Feeling sick on a trip is never good, let alone when you are halfway around the world on an experience of a lifetime. Sad to say, here I was feeling the flu along with two of the other seven people in our group. Uncharacteristically of me, I chose to take it easy on this day. After having a hard time sleeping at the camp due to the flu-like symptoms, (the camp actually was very nice) we got in our SUVs and headed for Wadi Rum. This reminded me of my recent trip to Utah or the Grand Canyon, with the red sand blanketing the land. Peering out through the sand were rough and jagged peaks. Trying to keep my head up and my camera ready was a losing battle. I caught glimpses of the tour guide's excited speech as he told us about how one of my favorite movies was filmed here, Lawrence of Arabia, as well as Star Wars and the new Aladdin. What particularly caught my eye were the numerous camels cruising through the land. Having a true Bedouin style barbecue wasn't enough to pry my weary head from the ground as I was prone to sleeping any moment I could. Finishing through the desert, we went on a drive to cross the border into Israel. Once here, there was a sense of relief as we felt complete safety for whatever reason being here. Not to say Jordan wasn't safe, but the feeling that we were now in the country where we were going to be hosted by Echoes and Reflections was reassuring. When we got on the bus from Elat to Jerusalem, what I thought I muttered in my head, I later realized I said aloud to my peers, "I don't think I'm going to make it". It was a rough ride, but perseverance paid off once we saw the outer walls of Old Jerusalem.
About Matthew Cottone
Experience the World! This is my creed I bring to my classroom and my life. I'm a World Studies teacher at Van Hoosen Middle School and I have a passion for learning and experiencing the world.