Maddy in the Middle East

Alternative title: Spying on my Daughter in the Middle East

Maddy's home safe and sound and full of stories of her adventure to the Middle East. While she was gone she decided to save money and only access the internet when she could find wi-fi so I relied on (=spied on) the rest of her group for photos and updates via social media. (Because what's a mama to do otherwise?) Luckily they did not disappoint. For our family archives, here are a mix of photos (some theirs, some hers) in roughly chronological order from Dubai to Amman to Petra to Jerusalem:

Some of her highlights included:

  • going to Petra and seeing the incredible ancient carved city there
  • riding across the desert in the back of a truck, camping at the Captain's Camp at Wadi Rum overnight in traditional Bedouin tents, seeing the night sky over the desert, dancing and playing games with her group and the local staff in the tents
  • meeting with and learning from inspiring people who are doing great work in the middle east region: UNICEF, UNDP projects (United Nations Development Programmes) in Amman and Jerusalem, the Australian Embassy in Jordan, the Hand-in-Hand school. Since she was there as a UN Youth Australia delegate they had arranged some pretty terrific and enlightening consultations with organizations throughout the trip.
  • teaching at the Max Rayne Hand-in-Hand school in Jerusalem, a bilingual Jewish/Palestinian school that promotes understanding and peace building in the rising generation. (Maddy said that the school was attacked by arsonists in November but the school has been firm and inspiring in their aim to promote peaceful co-existence. The surrounding community came out in strong support in the aftermath.)
  • seeing Dome of the Rock, Temple Mount, the Church of the Nativity, Gethsemane and other holy sites (though she said that the group and guide she was with approached these sites with more of an architectural and anthropological flavor)

She slept for twelve hours straight when she got home and now she's transitioning back to regularly scheduled programming: working back into the dishes/chores rotation, resuming inside jokes with Sam, catching up with her friends, and commencing a job hunt.