18 July 2006

Flight into the Wilderness



We are in Amman Jordan, in a very lovely hotel. If there ever was a time to stop worrying about our safety, it is now. We will be fine, and very likely, soon in North Carolina.

Our hotel is located at the edge of the Dead Sea. It is about as super luxurious as the one we left.

The drive here was completely awful. We were not informed of our departure plans until 4:15 on Monday morning, at which point we were told to be packed and ready to board busses at 7:30. We were not told our destination or any other details. Travel was safe, but it took us several hours at the boarders (Lebanon/Syria and Syria/Jordan) for every part of the process to leave/arrive.

I now have a lot of new and really great stamps in my passport, but we paid dearly for them. Being stuck in a bus for 24 hours was part of that payment, but the toll all this has taken on the girls is also significant. And about the girls; we were expecting to handle our girls together and we were expecting the journey to take about half that long , but that task fell almost entirely to me. Matthew was asked to manage our entire Bus. He was almost constantly busy (coordinating with security control, communicating with the other busses, gathering and transmitting information about the passengers, desperately trying to get the people to fill out their transit paperwork properly, etc. etc.). He did a great job. And frankly, so did I.

So we got here shortly after seven, I think, and we have a nice room that is sadly without any accomodation for babies or children. We have no idea if we will even stay the night here. When I bought the internet card that is making this post possible, I heard the UN Security people request use of a conference room in our Hotel for today at 4. Maybe there will be news of the next step. But for all we know, they are interested in getting the Staff out of here to their end destinations as soon as possible. It is my understanding that as soon as a flight to the US is available, they will put us on it--whether or not we have gotten any sleep.

I am having a hard time reconciling the very five-star expereince I have had during this blocade/war/evacuation with all the stories I've heard about how these things have played out in the past. I've been inconvenienced and quite a lot, but nothing more extreme. I find myself very worried about our things, books, art, dishes. I wonder if I will ever see my own bed again. Will our things be there when we get back? Will we be robbed again? What if they take my wedding china? Does it even matter? I hate that the thought of losing these things bothers me so much, but it really does.

8 comments:

GR said...

I don't think there is anything wrong with having a personal attachment to material possesions. Most people and devestated after a fire detroys their house. Memories and such are tied to those "things" and they can mean a lot to people. But I think the important piece here is that you didn't refuse to leave Beruit to make sure they remained safe. Your first priority was your families' saftey - and that was the right decision. Don't feel bad about worring about your stuff, because your primary mission - the saftey of your family - you don't have to worry about anymore. Just my two cents - take it as being over-valued!

Vatti said...

Hope you are able (or can) get some sleep before the next phase. Your choice of title is appropriate when I think of others who have basically left everything without knowing if they would ever see it again. What we take with us is so much more than what we leave behind....

Ethan said...

Amy and I are glad to know that you guys are safe.

Anonymous said...

Mary Ann-

I'm so happy that you guys made it out. It's a tremendous relief to me.

The whole thing is so sickening and heartbreaking. I'm curious about how you guys explained everything to Stella (and Danielle, but..)

I hope that you guys get to come home soon.

-Amy

katperkins said...

Sounds pretty exhausting. I remember when I moved/got kicked out of the house I had to leave a lot of stuff behind and throw away a lot of stuff. It really makes you decide what is important in your life. Now that I'm "on my own" and don't have to bunk with other people's families, I'm completely attached to everything I own. I can't imagine having to narrrow it down to 15 kilos for me. I hope you start to feel better and hopefully the visits with family that are coming up with help and not worsen your fragile state.

joe said...

i hope you get the bee lights back.. :(

suz said...

i dont have a lot of valuable posessions, but i do have things that could be termed 'priceless', like notes from friends, concert ticket stubs, pictures, records/cds.... i think i'd feel pretty empty without them, and i can understand why you miss them. i'm with gr- you got the really important stuff out, but it's still ok to miss the little things.

Anonymous said...

joe, hte ligths are flies...and they are...well...lets not get into that...

Mary Ann, I think it is perfectly normal to worry about those things, when I told Iris monday night that you are being evacuated out of Lebanon first thing she said: "but what about their stuff?" I think when a person expiriences stress, he or she tends to focus on things that are important when everything is normal. I was once at a gas station, heard a bang and when I turned( I swear all of this happend in slow motion like in a movie) a car flipped over the hood of another car it had hit, sommersaulted and rolled 2 more times befor it came to a stop on its wheels, the drivers door opened, a girl got out, started screaming and shaking and then dropped to the ground. First thing she said while a carpool of ER nurses who had just finished their shift started checking her were:

1. Where is my purse?
2. Somebody has to call the so and so bar and tell them I'll be late for work.

yeah...right...

Well and as GR said, a lot of your personal history is tied to those things. Well. Your branch president has your photo albums, right? Maybe you could get him a key to your apartment if things went completly wrong he could try to ship your most favorite things(once that is possible again) and maybe things will calm down and you are back in 4 weeks. I told Jerrold the sick part of me wants to know what it feels like to live in a city that is being bombed, but the sick part of me also wants to know what a big earthquake feels life. Jerrold having expirienced the last big one in LA just thinks I am nuts and says I do not know what I am talking about. Well, to finally stop the ramblings. Being here in complete oblivion we are glad to know you are on your way to what all of us consider safety. I hope you get to have a 2 day "vacation" out of this at the Mövenpick...Karin

PS: Sunday is the last time we meet in our new building 30th of July is the first time in the new one! Hooray! AC in the chapel and RS-Room!