Benedicto:

May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your rivers flow without end, meandering through pastoral valleys tinkling with bells, past temples and castles and poets’ towers into a dark primeval forest where tigers belch and monkey’s howl, through miasmal and mysterious swamps and down into a desert of red rock, blue mesas, domes and pinnacles and grottos of endless stone, and down again into a deep vast ancient unknown chasm where bars of sunlight blaze on profiled cliffs, where deer walk across the white sand beaches where storms come and go as lightening clangs upon the high crags, where something strange and more beautiful and more full of wonder than your deepest dreams waits for you---beyond that next turning of the canyon walls. ---Edward Abbey (thanks Trudy Hall)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Jordan for the Third Time DEAD

video

Hostel we left in Jo burg
"Bob's Bunkhouse" and friends we left behind



Taxi Driver



Arriving at the dead sea
"Administration is irresponsible
December 15—We had made arrangements with our taxi driver for a 10:00 pickup to the Dead Sea!  
Dave and Brian
In the meantime, we asked 2 poor travelers (Dave and Brian) to go with us, both who were roommates at Harvard and hopefully will change the world.  Dave talked about wanting to go to med school--not to be a doctor—but policy reformer.  Accessibility, Cost and Quality were the three areas that he said need to be addressed together.  After seeing Scandinavia, where the quality of life is exceptional (extremely low crime and unemployment, and high sense of security and trust in the processes of the government), I think that a cultural shift is in order.  If parents are educated and help their children at home, if people have hope and dignity around whatever employment they end up in, if the citizens can feel the difference when government makes policies that make their lives better or when government makes decisions that require sacrifice that seems fair to everyone in the country, and when folks—from the newest immigrant to the CEO to the president—solve problems without fearing about repercussions, that’s when we will feel safe, worthy and inspired to make change for the better.  Unfortunately it seems human nature mistrusts and fights for authority.  I think for us all to win, we need to have a structure where it’s more beneficial to cooperate and to correct others for their gluttony.  Wow, where did that soapbox come from!

We arrived at the public beach, rented a key at a place that sold women’s swimming suits that were like a long-sleeved unitards (covers legs), black, with a medium length skirts attached.  Most women wore leggings.   
Salt from the shore
 

We paid 2 dinars each for black mud, kept in thick tall clay jugs, to smear all over our skin.  It looked like people were wearing black wetsuits.  
 The mud is supposed to take out all the toxins and improve your skin, breathing, muscles, and aging process.  I kept it on for a long time!  Swimming in the Dead Sea reminded me of swimming in the ancient 1910 pool under Emma Willard School’s chapel that was disinfected with iodine (salt?) instead of chlorine.  The water created a film of softness around the skin.  

 I loved floating vertically.  I had to force myself down to get my shoulders wet!  Soon it was time for a fresh water shower.  The water must have come from a deep well; it was freezing!  The way home I conked out.  It must have been all those toxins releasing.
Two-tone hand and bread at Books E-Cafe
 
The rest of our time was spent looking for a Wi-Fi place, as our hotel’s went out.  We worked on finding couches, catching up on email, and other travelling details.  
 
Pomegranate Man--Juice!

Les could be coal for Halloween

French friends on their LAST leg of a year long trip
Les always feels sick in Jordan and blames it on all the dust in the air.  It is pretty impressive to see the thick layer hanging on the earth at the airport.
Amman