Monday, March 4, 2013

Field Trip to al Salt

A group of friends, parishioners, and a Monday morning coffee group gathered at Cozmo market at 7th Circle this morning to make a field trip to al Salt. Salt was once regarded as an unofficial capital of Jordan. It was expected to become the capital of the monarchy, the city elders made it known that the king and his people were unwelcome. Therefore, Amman was settled as the capital. Salt is 40 minutes northwest of Amman. The city has many pleasant features.

The first stop was to St. George church nestled into a residential area of town. It is dedicated to St. George because of the many miracles attributed to him. Priests and people of prayer often said they heard the footsteps of George's horse, which often preceded a cure. The church has been in use for centuries, but it also was excavated to reveal a beautiful soft stone and cement church interior.

Icons line the wooden veil to the sanctuary and tabernacle. An icon of Mary of Egypt exists. She is reputed to be a prostitute who reformed and sought communion with the church.

Upon leaving St. George's church, we stopped by the excavations on another Roman church and its cemetery. We were able to hear facts about the church from the outside of the gate.

We spent the bulk of the day visiting the Holy Land Institute for the Deaf. It is the most advanced school in the Middle East for its type of work. While it is prosperous-appearing, it does not a great amount of funds to keep it going. Family contributions equal 5% of the operating costs. It is a remarkable institution that does not distinguish between the faiths. Prayer is done jointly and respects both traditions.

The school primarily serves children who are hearing or seeing impaired and also provides services for those with disabilities. They say that the students never have a communication problem, only a language problem. Interesting. We who can hear and speak have both, which complicates life. These students are industrious and creative. They sell some of their hand-made crafts in their gift shop and they produce furniture and other products by commission.

Walking into the lunchroom was a lot of fun.

To see photos of our trip, click on the link below:

1. Pics of al Salt
2. Pics of the cemetery field in al Salt
2. Pics of the Holy Land Insitute for the Deaf

2 comments:

  1. Your day sounds wonderful and the pictures are amazing. I really like what you wrote that the "students never have a communication problem, only a language problem". That is so insightful - I volunteered with the hearing impaired for a few years and that was certainly the case.

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    1. It was a very nice day. Salt is an intriguing city. I found out that a deaf Jesuit from my province did a long formation experiment at the Institute for the Deaf.

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