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Cat Tales: May 2012

Posted on 31 May 2012 by brett

LIfe Back on the Road!

LIfe Back on the Road!

Ahhhhhhh…. back on the road! 

In the rear view, a much needed break was in order after 115 long hot days around Southeast Asia. Although Kevin’s death is hard to accept, it brought together several hundred people. We have a renewed appreciation for life, friends, family, and our world travel plan. 

We’ve read several books this year spanning fantasy, non-fiction, business and spirituality. One special book called A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose
was recommended by our friends Jeff & Neda. The book is written by Eckhart Tolle, “the most popular spiritual author in the United States”. For me, his perspectives on the human thought process resonated like no other. The gist is to train yourself to an always conscious “ego-less” state of being.

Awakening our Minds!

Awakening our Minds!

I’ve found myself over-thinking stuff to where unconscious thoughts “hijack” my life. I’d worry about past conversations, interactions, missed opportunities, etc. Then, forge a personal profile (ego) and an unconscious vision of my future. I felt trapped in everything but the present moment. This isn’t to say I haven’t done a decent job enjoying life, because I definitely have! The point is, there is so much more to just experience “being” than one can imagine with the unconscious mind. Basically, the past is the past and the future is completely unconscious thinking. His suggestion for coping with unconscious or stressful moments is to say to yourself, “this too will pass”. Continue Reading

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Madaba, the “City of Mosaics”

Posted on 18 May 2012 by christie

Mosaic Floor Map

Mosaic Floor Map of "Holy Land"

Madaba, 30 km southwest of the capital Amman, was our first stop in Jordan. During our stay, the Jordanian people greeted us with openness and generosity. People were happy to help with directions, share a story or teach us about their country and traditions. The hospitality we received at the Queen Ayola Hotel was like no other we experienced during our 2012 travels. Well, we can’t forget about the wonderful Shan family at the Queen Inn Hotel in Inle Lake, Burma. Maybe we should start staying at hotels with “Queen” in their name. Our experience these first two days in Jordan really made us excited about traveling throughout the rest of the country.

Madaba City Views

Madaba City Views

The quaint little town of Madaba is known for its Christian Byzantine mosaics dating back to 200 AD when the Romans conquered Jordan. The town Madaba flourished for five centuries until it was devastated by an earthquake. It was abandoned until the late 19th century when the Christians from the south in Karak migrated to Madaba. Soon thereafter they found spectacular mosaics buried beneath the rubble. The discovery included the most famous floor map of the Holy Land found in what is today St. George’s Greek Church. Continue Reading

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A Pilgrimage to Mount Nebo & the Dead Sea

Posted on 17 May 2012 by christie

For religious history buffs Mount Nebo is one of the most sacred places of pilgrimage since B.C. Most importantly it is the place where Moses looked out upon the forbidden promise land of Canaan and here he also died and is thought to be buried. Mount Nebo is an easy 10 km drive west from Mataba, the city of mosaics. The Sanctuary can be visited, including a memorial of Moses, remnants of mosaic floors of the old church as well as a small museum of artifacts. Restoration efforts were underway during our visit.

View from Nebo

View from Mt. Nebo

The summit facing the dead sea overlooking the holy land is one of the most astonishing sights. It’s easy to imagine life during biblical times. The view excited us to spontaneously visit the Dead Sea from the Jordanian side. Next week, we will swim the Dead Sea from the Israeli side after visiting the controversial “capital city” of Jerusalem. The winding desert roads below Mt. Nebo took us through Bedouin villages, abandoned fortresses and villagers herding cattle. We stared and wondered how life can be so simple? Continue Reading

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