Meeting with the Case Owners



Jordan, 14 August 2023 – blog by Ariana Liberia Marchena, Waternet NL –

“Nothing ever happens immediately after they say it will happen” – Mo Darwish, Wetskills Jordan participant

Today was the first work day of the Wetskills challenge Jordan. I had to get up at 7am to get ready for breakfast and a productive day. I was still a bit tired from the travel to Amman and going to bed late after fun restaurant and bars visits with the group. I was told to get a heavy breakfast since we would not have lunch till 14/15pm. Luckily, that is not a difficult thing to find here. The portion sizes are 2-3 times bigger than back home in the Netherlands. I had some hummus, (very salty) yoghurt, lots of veggies (cucumber, tomato, bell pepper), potatoes and eggs. Those were just a few of the many great food options available.

At 8:30 we were supposed to head to ACWUA, our working spot for the next few days. In true Arabic style most people were not on time haha. Around 9:00 we left for ACWUA in taxis. I shared a taxi with Batool (from Iraq) and Lamis (from Palestin). It is really cool that I get to meet so many people from different countries. My case on is taking place in the same city (North Hebron) as Lamis is from. It is rewarding to think how this will impact the living conditions of someone I personally know now.

When we arrived here we had a short introduction and then we dived right in. Of course, this did not go without any minor problems. The Wi-Fi was not working, the internet connection was dropping, an electricity outlet burned, the AC sometimes stopped working, a broken toilet door lock, and even taking a group picture did not go without issues. Eventually it all worked out and we were just in time for the meeting with our case owner.

During our meeting with the case owner from World Waternet we could ask questions about our case. Our case is about the water quality monitoring in Palestine and how to prevent contamination. Currently, there is no standard for that. After, we discussed our topic and finalized our scope. Then we started to collect data online/contacting Palestine water experts, and work on our action plan. Today was 40+ degrees outside and inside the AC was on 16 degrees. So I happily stayed inside to work all day. The people who went outside for some fresh air came back grilled.

To eat something during the long wait between breakfast and lunch I bought a huge mango, the size of my hand, imported from Egypt at the supermarket. It was so big that I needed 3 people to help cut it open and separate the mango from the pit. My teammates told me I could just take my time and eat it. However, I told them that I would need at least half an hour to enjoy the sweetness, so I would join them immediately instead. You know what they say; the Egypt mango experience in Jordan😉.

At 15:17 lunch finally arrived. It was chicken with lotssss of rice and some yoghurt. I really liked the flavors. After lunch it was called a day and we went back to the hotel. At the hotel we divided some tasks and finished the action plan. Ready to start with our research on water quality monitoring tomorrow. Then I went back up with my roommate to take a nap and get ready for the night.

Around 7 pm we went to the city center for some traditional sweets. I tried Kunefe (cheese with vermicelli and syrup) and Arabic ice cream (milk, heavy cream, honey, pistachio). Didn’t like them very much, but it was interesting to try. Then we went for dinner at a café that looked like a museum where we had some good ol’ salads, lentil soup, avocado juices, and burgers.

Finally we went to Rainbow Street, a popular colorful strip with shops and bars. There we visited a bar. We danced till midnight and did karaoke to Arabic, Dutch, American, and Palestine songs. We also did many traditional dances such as Dabkeh. We danced and laughed together with everyone there. I’m pretty sure that if you will look on Instagram stories in Jordan you can find a lot of videos of us singing and dancing crazy. It was a really fun and crazy night!

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