Subject: Israel & Egypt trip
Hi, Carol,

I envy you your trip to Israel & Egypt. Way back in 1965 four friends and I took a side trip from a 6-month Europe tour that included Egypt, Jordan, and Israel.

As brief background this was two years before the "7-day war" and Jerusalem was a divided city. We chose to visit Egypt and Jordan first so that we could get Israel stamped in our passport. If we had visited Israel first, the passport stamp was out as we could not then visit the Arab countries. I think this is still true but only for Arab countries other than Egypt or Jordan, who now have full diplomatic relations with Israel.

After all these years many vivid memories remain of the Middle East and some that stand out relate to the Israeli section of your trip.

* Travelling through the Negev desert by regular bus. The bus had two guards for the trip - young Israeli soldiers with machine guns (Uzis, I presume). What got me was that they were female, something commonplace today but new to my young NA eyes then.

* Stopping in Beersheva and seeing a Bedouin market -great people watching!

* Staying at a youth hostel in Eilat. There were many kibbutzniks holidaying there and I'll never forget their singing and dancing around a campfire at night. Such joy! They also were talking about incidents in which kibbutzim were shelled from the Golan Heights. In retrospect, I see that their revelry reflected living life to the fullest when life is constantly at risk. Something we should all do, regardless.

You mentioned "almost snowmobile time in N. Idaho" See outside our window today. Snow has come early to our part of the world:

Cheers, Pat