Jordan part 1

I am trying something new this time.  I find uploading pictures through wordpress to be difficult and time consuming.  I have put them all on Flickr and should be able to link the albums to the blog.  I have divided them into 5 sets.  See how it goes…

Work continues to be interesting with new challenges cropping up regularly.  It is really nice to have Ellen here for support.  It continues to be a slow process but the nurses here are keen to learn.  This weekend, Janell from FMC will be arriving.  The west is invading!

On a more positive note, I was able to get away for a few days so I went to Jordan.  I was sick the week before I was leaving and didn’t spend much time planning anything.  Trying out winging it for the first time, let alone in the Middle East caused me a little stress.  It ended up being a great trip.  I arrived late Saturday night.  Lucky for me, May from the Philippines was looking for someone to go to Petra with her the following morning.  So off we went with our driver Jamil.  I slept most of the way there so I missed out on the scenery (flashbacks from my Costa Rica trip!).

Petra was incredible.  The pictures do not reflect how beautiful it is.  We had limited time and kept up a pretty good pace as we headed to the Monastery.  One day isn’t enough time to explore Petra but it was all either of us had.  We were there early in the morning so we beat the tourist rush.  It’s amazing what people wear to explore Petra.  Flip flops and jeans.  There are 800-900 steps up to the Monastery-what are they thinking?  I guess they could always take a donkey up the trail but that’s cheating.  On the way back to Amman we made several stops… castle ruins and Moab mountain.  Jamil treated us so well…we had fresh falafels, Turkish coffee and fresh bread along the way.  I decided to stick with him for the rest of my trip.

The next day I was on my own with Jamil.  He arrived with roses and snacks.  Once again, I didn’t have to worry about anything as took care of it all.  We went to Madaba, the “city of mosaics” first.  It has a 6th century map of Jerusalem and other holy sites.  By this time I was feeling pretty ignorant regarding Christian history.  Here I was visiting several historically significant sites without what I felt was proper background knowledge.  Next, we went to Mount Nebo where it is believed Moses was buried (see pics).  From there we moved on to Bethany, where Jesus was baptized.  It wasn’t what I expected.  The Jordan River is significantly smaller than it once was and over time, it’s path has changed.  The actual site is no longer near the river.  Just on the other side of the river is Israel.  People are still baptized here and we actually were able to witness a portion of one.  It was interesting and strange to stand back and watch.  This man is being baptized, ignoring the flock of tourists literally standing beside him, all the while an armed military guy is pacing back and forth between everyone.

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