|Elaine enjoying animal crackers bought at the Duty Free Shop at the Allenby Crossing|
|Heading into Mt Nebo with Doc and Sister Peterson|
|Class pic at the Mount Nebo overlook, looking towards the Promised Land as Moses did|
|Pictures of kings from the royal Hashemite family of Jordan hanging in Madaba|
Our guides were anxious to get us to the church first and the restaurant second because of some troubles in the town that they were aware of. Sometime last week, intertribal fighting had resulted in a man's death, and his tribe was seeking satisfaction. Just hours after we left, security forces closed the town down because of rioting, but all was quiet while we were there.
|Inside the modern church of St. George in Madaba|
|A portion of the ancient mosaic map preserved in the floor of St. George's|
|Detail of Byzantine Jerusalem found on the map|
|Elaine was amused by these Arab barbies on sale on the streetside in Madaba|
|Machaerus lies on top of this conical hill top|
It is quite a hike up to the top of the high hilltop where the remains of Machaerus lie, the first of several long hikes that took Elaine by surprise, particularly because of the oppressive heat. But at the top we had a nice devotional together after I told the students the history of the site. We talked about the mission of John the Baptist and why, as the immediate forerunner and witness of Jesus, he was "the greatest of all the prophets." We talked about his connections to Elijah, his courage in preaching repentance (even at the risk of his life), and his post mortal career as the one who restored the Aaronic Priesthood to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery. We then sang "Faith of Our Fathers."
|Some of the students during our devotional|
|Class pic at Machaerus|
|Elaine found some shade during the devotional!|
|The first time we have gotten away together in over 10 months!|
|John and Blake reenacting the beheading of John the baptist|
The Drive to Wadi Musa
We then had a long drive ahead of us, some on back desert roads and finally on a (fairly) modern highway down to our hotel in Wadi Musa, next to tomorrow's site at Petra. On the way we stopped for some pictures of the stunning view of the sun setting on the desert horizon.