As Jordan welcomes me with its dusty, outstretched arms, I invite you to join me in a journey of a lifetime. This blog chronicles my year of study at the preeminent Qasid Arabic Institute in Amman, and highlights my little jaunts as I discover the sights, sounds, smells and savors of this dynamic country and region.

I graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in International Relations, and have since worked in banking and consulting. After studying Arabic for a year, I will subsequently pursue a Master in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, with a concentration in international and global affairs (note the distinction).

I previously served as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for two years in Jakarta, Indonesia. I have also lived for extended periods of time in Hong Kong, China and Lucknow, India. I thrive on the challenge of learning pleasantries in new languages and becoming cognizant of idiosyncrasies in disparate cultures.

Over the next year, my goal is to master fusha (MSA) as well as gain proficiency in ammiya (colloquial), the latter hopefully a byproduct of establishing amicable relationships with locals. In addition to language study, I look forward to volunteering with some of the stellar organizations that are striving to remediate the spillover effects of the Syrian refugee crisis in Jordan.

Please subscribe to my blog and comment on my posts as we seek to better understand who the Jordanian people are and what we can learn from them.