living in DC. The noise The crack house on my corner The insufferable traffic on the days I'm... Continue reading
Posted Mar 24, 2014 at Written in caps
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In my previous post, I told the story of losing my iPhone and how I decided to try life without a phone for a while as part of a larger exercise in being more present and mindful. So, for the... Continue reading
Posted Mar 2, 2014 at Written in caps
By the time I made it up the one flight of stairs to my hotel room at the Southern Sun in Maputo, I realized I didn't have my iPhone with me. I hustled back down to the restaurant where I'd... Continue reading
Posted Feb 22, 2014 at Written in caps
Tim: Thanks for your comment. Let me know when you get your photos posted.
Toggle Commented Oct 8, 2013 on The dumpster cats of Amman at Frenji Jordan Blog
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During the last election cycle, and in 2oo4 as well, there was a lot of talk from S. Palin and her ilk about "real America" and "real Americans." As someone who occupied the east coast at the time I was... Continue reading
Posted Sep 4, 2013 at Written in caps
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I'm back in Amman doing some short-term work. It's odd coming back to your former home town as a guest: staying in hotels, no car, no furry companions, no Friday bike rides. You get it. I'm once again 100 miles... Continue reading
Posted Jun 12, 2013 at Written in caps
Marc Luoma has shared their blog Written in caps
Jun 12, 2013
Marc Luoma has shared their blog Ferenge Addis Blog
Jun 12, 2013
On September 28, Abe, Tuerta (cats), Toby (dog), and I boarded Royal Jordanian flight 261 and departed Jordan for the last time as a resident. All made it safely to JFK, and Mari swooped in driving the petmobile (rented mini-van) and whisked us off to the hospitable comfort of Hermana... Continue reading
Posted Oct 22, 2012 at Frenji Jordan Blog
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Will miss: Delicious, cheap, fresh mezze of all kinds, along with $0.50 falafel sandwiches Dry sunny climate 10 months of the year My back yard/garden Reliable, cheap, fast internet Rosalyn (our housekeeper) Inexpensive medical care and drugs Slow and easy pace of life during Ramadan Open acceptance of foreigners Service... Continue reading
Posted Sep 16, 2012 at Frenji Jordan Blog
Last year we were warned by other expats to take our vacation in the US during Ramadan. I wish we would have questioned people about this, and not listened to the vague complaints of "difficulty" during Ramadan. Indeed, from my standpoint, Ramadan is the best time for a foreigner and... Continue reading
Posted Aug 1, 2012 at Frenji Jordan Blog
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Last year we were gone during Ramadan. This year we're here for the whole month. As a non-Muslim and avid observer of culture it's fascinating to see the effect on real life in Amman, both home and work. (I'm not a religious scholar so will leave the true meaning of... Continue reading
Posted Jul 27, 2012 at Frenji Jordan Blog
When I lived and drove in Ethiopia, the worst thing to call another driver was "woosha" or "dog." This seemed odd because Ethiopians in general at least regarded dogs with a benign neglect. After moving back to DC I used this epithet to great effect while bicycle commuting, to curse... Continue reading
Posted Jan 11, 2012 at Frenji Jordan Blog
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One of the things we first noticed when we moved here is the preponderance of nasty American junk food: McDonald's, Burger King, Popeye's, KFC, you name it. (There's a funny Palestinian comic who does a bit about fast food in Amman, you can see it here.) Wendy's is oddly missing.... Continue reading
Posted Nov 26, 2011 at Frenji Jordan Blog
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There are five pillars, or duties, in Islam. One of them is making a pilgrimage to Mecca, or making the "Hajj." People who are too poor or infirm are excused from the trip, but it is strongly encouraged for all other Muslims. People typically only do this once in their... Continue reading
Posted Nov 17, 2011 at Frenji Jordan Blog
By Mari While Marco goes to the same office every day, I have several occupations here in Amman. One such activity is teaching business English to a couple of groups twice a week at a languag school. Most of my students are from the banking sector, while others are from... Continue reading
Posted Nov 1, 2011 at Frenji Jordan Blog
Unemployment in Jordan is about 13%, and climbing. Especially among young adults, unemployment is growing quickly. The number would be even higher if the 85% of women who do not work outside the home were counted in this number. Given what happend in Egypt, Tunisia, and other Arab-Spring countries, it's... Continue reading
Posted Oct 30, 2011 at Frenji Jordan Blog
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In only a couple of weeks, the Muslim world, including Jordan, will celebrate Eid al Adha, aka "big Eid" or "slaughter Eid." The holiday is a celebration of when God talked Abraham into sacrificing his son and then stepped in at the last second and substituted a sheep. So now... Continue reading
Posted Oct 26, 2011 at Frenji Jordan Blog
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New expats in Amman, especially those who have lived in developing countries, are often startled by the cost of living here. We found the prices here to be at least as expensive as DC, and in many cases even more. But one thing is super-cheap here: taxis. I would estimate... Continue reading
Posted Oct 24, 2011 at Frenji Jordan Blog
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By Mari Watch out! School buses are back on the road. Jordan is a family- and child-friendly environment. People simply love and cherish their children. Parents work hard to provide their kids a good education, food, and other important determinants for success in adulthood. Most mornings we see our neighbor... Continue reading
Posted Oct 22, 2011 at Frenji Jordan Blog
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When I lived in Ohio we used to make fun of the subdivisions that sprang up, seemingly overnight, in former cornfields. It wasn't uncommon to see field corn growing in yards (gardens). So how do we explain this one corn plant I saw on my morning dogwalk this a.m.? People... Continue reading
Posted Oct 19, 2011 at Frenji Jordan Blog
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I worked in the construction industry between school years at the end of high school and the beginning of college. I was a carpenter but I was often on the job site when they poured concrete. Especially in the Michigan winter (snow) and spring (mud) it was tough to get... Continue reading
Posted Oct 18, 2011 at Frenji Jordan Blog
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When I lived in Michigan we used to pick wild blueberries when we were playing in the fields and woods near my Grandmother's house. When I lived in North Carolina I picked blackberries when I walked Toby around Woodcroft Pond. Here in Jordan, it's olive season and the trees on... Continue reading
Posted Oct 17, 2011 at Frenji Jordan Blog
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For most Americans, September 11, 2001 is like November 22nd of 1963 for those of us who were alive then as well. Everybody can answer "where were you when you heard the news?" Because I now read news from the US, I've been reminded of 9/11. As you would expect,... Continue reading
Posted Sep 12, 2011 at Frenji Jordan Blog
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Even though I like to be careful about language, I've always used "rude" and "inconsiderate" almost interchangeably. But driving in DC, and then Amman, put a fine point on the differences. Rude means you knowingly cause someone else a problem. Inconsiderate means that you don't even consider the other person's... Continue reading
Posted Sep 5, 2011 at Frenji Jordan Blog