We got an email from Lexi, which she apparently typed on a borrowed cellphone! Here’s some of what she reported:
I’m in Jordan!!!! It’s day three and a half. I have hiked through Petra, survived driving illegally (there are speed bumps all over the highways here), had a ton of amazing food, met fantastic people, and visited some amazing things. For the sake of my thumbs, all I’ll comment on here is Petra.
As you might imagine if you’ve ever seen Indiana Jones, it’s breathtaking. We begin by walking through an enormous gorge called the Siq. It winds irregularly through the mountains, huge rock faces rearing up on either side. Everything is a burnt sandy color, except for the trees that sprout up here and there between the boulders. Some of the cliffs are rounded, some jagged, but they all have huge chunks gouged out of them, as though by some enormous animal. I feel tiny, walking past huge caves and the occasional (and gigantic) ruined temple entrance. Everything feels old, caked in a smorgasbord of mixed histories and religions. It speaks of something very enduring and rough, but striking in its beauty. (God is my favorite artist.)
On the way up, we rode donkeys. Much easier than riding a horse. But it turns out riding a donkey is extremely scary going downhill. Donkeys really like to walk near the edges of cliffs. On the way out, we also rode camels, a very weird experience. I wish I could babble all about the Bedouin, but I don’t have space here. I spent too long describing rocks, so this is what you get for now. And for those of you worried about my safety or who made me promise to be very careful, let me say that I have attracted as little attention as I could, not been called at in any serious way, and only had one or two very small adventures in my driving. I have worn make-up (some of you will be proud of me and others of you very confused by that), tried every exciting dish that was put in front of me, and learned one word of Arabic, which I use constantly: shukran (thank you). I miss you and hope you’re all having a wonderful start to spring!
It makes me want to be there!