Fred lived in Amman, Jordan from age six through ten. (OK, most of the time, not counting two six-month evacuations, first to Beirut, Lebanon – Suez war of 1956 – and then to Rome, Italy – Iraqi Revolution of 1958.) Jordan in the mid to late 1950’s was, in many ways, a magical place for a young child and certainly triggered Fred’s lifelong interest in history and religion. It is one of the ironies of the Foreign Service that Fred then went on to spend his entire career in Latin America and Africa, rather than in the Middle East or Asia, where he grew up. One of the goals in the design of Ndeke Luka was an orbit of the Mediterranean Sea, or at least a return to Jordan. Sadly, conditions in Syria and Libya have ruled this out, at least for the immediate future. So, we had to reconsider!
Our story began when Denise noticed that Cunard was offering exceptional prices from Dubai to Southampton, stopping at Aqaba, in Jordan. And the Queen Elizabeth would be stopping in Istanbul and Malta, places that Denise had visited or lived when younger. Hmmm, that would allow a visit to Petra but you can’t go to Petra and spend only one day … By the time the dust settled, Cunard had agreed to let us board in Jordan. And a colleague from our days in Bolivia chimed in that if we were going all the way to Jordan, then we had to come visit her in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
And so the question, “Can you go home again?” Herewith our answer.