As I mentioned earlier, one of the aspects of this last trip to Jordan which made it so special was that I was able to do things I had never done before. Eventually I'll blog about those, but I'm still in a buzz (even a few weeks later) about the time we spent in the Wadi Rum. Again, as Steve Wehmeyer opines as he paraphrases Lawrence of Arabia, I am one of those desert-loving English. Why? Well, I've devoted time to this question before, and I'm probably no nearer a definitive answer. Although, once again to paraphrase Wehmeyer paraphrasing the film, maybe it is because the desert is clean. Now, if the Wadi Rum had not paid back my fascination by eating my camera (or at least sliding sand into the aperture) and thus prematurely ending my picture-taking I'd be posting many more pictures. I'm sure I'll make up for it by dragooning my students into sending me copies of their pictures. Maybe the best place we stopped was at the base of an astonishing rock formation that formed a natural bridge. Of course, we all had to climb up the rock face so that we could cross the bridge. Unbelievable. I'm sometimes tweaked by administrators because of my desire to take students places that I consider to be truly transformational (which is a lovely metaphor for what I think I do best in the classroom every day), but there's no way that any of the students who crossed this bridge - and more generally the bridge into Jordan - will ever be the same.
|Like most of the places we visited on the trip I could have easily spent half a day here just soaking it all in. It was more imposing in real life - the picture doesn't do it justice.|
|My excellent friend, boon traveling companion, and titular little sister, Cyndi Brandenburg.|
|Clockwise from the top: Taylor Post, Andy Beain, Devin Carlin and Mike Albrecht. About 3/4 of the Champlain crew voted for the Wadi Rum as their favorite spot on the trip.|
|Try telling a bunch of 19 year olds that the rock formation may be too high for climbing (herding cats became herding feral steroid-infused cats). The best you can really do is just climb up there with them.|
|"Bedu" nee Katherine nee "Keebee" nee "Dexter" Chapin - she was the one who I was most convinced was just going to wander off into the desert and give herself to the life of a bedu (and be happy as a lark).|