The next morning was our first day at the dig site. We woke up promptly at 4:50 am and rolled out of bed, groaning with exhaustion. I packed up my bag and threw my hair into a ponytail before heading out to the bus. We watched the sun rise up over the rolling hills and splash brilliant color onto the lake, my eyes heavy with sleep and unwilling to stay open.
I rolled out of bed gracelessly after an uncomfortable night’s sleep. Today was our first day at the dig site, even if we weren’t digging, so everyone from from group wore their Bethsaida shirts. We had breakfast in the cafeteria and were bussed to the dig site, which was about 20 minutes away from where we were actually staying. The site is part of the Jordan River Park, in larger connection with the Israeli national park system, and the dig is directed by Dr. Rami Arav from University of Nebraska-Omaha.
And thus began my final day in the beautiful country of Jordan. It was probably one of my favorite days but it started out with a lot of frantic last minute packing and trying to shove everything I had bought into my suitcase before the bus left me behind. We headed north, up to the ancient city of Jerash. I had spent all night last night filling out postcards for my friends and family, but now I realized how stupid it was of me to wait until the last minute to try and mail them. I told Sam that I needed to mail them before we left the country, but he assured me we would come across a post office in Jerash.
The next morning started early because we had a lot of things on our itinerary and not much time to finish it all. Our first stop for the day was to a mosque in Amman. Sam had told us yesterday that on visits to mosques he preferred that women wear long skirts or jeans, even though they give you a long robe to wear when you visit.
My body was completely exhausted this morning. Because of trying to make calls back home and connect to the internet before bed, I had been staying up way later than I should have and was only getting about 5 hours of sleep every night. Couple that with a 10 mile hike yesterday, and I was pooped. Surprisingly my muscles weren’t sore, I was just mentally and emotionally fatigued.
The first thing I did when I woke up this morning was open the windows and go out onto the balcony. The view was so breathtaking I almost couldn’t believe it was real. All of the buildings rose and fell with the flow of the land, over hills and down into valleys. The white and cream colors of bricks and stones reflected the sun and practically sparkled. The sky was clear, not a cloud in sight, and such a soft light blue it seemed dreamy. I found out later that’s because all the dust that gets kicked up makes the air hazy, but at the moment it seemed much more surreal than dusty.