Monday, August 8, 2011

Jerusalem - Madaba - Airport - Disi: Skipping Down the Jordanian Interior

As they careen toward the end point, learning is summarized, students reflect and instructors wrap up, time tends to get away from those noble instructors running Dragons' courses.  Such was the case this summer.  A quick recap:

2 Aug:  Our last day in Jerusalem was organized by the group of students who came to be known as the Jew Crew.  The most fascinating aspect of this day were our two guest speakers - one a veteran of and one a reservist in the Israeli Army - two gentlemen with markedly different views of the relationship between Israel and Palestine.  Mikhail works with Breaking the Silence, an organization of former Israeli Army combatants who are working to educate the Israeli public about the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory and the abuse directly associated with that occupation.  Mikhail spoke from his personal experience and we were left with the strong impression of his emotions and his experience.  Ori, our second speaker, a captain in the Israeli Army reserves spoke of his love for his country and his desire to protect it.  He spoke of the Israeli management of disputed territory and his sense that the Israeli government was working to empower the Palestinian Authority to eventually manage its own affairs.  This fascinating set of conversations left us with a strong sense of the complexity of the situation but also with hope for the future.

3 Aug:  A long day of travel by bus, foot and taxi took us from Jerusalem north to the border crossing at Beit Shahan, from which we crossed back into Jordan and proceeded south to Madaba, Jordan's Christian capital.

4 - 6 Aug:  Our last days as a group were spent in Madaba, where we were able to reflect together on the lessons learned during our time together in Jordan and Jerusalem.

Moses' glimpse of the Promised Land (2011 reenactment), Mt. Nebo, Madaba, Jordan

7 Aug:  Early in the morning, we congregated one last time as a group for our morning emotional and health check in before departing for Queen Alia International Airport outside of Amman.  Darren and the students boarded the flight and Yoli and I hopped into a taxi for the last leg of our journey back home to Disi, where we arrived mid-day to Ramadan in full swing.


  1. That sounds like a wonderful thing, Alena! I love the concept of the 'Jew Crew'. Best of luck to them all!

  2. thanks! this got posted accidentally unfinished... more to come!