Full Circle: From Tabor Valley to Mount Tabor

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July 19th 2009
Published: July 19th 2009
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We went to Gadara simply for the view, and it more than met our expectations. As border junkies, we looked forward to seeing a corner of the Earth where Middle East countries meet. We sat at the highest point with binocculars in hand and peered across the borders into Syria and Israel (or Palestine, depending on your politics). We could see the Sea of Galilee, Tiberias, the Jordan River and the path that Dad and I followed when we visited Israel several years ago.

It was a walk down memory lane that only got better as we sat in the desert sun with a cool breeze admiring the agriculture of the Jordan River Valley. Dad looked to the South and saw Mount Tabor (where Jesus revealed himself after his death!) We left our home, Shamrock Farms, in the Tabor Valley less than a week ago. Now, we were gazing at Mt Tabor from Jordan. Many hours have been spent driving a tractor in the Tabor Valley and when Dad lived in Israel, his hours on the tractor were spent with Mt Tabor in his sites.

From Mt Tabor, we could glimpse of Nazareth, which meant Sarid (the Kibbutz where dad lived) was just around the corner. We squinted and pretended we could see it. It made me homesick for the camels because as many know, my little brown camel is named Sarid!

As we were soaking up the full circle of events and the intrigue of the destination, a large group of Jodanian women in burka's and head scarves arrived to take in the same view. They kept their distance but they seemed to be eavesdropping on our conversation. Once they figured out we knew our geography better than they did, they approached with questions. Dad thought it was humorous he was giving a geography and Biblical history lesson to Middle Easterners! (I am sure Grandma would shudder to think dad gave a history lesson on the Bible!) Then he offered his beloved binocculars and it was a lesson in peace talks from which even the best diplomats would learn. It was an interesting dichotomy and it went well. Dad, however, was gently corrected when he called the land before us "Israel." The women reminded him it was actually "Palestine."

We wrapped up the moment by eating refreshing "cactus fruit." It reminded us of melons crossed with pomegranite.


19th July 2009

I am so jealous. It all looks so beautiful. My father-law-in would be impressed with Roy's knowledge of the Israel (Palestine). I even got a glimpse of fashion, scarves and burkas, I like it never a bad hair day, no make-up required and the best part you can't tell if you've gained weight. I really love this travel blogs, it kinda feels like we are traveling with you. I only wish I could get a whiff of how good that food smelled. Chimi
20th July 2009

Hi Vals, Is Kyle still on this trip or did you dump him for your own personnal chef:) We hit a record low this morning at 52 and had a gorgeous no humid 80's day. It isn't going to last unfortunately. Hard to believe you are closing in on being gone a week! Nancy
20th July 2009

I am so glad that you are sharing allof this. It is totally incredible! Also, very wonderful that you all are showing people their that not all Americans are idiots and some actually care about them and their amazing history. Thanks for representing us well. Love to all of you! Joan

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