Friendship & Frankincense
I was not expecting to connect and feel so at home in the Middle East but I did. The people were very friendly, and the food was so flavorful- and like the people, it was full of spice and life. I enjoyed conversation over meals and once the meal was over the conversation was not. They wanted to know every detail of our lives; -what had brought us there, -what we liked, -what we had seen, -and then, if time allowed, did we want to join them for dinner or be shown the market or sinkhole (which is way more cool than it sounds).
The stores and the people smelled of frankincense -to the point at first that it was overwhelming, but by the second day, I was breathing in deeply to enjoy the smell. And I am now leaving with frankincense to burn and the oil to wear so that we can have a little bit of this magical place with me back home.
As I stated I did not expect to feel so at home in the Middle East, but I found that I felt part of the people. We traveled about seeing different sights and meeting up with friends and then with strangers that became friends. Everywhere had something beautiful and unique to behold. And everyone had a story and food to share. I have never felt so invited by a culture to be a part of their daily comings and goings. People did life and they were excited to share life with everyone they came into contact with.
But overall, I loved my first experience in the Middle East and hope to return soon. And now on the plane, I happy smelling the frankincense from the passengers around me and listening to the conversation between Michael and his new found friend about the beauty of this place and about the adventures ahead.