There are a number of ways to experience a different culture, but few beat dining with a local family.
I was in Petra in the midst of a 10-day trip around Jordan when an invite came for dinner with the founder of A Piece Of Jordan, a community-based tourism project. Basically everyone who’s going to Jordan already knows to check out the Indiana Jones temple from The Last Crusade. I’m of course talking about The Treasury, an incredibly elaborate stone temple constructed by the ancient Nabatean Kingdom around the age of the Hellenistic and Roman Empires, which is why the carving looks partly designed by a Greek architect.
Hiking those ancient ruins went down as one of my personal favorite travel experiences, something I’ve already gone on about in a little travel narrative video I put together on the trip. But what solidified that visit to Petra as truly memorable was dinner with Steph Altwassi and her Jordanian family.
I met her in the hotel lobby, unsure of how much English she spoke. (My Arabic went as far as “hi,” “bye,” and “thank you.”) Then something surprising happened. Continue reading