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Published: July 19th 2009
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
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