Priceless gifts – Wadi Musa, Jordan

The next morning we enjoyed a leisurely breakfast before heading off to visit Little Petra. We climbed in and around the smaller version of the World Wonder. It was pint size, as my Dad would say. I actually found it quite charming much less crowded ( >10 tourists in total) than the larger than life size version situated miles away. I hear you can hike from one to the other but it is a bit of a trek.

We visited the souvenir tents afterwards where we were given Coca-Cola and rug weaving lessons. I got right in there and after a couple tries, I got the hang of it. I found it quite fun but I was no match for the master who zipped through one rug in no time flat. The girls took some time to pray and shopped around a bit.

Lana discovered a very rare metal compass from 1917 with an inscription of a Robert Frost poem she loved. What an incredible find! The antiques roadshow would have a hayday with this one. When she showed me I advised her (perhaps a little too) strongly to get it. She agreed and began the sales process asking for the pricec. She was heartbroken when the old shopkeeper refused to sell it to her suddenly stubbornly insisting it wasn’t for sale. I saw her heart sink and though she tried to hide her disappointment, I could feel it a mile away. If I didn’t know better, I would have worried that my enthusiasm sabotaged the sale. But these kind honorable people don’t work that way…I knew something else was to blame for the bizarre behaviour.

We all piled into the SUV and made our way South towards Aqaba. We were not five minutes into the journey when the compass mysteriously appeared on the armrest next to Lanas unsuspecting elbow. It was a painful 30 seconds watching her completely oblivious to the surprise waiting to be found. Finally I couldn’t stand it anymore so I constructed a solution. She turned to answer my very pointed question “What ever happened with that compass back there?” absentmindedly picking up the object in her way to move it she could face me in the backseat. The look on her face when it registered that in her hand she held the very treasure she was mourning was priceless. I think a tear or two escaped the corner of my eyes. I felt so honored to be included in such a loving circle of friends. Lana who loves trip planning (my soul sister) was the mastermind behind this trip and the girls wanted to thank her by surprising her with this gift. It really couldn’t have played out better.

We continued our drive stopping in a store where I found a couple beautiful handcrafted bags (one adorned with the tree of life and the other with camels), a flag for Naders collection, and five shiny souvenir bookmarks I would hide till later. We drove a little longer then stopped by the side of the highway to have a small picnic of pita, olives and eggplant dip. It really hit the spot though I had to complete the snack with ginger cookies I had found the day before.

Grateful for surprise gifts.


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