[Belated] Thoughts upon descent

We’ll be posting photos soon from the adventures of today and our travels to the Za’atari refugee camp. However, as our beleaguered students process the weighty experience and put thoughts to paper, here is some thoughts from the flight to Jordan.

After rallying for a brief coffee, a few giggle filled reunions, and a quick group brief. our slightly raccoon eyed banded boarded our flight into Jordan. As we took our seats for the flight, I turned to one of my classmates.

“How are you doing?”

“Okay. We’re hitting the ground running aren’t we?” she said, scanning the itinerary for the next week.

“Yep. This is the closest I’ve come to jumping into the unknown and checking my parachute on the way day.”

“I know how you feel.”

Now to be clear, our leaders have plans, contingency plans, and back ups. What is unknown to us students not unknown to those leading us. Read: Don’t freak out mother.

Yet, for me, this trip breaks so many norms it feels almost surreal. New people. New places. New languages. New Stories. New Food. A new appreciation for the storage power of zip lock bags.

I’ve never owned a backpack before in my life. My life now fits into a neon orange adventure pack. I’ve never lived in another country for more than a month. I’m about to become a highly intellectual vagabond. I’ve never grown any facial hair before. A slightly mangy forest has begun to take shape on my face (not all changes may necessarily be for the best).

Before our parting, my friend Isabel gave me a note book which she titled “There and Back Again: An Olson’s tale.” For those who have not had the pleasure to read works of Tolkien, Isabel’s title refers to a tome written by the protagonist of “The Hobbit”, Bilbo, who writes down his adventure in a record he names “There and Back Again: A Hobbit’s Tale.” I find the words of the wise little hobbit fitting as I think about the coming week. Paraphrased, Bilbo says “You must be careful stepping out your door, Frodo, for once you take to that path, you never know where you feet will take you.

We arrive in Jordan in a little under an hour from the time I write this. My body clock is more confused then a sloth on red bull. Yet our feet are on now planted on the path. No amount of rethinking or doubting can change that. Let us see where our feet will take us.