It would be near impossible to have enough space in your backpack to souvenir all the wonderful handcrafted treasures of Jordan. The intricately decorated sand bottles, rugs woven by Bedouin women or kefiyas to keep out the red Wadi Rum sands. Fortunately for Tina Gerets, her weakness when it comes to shopping only takes up a little room…
“I had a most unexpected souvenir shopping opportunity in Jordan. We were spending two full days at Petra and I planned to make the most of my time there by hiking around the place. As soon as I arrived, I realised hiking was not the only possible activity at the beautiful carved city. There were souvenir stalls scattered around the grounds. Usually I avoid those ‘tourist traps’, but when one of my fellow travellers showed me a gorgeous necklace she bought, I gave in.
Shopping is usually not that high on my to-do list. The main reason being I prefer to travel light so I don’t have any empty space in my backpack. However I do make exceptions, especially for jewellery. And they have lots of that at Petra!
Many of the sellers get their jewellery from the Noor Al Hussein Foundation, that is chaired by Her Majesty Queen Noor and supports women’s rights. It’s definitely not junk or made-in-Taiwan plastic. The Foundation guarantees the quality of the work and you know that the women who make the pieces get a fair price to help support themselves and their families. And the women are great at what they do! The jewellery is absolutely stunning, and there are so many different designs for earrings, bracelets and necklaces.
So in two days I hiked to the top of three hills, and bought two pairs of earrings and a bracelet. Life can’t get much better than that!”
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* photo by Jennifer McLeod, Intrepid Photography Competition