Sunday, December 26, 2010

How to Ride a Camel - A Photo Tutorial in Five Easy Steps

A beautiful morning in Wadi Rum is best enjoyed from atop one of the local Diseh camels. No previous experience riding camels? Not to worry! This simple tutorial, courtesy of Ms. Becky Neil, San Francisco, CA and Mr. Hussein Abdullah, Diseh, Jordan, should allay the fears of even the most reluctant of camel passengers, while inspiring the excitement of every camel enthusiast!

Step 1: Meet Hussein Abdullah and your camel steeds. Hussein will assist you as you mount.

Step 2: Grip the knob at the front of the camel saddle (see Becky's left hand) and swing your leg over the saddle as though you were mounting a horse.

Step 3: Hold on tight as the camel stands up - raising her back legs first.  You are halfway there!

Step 4:  Whoops!  There go the front legs - don't let go of that knob just yet!

Step 5:  Smile for the camera as your stomach settles back into place...

... and you head off on your desert adventure!  

Extra special camel riders will receive a special camel kiss upon completion of their journeys!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Welcoming Yoshiko Chuma and the School of Hard Knocks!

I've started to look forward to visits from Yoshiko Chuma, New York City-based performance artist and her School of Hard Knocks, who were in the midst of GATHERING SPACE in Jordan and Palestine.  At the end of November, they visited me in Wadi Rum and spent a night under the stars and a day exploring the desert.  Our time together is always too short, but we look forward to their return to southern Jordan in 2011!

L to R:  Ryuji Yamaguchi - performance artist, Hugh Burckhardt - photographer, Samer - local guide, Yoshiko Chuma - director, Alena Bartoli & Bob Smith - hosts, Koutarou Inoue - actor, Yuko Mitsuishi - performance artist, Obeid Zawaedeh - host.

Photo by Hugh Burckhardt, 2010.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Alena, this is just the most amazing thing I have ever seen!

Last April, I had the pleasure of accompanying Bob and Stephanie Sherman during their brief visit to Jordan.  Above find Stephanie's reaction to Petra's Monastery - hidden high in the hills at the back of the site.  The Monastery, not actually a monastery but more likely to have been a temple to the Nabatean king Obodas I, is my favorite place in Petra and a wonderful view to contemplate with a cup of tea in hand.