Well friends,and I am back home. I am in Vancouver today and then to Kelowna tomorrow. It is so weird. After coming home, now is when I can see how much I have changed and how much all of these experiences have enhanced or changed my life. First, I just want to say thank you all so much for posting so many comments. I finally found out how to work it, so if your comment wasnt ever posting, you were doing it right, i just didnt give it clearance. They are up there now though. Although there is no way i can respond to all your comments, do know that I read them all and they were very encouraging along the way. I cant thank you enough. I will continue to blog over teh course of the next month cause I feel that more stuff will come up that I learned from what i saw and experienced and if you do post a comment i will certainly respond back to it. Also, I posted twice today, so if you want to read about NYC it is after this one.


So now that I am back the biggest thing that has struck me is FEAR in our lives. It is so weird to come back and start seeing the news again and reading CNN and finding out about all the bombings going on. I cant believe that in many ways, we were right there in the middle of this. I guess there was a bombing in Taba which is only 30 minutes from where we were at on the Red Sea in Egypt. The bombing that took place in Isreal was also not terribly far, well i guess nothing is far in that country. So I began to look back and think about what it was like to be over there and how fear was an aspect of our time, or shall I say lack of fear. I remember that the first time I heard about the terrorist attack in Isreal was when i checked my Email in Jordan for the first time in a few days. i had recieved a number of emails from friends asking if we were ok and how far away we were from the attack. So that night we decided to watch the news and find out more about it cause we had to take a taxi a day later and drive right through the Westbank in Palestine. So we were a bit concerned. Watching the news made it look so bad. You could see people on stretchers and ambulances and Palestinian militants with guns raised high. It was somewhat disturbing. So i believe that this was teh first time that fear had actually become part of our experience. Other than this the whole time that we were there rarely ever did we feel fear or danger. It felt so safe. But then again we didnt have the news to pinpoint and focus on just one event, you know? We could have gone back to Isreal and been there for a few days and not have known there was ever an attack. It is just so part of life to them, just like watching our local news and finding out there was a homicide the night before, it just becomes status quo.

So my point is this. What relation does our insidious nature to stay up to date on current events and the way the news portrays it have to do with our level of fear and thinking a place or region is dangerous? Coming back there is just no way that I can put an end to watching the news or checking out CNN. That is just not wise. But on the other hand, how does it form my thoughts and opinions? I remember, before I left, I was nervous, very nervous to go to Morocco. I was scared to go to Jordan. I cant pinpoint why, but for some reason the Arabic Islamic countries where we have heard their names kicked around on the news in relation to terrorists and stuff, they scared me to visit. Now, honestly, I wouldnt even think twice about going into Syria or Lebanon. Of course you have to be careful, but isnt that the case when you our out on E. Hastings at 2 in the morning or any large dowtown in America? Isnt that true with just life? So I have challenged myself to think about what fear holds me back and from what. Where does this fear come from, is it a healthy amount or is it simply uneducated and unfounded?

Lastly, I guess I just found that, after being a student of International Affairs, these regions and countries were nothing what I thought there were like. They were hardly dangerous (comparitely to our opinion) and much safer than i expected. the people were so friends and so hospitable. Honestly, we have much to learn from their laid back, hospitable, friendly cultures. I guess it is an issue of priorities. By the way, did you know that the phrase “Fear Not” is the most quoted phrase in the bible, found I believe 365 times. Go figure.