Home at last

Wow, what an action-packed last 2 and a half weeks! I am at home now, reflecting on my trip to Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon, and what a trip it was. Where else can you see ancient wonders such as Petra, natural wonders like Jeitta Grotto in Lebanon, cosmopolitan cities like Beirut and small villages and Bedouins still living the nomadic life?

I learned about insurance for camels- what happens if a camel runs out on the road and is hit by a car or bus? This a very real problem, and camels are very valuable to their owners- one figure I heard was about $1500 US dollars per animal. Obviously something you don’t want to lose. But the camel herds, and the goat and sheep herds, too, often cross highways or graze alongside the roads. So what happens if one gets hit? Well, auto insurance includes provisions to compensate the animal’s owner for their loss, as well as for fixing the car and taking care of other costs. I am sure Geico has never been asked – do you cover camel accidents?

I also got to see some places I had been before and noted the many changes that have taken place. One change in Jordan is the notable increase in visitors. Sites are more and more popular as word gets out that these sights really are amazing. Other changes were not so monumental, such as noting that the cafe I used to spend lots of time at in Aleppo when I was there 12 years ago, has been upgraded with new chairs, tables, and umbrellas, and the street it sits on is now blocked off to car traffic – that was half the appeal to the place before- watching the cars zoom around the base of the citadel! Oh well, time marches on, as the sculpture of Father Time reminds us at the Jeitta Grotto caves, and things will change either in large chunks or small drips.

My next project will be to upload a web album of the photos I took throughout the whole trip.

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