Friends head home, but our work continues

6-1The last couple of days have been pretty trying for us. Three of us who were signed on for the first half of the expedition left for home the other day. Maggie, Tu Phong, and my roommate Eric left us.

To add to the sadness, two of us were hospitalized for stomach illness. Jeremy – one of my other roommates – was in the hospital, but seems to have recovered quite a bit. His girlfriend, Lindsey, stayed with him at the hospital for the last several days and nights. Marita, on the other hand, had to be evacuated via ambulance to Amman. We hear she is doing better there under the care of an American trained physician, but it will be a long recovery. Apparently she contracted some sort of stomach virus. When I last saw her she looked like “Death warmed over.”

We are all very concerned for our friends. Dr. Smith says that he’s never been on an excavation where so many people have come down sick. He tries not to let on, but I think that he is more concerned than anyone about the sick among us. It is very frustrating seeing people deteriorate before your eyes knowing that there is nothing you can do about it but send them to a hospital.

6-2In any case, we have been working extra hard on our own for the last several days. As for me, the extra hard work I have put in has helped to take my mind off the friends who have left for home and those whose health we are worried about.

In the last few days I have taken to helping my square supervisor, Elizabeth, with paperwork and the planning of our square. This is done with the encouragement of Dr. Smith, who I believe is doing me a favor by giving me the skills that will help me get onto more excavations in the future. He mentioned today that I would soon be spending some time with the survey team learning how to use the GPS equipment.

Our square is coming along nicely. The other day we finally hit the floor of it. We have since opened a new locus to the south of the initial square and intend to open another adjacent one tomorrow.

Our weekends are on Sunday and Monday here. Friday is a work day for us, but we work without Bedouin since Friday is the traditional Muslim holy day. It’s probably better that way, since many shops shut down on that day.

I can’t wait for this weekend. I intend to get some good rest and possibly some snorkeling in this weekend. I have thus far been getting by with around four hours of sleep per night and I think it is beginning to take its toll on me. I have been just a little bit crankier than normal, so I’m pretty sure it’s the lack of sleep. It’s not that we are not given enough time to sleep here, but I always end up staying up a little later out of habit. I think a good weekend of rest will fix that.

Anyway, until next time -

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