Sunday, January 12, 2014


After Christmas, Russell and I went to Jordan to visit a couple friends. When Russell and I told our coworkers why we were taking some vacation days to travel, many of them asked, "Jordan? As in the country?...Why?" I guess if you're living in America and tell people you are going to visit a country in the Middle East, a lot of them see it as an uncommon and even dangerous decision. I had a couple people tell me to be careful. To be honest, I started to worry as well but if you hang around Russell long enough, his everything-will-be-fine attitude kind of rubs on you.

Overall, I am thankful, even blessed, that we were able to go to Jordan. It wasn't dangerous; I think it's an American misconception that the Middle East is scary because of our media, the war we have going on, and a combination of these things. I actually saw quite a few European tourists. The country is beautiful and learning about the culture was insightful. Not only that, but we got to celebrate Jonathan and Erin's engagement!

Below are summaries of the different sites we saw. Warning, there are lots of pictures so loading time might take awhile.

On our first full day there, we visited the Wadi Rum desert. It felt like a cooler version of the Grand Canyon only with camels.

Pretty landscape

We toured around the desert with a Beduin tour guide who knew the desert well. A couple hours into our tour, he pulled over to the side of a canyon and began making us lunch. The dish was called Gallayah and I want to try to make it because it was delicious.

Lunch time
Community lunch. I like the way they ate -- bowl of food in the middle and everyone takes part of their pita bread and scoops food out of the communal serving dish.

On another day, we visited the historical Petra.
Through the canyons

It's built IN the rocks

Again, more camels and so much to look at. Did you know that an Indian Jones movie was filmed there? I didn't. Seeing the temple in the rock was astounding to say the least. You walk through a canyon for a few minutes and then all of a sudden bam! There's a giant structure built in the rock. There is so much history jam-packed in this country that it was almost overwhelming trying to soak it all in.

We also saw the dead sea:

One of the other sites we saw was the Jordan River. Here we saw the site where Jesus was baptized. It's also the border of Israel so we were able to look across the river and see the country God calls the Promise Land.

Site of Jesus' baptism

Glimpse of the Israel side (across the Jordan River)

On that same day, we also saw Mount Nebo. It was cloudy the day we went but the view from the top was still magnificent. I can't imagine how it must look like on a clear day. This is the place where Abraham stood when God gave him His promise.

Being in Jordan was like walking through the bible. Seeing these places really points to God's glory. It made me giddy being able to walk these parts.

Apart from the historical and biblical parts of Jordan, we also saw the capital, Amman. In the country's capital, Jonathan walked us around the art district where we saw a lot of street art.

My favorite
We visited a mosque:

Walking around Amman:

We saw ruins that are still there (in the middle of Amman) from when the Romans occupied the land.

This was a trip Russell and I are thankful to have taken. Jordan is a beautiful country, rich with history and culture. We were blessed with great company that came with kind hospitality. Can't wait to see Jon and Erin at their wedding! ;)

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