Around Feb or March of this year my co-worker Andy started telling me about a Humanitarian project he started working with through the church. (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) Wheelchair trainings to create a self sustainable local force to safely and correctly fit and educate wheelchair users who are recipients of distributed wheelchairs the church supplies. The trainers are physical and occupational therapist- 2 per training. The church pays your ticket, hotel, and meals. Short term specialists set-up the contracts and arrangements and humanitarian missionaries put together the details. Trainers just need to show up and teach the 3 day training courses.
As soon as he told me I knew I wanted in. I have always wanted to do humanitarian work and I love to travel. Next thing I know I am at a training day and on the "list" of credible therapist trainers waiting for my opportunity. The call comes in the beginning of the summer- Jordan- end of Sept. I was awed. Jordan- the middle east? So excited! I never imagined my life would open to an opportunity to take me there.
This is the beginning of the that story.
Clay Watson was my co-trainer. I was so grateful to have him along. All the areas in the training I was weak on- he was very strong. I think we made great teaching partners. It is also handy to have a 6'4 man to walk around foreign countries with, espeically at night.
We started the adventure 2pm Friday, Sept 23rd. SLC to Paris, Paris to Ammon. 24 hours of traveling. I would like to state for the record that I had a much better seat than Clay had on the long flight to Paris. The Cullimore's and the Lees were there at the airport to pick us up and whisked us away to dinner. Clay did have his checked bag lost and had to have it delivered the next day which made me feel really good about my decision to go carry on with my luggage. That is right 2 weeks- all carry on. I am a little proud of that fact. Dinner was a delicious sharwerma- the best I had the whole time and then it was off to bed.
11pm in bed time and 3:30 am wake-up to be out the door by 4am for our Petra adventure. Good thing it was during jet lag when my body had no clue what time it was. 3 hour drive to Petra, 9 hours of hiking in Petra followed by a surprise stop. Tired and happy was the theme of the day.
|Castle Ruins from the Crusades|
the South is much more barren than the North
Legend has it that this is where Moses struck the rock for water
|This is looking out toward Petra|
I could hardly believe what I saw
I travelled 1/2 way across the world to find Southern Utah
|Rocks formations on the road to Petra- look familiar?|
|Offical beginning of the slot canyon road to the city|
|Water is a big concern in Jordan|
All over Petra Aquaducts and cisterns were found demonstrating the great lengths they went to to preserve water.
|The slot canyon was the road to Petra.|
It had remaints of the stone paved road.
|All over Jordan there were cats- but no stray dogs.|
|The capstone piece of Petra revealed|
|Love the camals|
|The 3 Petra explorers- Brother Lee, Clay and I|
|Petra is one large city built out of stone. The facades are grand. Most have fallen done over the centuries but there are still plenty of remants to catch a glimpse of the past.|
|It is difficult to see but on top of the mountain on the left side of the picture is a white dot- |
that is Aaron's tomb
|There are cairn "gardens" all over. Not used for direction- possibly just tourists playing with rocks|
|Most of the facades for these have fallen- but imagine what it looked like when every where that was flat and a hole had a facade on it.|
|Pottery pieces were everywhere|
|What the inside looks like. Granted this is inside the largest room we found. Generally speaking inside was a room- some with inlets as found here. Very few had any adjoining rooms and others had tomb sites.|
|In addition there was a Byzantine church- as well as Roman Ruins- (which I don 't have any pictures of)|
|At the top of the hike to the "Monastery" there was a cool place to rest- literally|
|A trinket shop at the "End of the World"|
|View from the top|
|The road we travelled down- Clay and I were so tired we actually managed to fall asleep during this drive.|
|Our suprise destination- the Dead Sea|
|The interesting rock formation is called "Lot's Wife"|
|The Dead Sea-|
Apparently it is usually glassy still- but there was an unusual rain storm right before we arrived causing
a lot of waves.
|Tired but happy|
|Brother Lee got up close and personal with the Sea as he filled a bottle with the salty water. The sea is far below sea level- the lowest point on earth and is 26% salt.|
The day ended with meeting up with other missionary couples for dinner- why Chinese when we are in Jordan? Well- we weren't choosing- and we weren't complaining- ok maybe we were a little bit...
A big thank you to Brother Lee for his sacrifice of his day to enable us to have a great adventure and see one of the great sites in this world.
That is it for Day 1.
More to follow soon.