Jordan: Food and Water in a Cross-cultural Context

If you want to study cuisine, sustainable food systems, and the geopolitics of freshwater while traveling to sites of breathtaking architectural and natural beauty, this year’s March trip to Jordan is the trip for you. Jordan’s physical position along the path of ancient spice routes and other trade routes has afforded it a complex, varied and flavorful cuisine. The country’s political decisions to welcome large numbers of refugees from Syria and other areas have spurred policy-makers to update food production and distribution systems. Additionally, the fact that Jordan is one of the most water-stressed nations in our increasingly thirsty world has impacted almost every area of Jordanian society and culture, from international politics to local sustainability efforts and architectural design.

Students will begin their journey at King’s Academy, taking classes with K.A. students during the day and talking with food and water-related experts in the evenings. They will then travel through the country, investigating the relationships of Jordan’s historical sites and natural reserves to themes of food systems and sustainable freshwater use. Students will return to D.A. with an increased awareness of the need, worldwide, for sustainable food and freshwater systems, an appreciation of Jordan’s responses to its particular regional and national challenges, and a greater sense of what it means to be a globally competent citizen of a rapidly changing world.

This program is open to all students with a preference towards those with a demonstrated interest in one or more of the following: Arabic language and culture, sustainability and research (especially in relation to global freshwater and food issues), and history of the Middle East. All interested students are encouraged to apply by November 4. Financial aid is available for all trips with priority for students who have not previously received aid for a Deerfield trip.

Proposed Itinerary:*

March 7-8: Orientation and Travel day; arrive in Jordan and settle at King’s Academy

March 9 – 11: Morning classes with students at King’s; afternoon site visits to Madaba, the Dead Sea, and Amman. Evening lectures and discussions on food systems and freshwater issues.

March 12: Al-Maghtas (‘Baptism Site’)

March 13: Jerash

March 14: Day and overnight stay at Dana Nature Reserve

March 15: Petra. Evening and overnight stay in Wadi Rum

March 16: Aqaba or return to Amman

March 17: Travel day back home

* Itinerary subject to change

Program Notes:

  • Families are responsible for transportation from U.S.-based airport to the student’s destination for the remainder of March break.
  • During this trip, students will stay in dorms while at King’s Academy, and hotels, inns, and lodges during their travels around Jordan. They will have meals in the dining hall at King’s, but also eat in restaurants.

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