- Posted February 15, 2011 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
50 years of the Peace Corps
"I love Dr. Seuss"
I was, at one point in my life, an American woman living alone in rural Jordan. I loved my time in Jordan, well I loved my time teaching in Jordan.
Living in the Middle East was not easy as America wages two wars there. It was almost on a daily basis I was asked to justify the administrations stance on the wars. Rumors as to why I was there bounced around my village like the little balls I gave away to students for learning new English words. Was I CIA, FBI? Was I there to corrupt the girls, boys? Would I attempt relationships with the village boys?Who did I love more Bush or Saddam?
But my girls, oh my girls! They saw me at school every day. They were my biggest advocates. They saw me spend my meager earnings on learning materials and took interest in my lessons.
After letting a couple of moms rifle through my tiny apartment (they even opened my underwear drawer and commented on the array of colors,) they finally realized I was this thing called an English volunteer and that I did not own elaborate spy equipment. Then the moms were my advocates too.
My girls came to my apartment twice a week. We read English books, wrote stories, played bingo, go fish and even learned about tall tales. I was sent Dr.Seuss books and we read those too.
Toward the end of my service a second grade student was reading one of these books. As she finished, she closed the book and looked at the front cover again. After I few seconds she looked up at me and said in English "Ms. Joy, I love Dr. Seuss."
That's right, she read the book, she remembered how to identify the author and she expressed pleasure in reading.
I am often unsure about what type of impact I made in my village. The principal of my school and I did not get along. She often criticized ideas from other teachers and myself. I felt she would not move fast enough on ideas, she thought I was pushy.
A;lso sometimes I yelled and threw rocks back at the teenage boys who harassed me. However, in South Jordan, in a tiny village about ten minutes from Petra, little girls love Dr. Seuss and can tell you that in English.