I enjoy getting out into the countryside around Wadi Musa/Petra and having a bbq, a pot of Bedouin tea and being able to explore. Whether it be the interesting colours and formations of the rock, or the chance sighting of a Sinai Rosefinch, or even the discovery of some wildflowers I never know what I might see.
The last time that Atef, Alia and I had a bbq lunch I have to say that not only didn’t I enjoy it, but I ended up getting really angry. At the place that Atef had chosen for our bbq I was unable to see all the things that it should have offered, not because they weren’t there, but because it was marred by others. The opportunity to explore and discover was completely ruined through the selfish, short sighted nature of people. Instead of marveling at the beauty of the rock colours and looking forward to being able to explore a crevice whilst Atef was preparing the bbq, I sat there instead and silently fumed and stewed.
There was rubbish everywhere. This is nothing new in Jordan. People just toss their rubbish without regard for the environment or others. Most of the time I can look past the rubbish and focus on what nature has to offer. At the end of our time I try and do my bit and pick up the rubbish that’s around and I always make sure that I take our rubbish home with us. This time I was defeated. There was just so much rubbish that I could have easily filled 10 large wheat sacks and then still not have picked it all up.
These photos only show a small area of the rubbish. I was so deflated that I didn’t even take any photos of the beautiful rocks.
I just don’t understand. Don’t they see it? How can anyone not see it? Are they lazy or self-centered or totally ignorant? It is such a blight on what is a beautiful environment. We are so lucky to live where we do and are surrounded by natural beauty. What then gives anyone the right to ruin this beauty?
The behaviour of Jordanians in regards to rubbish and just tossing it where ever they feel is incredibly frustrating, but I’m unsure of what I can do to change it. I try and lead by example. When Mum came last year and we moved into our new home, she and I spent a number of hours over several days walking around the valley where our house is picking up bag after bag of rubbish. Just last week I spent a 4-5 hours over the course of a day doing the same thing again. Every time I walk along the road in front of our house I pick up the rubbish that people have tossed on the ground and walk it to the bin that is only 20 metres away. It’s definitely noticed by the others that live around us, but they don’t completely understand why I’m doing it. I’m always asked why I’m picking up the rubbish, but it doesn’t seem to stop them tossing rubbish on the ground. But I keep going and hope that by doing my bit that slowly others might change and anyway I want to live in an area that is clean and not see rubbish when I look out the windows.
Last Friday upon seeing the huge quantity of rubbish that was strewn around I very much had that feeling of I’m but one person and what can I do. I really lost hope. I didn’t know where to start and was thinking even if I did come back with 10 bags and picked up the rubbish, what’s the point because the next group that bbq there would just leave their rubbish behind.
Does anyone have any ideas of what I can do as just one person against such a huge problem? I’m not the sort of person that can just ignore this.