I looked over Jordan, and what did I see...

Trip Start Jun 28, 2008
Trip End Aug 15, 2008

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Monday, July 28, 2008

Hi everyone at home! Sorry it took me a few days to write all of this, but I've been super busy again this week! Our adventure on Saturday was incredible, and all of us had a great time. First, I bought a new camera!!! It's a canon, and it's lovely, and it takes wonderful pictures, so it's money well spent. Then, we all met up at school to take a taxi that we rented to go south to the Baptism site, or al- Maghtas. It was a beautiful day, as always, and hot, as always, and we bought falafel sandwiches and mango juice (mmmmm) to bring with us. We made it to the baptism site around 11:30, which was kind of dumb because it was so hot. But, it was incredible! We took a cattle-car like shuttle to the area where all of the excavations are being done, where our guide then took us on a tour of all the sites. First, we saw the tiny Jordan River, and could literally almost touch the West Bank (of the River Jordan, get it?). Then, we saw the site where Jesus was baptized, which is a small T in a spot where the river used to meet a spring. Now, it's all but dried up, but there are churches and paved areas that have been uncovered in the area from the early Christians. Then, we trekked to another area, through a forest of sorts, where we came across a newly built Greek Orthodox Church. It was stunning to look at, and it was situated right on the banks of the river. We were then able to dip our feet in the river, which was an incredible religious experience, and right across from us we could see Israel. An actual baptism was taking place while we were there, which was really special.
            After sweating enough to make our own Jordan Rivers, we got back in the taxi and drove literally through the desert surrounding the Dead Sea, up through hills to Mount Nebo. As I said before, this is where Moses climbed to see the Promised Land before he died, and wow, it must've been a tough hike. The rolling hills were breathtaking, and the views of the Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea were spectacular. When we finally made it to the mountain, we walked to the top, where there were even more incredible views. We could see all the way to Amman, and Israel and Palestine, of course. We didn't spend too much time there, but it was still well worth it.
            Then, we drove through more hills to the town of Madaba, which we had visited before with our class for dinner. This time, though we were able to see the famous Church of the Map, which was incredible, as it has the oldest known map of the Middle East. It was a wonderful little church, too. We did lots of shopping, as well, since Madaba is famous for its mosaics and weaving. Lots of fun! The four of us ate lunch at a small café outside of the church, where we had chicken sandwiches and Fanta. We were also able to see the Madaba Archaeological Park, which despite it's run-down appearance, had some amazingly preserved mosaics.
            Upon leaving Madaba, we all assumed we were returning to Amman, but in true Jordanian fashion, the taxi driver invited us to his father's home for tea, and we felt obliged to accept. So, he drove us to the house, which was Bedouin from the looks of it, and once again we were segregated; the women went into the house and sat on cushions, while the men did the same out on the porch. The tea is always really good, but it can get very awkward really fast, so thankfully we only spent a half an hour or so. It was very interesting, though.
            Overall, it was an amazing day, and well worth the money and sweat. I had a wonderful time with my friends here, who are all very funny and friendly, and I'm very thankful we get along so well. Other than that, I've been studying hard and exploring Amman while I still have time, like going downtown to the ally way restaurants to get delicious falafel and hummus, or buying backlava and kanafa (a delicious dessert here) from the local bakeries. It's lots of fun. I miss you all and I hope your summers are wonderful. By the way, you can make comments on any of my entries at the bottom of the page, where is says "post a comment". I would love to hear what you think!
Missing you,
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jklenk on

Sounds like a great trip!
We've really been enjoying seeing your pictures!

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keem on

nice place ..maybe will go their on September next year..with my friend Muhannad

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