Dead Sea Mud Princess

Trip Start Sep 15, 2010
Trip End Jul 23, 2011

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Flag of Israel  ,
Tuesday, November 23, 2010

There is so much I've experienced over the past three weeks that I'll have to let most of the pictures speak for themselves.  I'll also share some of my thoughts on the more complicated angles of life next week.  In the meantime, two of my favorite experiences have been at the Dead Sea in Ein Gedi and the Quaker Meeting House in Ramallah. 

The Dead Sea is the lowest point on earth, evaporating at a rate of three feet per year and 33% salinity.  It is also one body of water I definitely do not recommend putting your head under. Yet as I was happily bobbing along, curiosity got the best of me and I wanted to see if I could touch the bottom.  No sooner did I try this then the water seeped into my closed eyes and mouth.  The taste was absolutely horrible and the salt burned so bad that I couldn't see for five minutes afterward.  My friend Laus, from Denmark, couldn't understand what my fuss was all about until he experienced it himself.  We eventually recovered and spent the rest of the afternoon exploring the shoreline and covering ourselves with free therapeutic mud.  Later, we floated in the water for hours as the sun set and the stars rose high above us. 

The second highlight was attending Quaker Meeting in Ramallah.  Originally I had planned to go here with a work camp during my second year of college.  I fund raised $2,000, tried to learn as much as possible about the conflict and was all set to participate.  However it was also at the beginning of the Second Intifada and everyone around me said I was crazy to go. After much agonizing, I ended up pulling out of the trip two weeks before departure.  The group returned a month later and everything had gone well.  I was so completely filled with regret that I vowed that I would never make another travel decision based out of fear again.  Since then I have almost given my mother multiple heart attacks, but remained faithful to this choice.

Nine years later, I finally worshiped in silence and solidarity with Quakers in Ramallah.  As I sat there, I was overcome with a sense of gratitude and fulfillment. Over the past few weeks I have visited some of the holiest sites in the world, but it was in that simple, stone-walled Meeting House that I immediately felt at home.
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Christina Holloway on

Beautiful :) !!!

Kevin Gilbert on

Amazing pictures! Always fun to take a moment out of my day for your latest updates! Keep them coming as you can, I know I can't wait for the next post.

Jill Staples on

I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving where ever you are tomorrow. I enjoy your updates.
Love, Jill

Cathy Graham on

"Stars & Bucks" - a knock off? So interesting! Loved the candle lit path to Petro!
Thanks for keeping up your blog for your fans, Crystal! xo Cathy :)

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