Thursday, December 22, 2011

Photo Albums

I was cleaning my room to get ready for all of my friends from Jordan coming here for our reunion next week, and I found my photo album of "home" I brought to Jordan to show my host family and such. It's a lovely album, filled with pictures of the farm, and Girl Scouts and school and such, but it seems rather, well,  foreign. I started to laugh at how much I'd changed since I put together that album earlier this year, and kind of wondered what I'd put together if I had to make a photo album to describe myself now.

Several hours later, I was eating dinner when I asked if any of my pictures from Jordan ever got printed, so that I could show my grandma in Pennsylvania how my summer was. Her computer is rather slow, so I don't think she ever saw any online, and it wouldn't really be possible to put them on a flash drive and pull them up once we got there. My dad stood up and brought in a photo album from the laundry room. He said that it was supposed to be a Christmas present, but that he couldn't possibly sit here and listen to us try and figure out some alternative when he had this already.

On the front of the album were two pictures - one from the farewell dinner I had with my host family, and one from the top of the mountain at Petra. In the picture, my mom wore the same black hijab she wore to all special occasions, and my dad stared solemnly at the camera, in the same manner as every Jordanian man I've ever seen. I felt a panging in my stomach thinking about how much I missed them .I realized that this was the album of pictures I'd asked him to print for me months ago, after giving him a flash drive with all of my favorites on it. Flipping through, it was indeed each and every one of my favorites from the trip. It was perfect to bring on our trip to show my grandma.

And then I realized, that if I had to make a photo album to describe me, who I am, and what I love now, it would be this album. Laughing, I think about what I named an album of photos on Facebook right when I got home, and how the name still proves true. Qlbna yskun fi al-Urdon. My heart lives in Jordan. And even now, five months after I got home, it's still true; I have a feeling it's going to be like that for a long time.

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