Hello Fellow Kintailians!
I am currently working on an archaeological dig in Madaba, Jordan in the Middle East. We are part of the Wadi ath-Thamad Project sponsored by Wilfrid Laurier University. As part of my program, all students have the opportunity to participate on an excavation in either Jordan, Crete or in Canada and receive hands on training in the field. There are no Down’n’Outs in our schedule, we are up at 4 AM and work till about 9PM and are normally so exhausted we are all asleep by 9:30 PM. It is such a fascinating experience being in such a different culture and living and working in such a foreign environment. No need to set alarms because at 4 AM, Call to Prayer wakes us up and reminds us to keep God in mind throughout the day. We are at the site by 5AM and work till about noon, most of the time we are digging and moving dirt but there is a lot of care and attention to detail. The heat isn’t as bad as one would think since the air is so dry your sweat is evaporated almost instantly so you don’t even realize how hard you are working. Our afternoons and evenings are filled with paper work and registering all the artefacts found that day. When we have free time on weekends most of us plan trips to go on hikes, visit the Dead Sea and of course Petra. The people here are so kind and ALWAYS invite you in for tea and you can’t say no since it is so tasty. They are genuinely interested in what you are doing here and what life is like back in Canada. There are some difficulties though, adjusting to how women are treated compared to men took some getting used to but I don’t think I will ever fully feel comfortable with the restrictions I have to live with. Though there is not a lot variation in our food it all tastes great and I think most of the team has become obsessed with shawarma and ice cream. I’m enjoying practicing my Arabic and speaking with our workers about their life as a Bedouin. Living in tents in a nomadic setting, a lifestyle that hasn’t changed over hundreds of years always makes for interesting conversation. It’s always at the end of the work day when we are driving back on the bus to our hotel that I look out the window at the mountains of sand and think of Camp. I look forward to sharing my experiences and hopefully running a mock-dig during a nature session this summer for the senior campers. Cannot wait for this summer! Rue