Thursday, May 31, 2012

Jordan Challenge 12.3: Petra Comes Full Circle

The first time I visited Petra was in June 2010, on an extremely memorable visit with Siham and Connor.  That time we saw the Siq, the Treasury, the Monastery and all the other sites that have made Petra world-famous.  On that visit we also spent an unforgettable night in a desert cave, hosted by our new friends, Khalid and Ibrahim.

My all-time favorite photo: Siham and our friend Khalid from two years ago, and our first trip to Petra.

Ibrahim, Siham and Connor at Little Petra -- also two years ago.
 Last year, I was lucky to return to Petra with my friends and former students, Kate and Alexsis, when the three of us were in Jordan and the West Bank, doing research on the Millennium Development Goals in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

Alexsis and Kate from our Petra visit that was almost exactly a year ago.

Given that I knew I'd be living in Jordan for ten months, and hoped that I'd have multiple visitors, this year one of the Challenges on my list was to try to see Petra in three different ways.  Earlier this year I did two of them; Petra by Night with Chris, and Petra for Morning People with Paul. And last week I completed that challenge with my Petra Full Circle visit.  The visit earned the name in two senses; first, in going there with Siham, we were able to go back to the place that we had discovered for the first time almost exactly two years ago.  And second, in visiting with Siham and Leah, we were able to take the entire project encompassed by first 52 New Things and then the series of challenges of the last two years back to the beginning in a sense. And of course, as is always the case when the three of us embark on an adventure, we had a lot of fun!
As my colleague Amy pointed out, wasn't it clever of me to dress in matching stripes?

Siham and Leah enjoying the fact that the tour buses had totally cleared out of the Siq, leaving it all for us.

A shot of the Monastery taken by Leah -- the reward for climbing the 850 steps to get there.

The best jump shot of the trip award went to Leah this time, posing in front of the Treasury.

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