Soldiers and Wildflowers in the Decapolis

Trip Start Mar 21, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

Loading Map
Map Options
Show trip route
Hide lines

Flag of Jordan  ,
Friday, March 14, 2008

"How are you?" said a friendly voice near me at the Jerash amphitheater, as bagpiping Jordanian soldiers belted a version of Yankee Doodle Dandy. The friendly voice came from Tom, one of a group of American soldiers on a training in Jordan.

They were learning about Middle Eastern culture, so that if they were deployed or redeployed in Iraq, they would understand the people a little better and could engage them more meaningfully. In Jerash, they had a day of admiring the ruins amidst spring wildflowers.

Tom and I agreed that the troops needed to return as quickly as possible, without causing a huge power vacuum and civil war in Iraq. He was interested in what people had told me on my journey about Iraq. As he worked with generals back in the U.S. none of it surprised him.

We also talked about how the U.S. cannot on one hand say that it wants to promote freedom and democracy on one hand while at the same time waterboarding and detaining people. "It's hypocritical," said Tom and I agreed, having just seen waterboarding footage on Al-Jezeera (is that really going to win hearts and minds?).

Aside from that, I enjoyed getting opinions from military personnel, as they are some of the people sacrificing the most.

Jerash, one of the Roman Decapolis cities during the time of Jesus, was at its finest, with cool spring winds blowing around the columns of Zeus and Artemis, across a huge Roman forum, beside an intricate water fountain or nyphaeum, and past Byzantine church ruins with mosaic patterns. For several hours, I walked around the well-preserved ruins before getting a ride in a pick-up truck with a gang of friendly Jordanian men to Amman--"you need a ride?"--an hour away.
Slideshow Report as Spam
  • Your comment has been posted. Click here or reload this page to see it below.

  • You must enter a comment
  • You must enter your name
  • You must enter a valid name (" & < > \ / are not accepted).
  • Please enter your email address to receive notification
  • Please enter a valid email address


starlagurl on

You can do so many crazy shots with pillars! Nice camera work.

Louise Brown
TravelPod Community Manager

Use this image in your site

Copy and paste this html: