This is one of my favorite photographs of my daughter, Evelyn. She is travelling in Jordan, on her way to one of her favorite places, Petra. Evelyn is a seasoned traveler, at a young teenager she went to school in Jordan for year as part of an exchange program. She enjoyed her time so much she decided to double major in Geology and Arabic in college. During a break from her geology studies in Oman, she decided to revisit Jordan. The best way to get to Petra was for her to hire a car. Speaking Arabic helps her get around fairly easily, even when just travelling by herself. Usually young women do not travel alone in Jordan. However, her Arabic helps reassure locals, and she usually has no problems. The driver she hired was pleased when his wife called on his cell phone as he was driving Evelyn. Evelyn heard him tell his wife that today he was driving just one young woman. Evelyn could hear the excited voice of the wife. The husband said “Would you like talk to her?” Evelyn was soon speaking to a very surprised wife.
The photograph shows my daughter at a lunch stop. Some young men from a local tribe invited her to lunch. She had a delightful meal, but was teased for being “so old” and not married yet. The very good looking young man that had made lunch asked her to marry him. The others warned Evelyn that “oh no, you don’t want to marry him, he wants many wives. Perhaps even 4 wives!” Evelyn smiled and simply replied, “That’s alright, I want 4 husbands!” There was much laughter, and one of the men asked “Can a woman in the US have 4 husbands?” Evelyn made her joke even better by saying “Well, yes, but not all at once!” The driver escorting Evelyn to Petra captured the moment perfectly.
The photograph represents to me so many of the elements that make my daughter the wonderful person she is. She is tolerant, relaxed, open to adventure, yet always respectful of the cultures of the land she is visiting. She also has quite a sense of humor, even in Arabic.