October 28, 2017

Me and Manar were sitting on the terrace in front of their apartment and we were drinking tea. Everything smelled like jasmine. That’s the nice Jordanian Autumn

We haven’t seen each other for two years. I used to come to their place, when they lived on a different location. They lived in a building with Syrian women with kids. Manar’s family took the role of managers of that place. 

At that time I was in Jordan working as a volunteer and we were going to that building with other volunteers to teach English. Manar was the only one who spoke it well enough to communicate so we also started to have private lessons. I loved working there. From the whole experience to actually get there to the way the children said ‘Good morning teacher’, when we started the lesson. 

Because of nice memories of my experience and mostly of Manar I couldn’t wait to see her. I put all the gifts in my backpack and went to the other side of Amman. We were so happy to see each other. And as soon as we entered in her house her two daughters started running around. They got so big!

And then we were hanging out like we are old schoolmates. She showed me photos of where in Syria they lived. She made amazing food – bread with spinach and onion. We drank tea. Watched TV. Ate pumpkin seeds. Wrote in Arabic. Negotiating if I should stay over or not (all my clothes were in Amman). Her husband took few minutes from his work in a shaworma place and came to say hi. The energy was so good! We actually stayed up till 1 AM – till her husband returned from work and brought us some ice cream.

We were slowly eating it an talking about Slovenia. They knew so much about it that it shocked me. They wanted to come but it wasn’t possible. 

And that’s why this type of experience always stay in bitter sweet memory. 

Sweet because there is nothing better than moments when you sit in you tracksuit and discuss topics like how I made a cake for 100 people or how Manar’s daughter started to ask deep existential questions. Meanwhile you are drinking sweet tea and all is calm. On the inside and on the outside too. 

But there will always be a bitter though that this wonderful family had to leave their life and start it from zero. And that it is very unlikely they will ever see Bled that was painted on the wrap of chocolate I brought them.

Baby, this one is a keeper

On my mission to reduce food waste, I used some over-ripped bananas that were laying around and made this scrumptious & good for ya belly Banana Bread