The Abraham Path: Beit Yedis to Pella

Snowstorms in the desert. Erik’s travel across the whole of Jordan despite the ice, meter of snow, and scared, dangerous drivers. The McAdams 3 adventure through Sri Lanka. Laura’s first rock climbing experience in the wild. AMENDS conference in Istanbul. Snorkeling the Red Sea with an old college buddy. Getting to know my aunt over hooka and coffee with cardamom. So much has happened since my last post, it is hard to know how to start. I guess I’ll begin with the freshest happening: a hike in the north.

A friend I met through work is, each weekend, walking a leg of the Abraham Path, a long-distance, international trek. It is more of a symbolic trek; there is no real evidence that Abraham walked in these specific areas. This Friday I decided to tag along with him and his three American friends: some previous Fulbrighters to Jordan, all had studied Arabic in the country at some point and were now working for various NGOs in Amman.

Topographical printouts and directions in hand, we set out for Beit Yedis, a village somewhere north of Ajloun so small, most of the dozens of locals we asked for directions had never heard of it. (Typical directions given: um… go straight, straight, straight. After that, go straight.)

A couple of entertaining detours and three hours later, we parked the car in the town’s central square, bought some junk food, and headed out on our walk, tramping through rocky tilled fields and crunchy asphalt paths. Along the trail we saw something labeled the “Jesus Cave” with an old olive press inside (apparently I did not deem it spectacular enough for a photo) and a field with Jordanian families picnic-ing and enjoying the unseasonably warm weather. After checking out the ruins of an old Byzantine church (complete with mosaics hidden under the dust that I seriously should have deemed worth of a photo) we began the hike in earnest.

Pella hike

I had heard tales that northern Jordan blooms in the spring, but I never quite believed it until I saw it.

 

We scrambled down the side of the hill into the valley below. I don’t think any one of us managed to get down without taking a tumble or two.

Pre-scramble down...

Pre-scramble down…

...into the valley below.

…into the valley below.

10 kilometers of beautiful, quiet countryside and one cowfarm later, we arrived at Pella just in time for sunset.

Photo courtesy of the internet: by now I have Roman-ruin fatigue and shrugged my shoulders at the site.

Photo courtesy of the internet: by now I have Roman-ruin fatigue and just shrugged my shoulders at the site, not bothering to pull out my camera.

We caught a ride back to Beit Yedis from Pella for 1JD each in one of those green Hyundai vans that are so common in areas where there is no public transportation, and drove back home for a huge feast of Yemeni food: flat bread as wide in diameter as car tires, a large platter heaped with rice and spiced meats, skillets of mashed tomatoes and stewed broad beans, and a heavy bowl of banana-flavored, creamy oatmeal-like grain, topped with honey.

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About Laura McAdams

Laura McAdams is a Master’s student at University of Pennsylvania studying International Educational Development. Her experience in the MENA region includes 15 months as a Fulbright student researcher to Fez and Ifrane, Morocco in 2010 and 2011. Her project was interested in understanding the disconnect between the policies of technology usage in education and the reality of how these policies unfold in the classroom. Summer 2012 she returned to the Middle Atlas mountains of Morocco to work with a women’s weaving cooperative. She is excited to learn more about other countries in the MENA region and issues involving education policy and reform, technology usage in curriculums and gender equality in education. One of Laura’s lifelong goals is to one day be able to sit down and leisurely read a newspaper in Arabic.
This entry was posted in Boren Fellowship in Jordan, 2013-2014 and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The Abraham Path: Beit Yedis to Pella

  1. Pingback: Labneh Jerashia |

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