Isaiah’s Jordan Dig 2008

Heat Exhaustion and a Trip to Petra

5-1The heat here is brutal! By mid-afternoon at the dig site it has reached, on occasion, 48 degrees Celsius (I think that is 130 degrees Fahrenheit). On any given day we have about 5-7 people who can’t go to the field due to both heat exhaustion and hydration problems or from some sort of stomach illness. Luckily, I have remained fit this whole time. Part of the reason that I have been so fortunate is likely due to having lived through San Diego summers for most of my life. Most of the team is from Canada and I believe that for many this is their first time in such a warm climate.

We had another close call out in the field last week. I was working in my square when one of the square supervisors, who doubled as the expedition medic, came up to me for a second opinion on the health of one of the volunteers. Word had gotten around that prior to joining the Marines in my youth I had been a Navy Hospital Corpsman. She told me that the girl was lying down in the shade and was suffering from a pale complexion, nausea, and a weak pulse. She had also stopped sweating. Read the rest of this entry »

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A Trip to Wadi Rum

4-1Wadi Rum was amazing! A group of us got up early on Sunday morning (our weekends are Sunday and Monday) and met our taxi driver outside our building at the roundabout. Maggie really hooked us up with a tour agency that charged us 55 Dinar per person for the trip through Wadi Rum, and 10 Dinar per person each way to Wadi Rum. And they handled all of the arrangements. I’ll get the name of the agency and post it in my next installment.

We arrived at Wadi Rum around 9 am, where we met our tour agent and the guide who would lead our camels through the Wadi. I must say, riding a camel was not nearly as uncomfortable as I was expecting it to be. My roommate, Greg refused to come with us because he had a really bad experience on a camel in Syria. Apparently on his trip they traveled for over 25 kilometers at a gallop on an ill-cushioned saddle. According to him, he couldn’t walk for almost a week afterward. Our experience was the complete opposite. Although we were a little saddle-sore (the insides of our thighs being a little sensitive), it was actually quite pleasurable. Read the rest of this entry »

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Excavations on the “Mystery House” and the Strike

3-1This morning we got off to a late start. Everyone was up at 4 am and downstairs waiting for the bus by 4:30, but the bus didn’t arrive until 5 am. By the time we got on site and resumed excavating it was about 7:30.

Today’s excavation on the “mystery house” went extremely well. We exposed the western wall, which is still intact for the most part. My section of the square (the eastern wall) was somewhat more difficult to excavate. There is a lot of fill (crumbled rock and masonry, where the wall has collapsed) and so it was very time consuming to dig around the rocks enough to work them loose from the sand. Read the rest of this entry »

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First Installment from Jordan

2-1I arrived in Amman, Jordan about a week ago on Saturday, June 14th. It’s funny how when one hasn’t traveled in a while, one forgets how lonely long distance travel can be. JFK International in New York was probably the low point of the trip for me. I had a six hour layover there and spent most of my time wandering around amidst the crowd.

When I landed in Amman, I was met at the airport by two of our staff members – Derek and Miranda. They put me in a taxi which took me to the Hillside Hotel, where I stayed for my first night in-country. After a well deserved shower, I wandered down to the bar (a rarity in Amman I am told), where I ran into Bill, Eric, and Greg who would turn out to be my closest companions on this excavation. Read the rest of this entry »

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Out the Gate

On my wayTomorrow is the day. I have to be up early, since my flight leaves at 7:55 am. I plan to go to Lindhberg Field between 5:00 and 5:30 am in case there is any hitch with security. Today, though, is reserved for “tying up loose ends” – get a haircut, purchase little knickknacks that I still need to pick up, ensuring bills are paid, and saying goodbye to friends and family.

Everything that I have read or heard about The Hashimite Kingdom of Jordan assures me that it is probably one of the safest nations one can travel to in the Middle East. Still, our friend “Murphy” can make an impromptu visit at any time, which makes me a little apprehensive. Read the rest of this entry »

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