Monday, October 20, 2008

sahara trek with Rustyn and Jesse

Sometimes you hear a voice through
the door calling you, as fish out of
water hear the waves, or a hunting
falcon hears the drum's 'come back'.

This turning toward what you deeply
love saves you.... Read the book of your
life which has been given you. A voice comes
to your soul saying, 'lift your foot; cross over;
move into the emptiness

of question and answer and question'. (Rumi)

I completed another seven day trek into the sahara with my two darling sons, Rustyn & Jesse. This was not the longest, but it was the most difficult trek I have done, even the guides struggled. The dunes were exceptionally high, and much of the trek had to be walked, as camels are often afraid when they see very high dunes and will refuse to go further.

Nature also decided we needed to see it at it's rawest. With seriously blistered feet, we encountered intense heat along with sandstorms for a day and a half. Sandstorms where you could sometimes not see while walking, so much sand in your eyes. And it was so important for me to see, as I was leading Lasfar and another camel.

One morning we discovered that a scorpion had slept in our tent with us.

Rustyn and Jesse and I fought during the first three days, it was hard, physically and emotionally. But it was amazing because we could not run away - we had to stay and face the challenges and move through them. And we did. And we are so much closer for it. Towards the end, we all were stronger, physically and emotionally. I am blessed to have them as my sons.

In spite of the difficulty, we also saw such magic and wonder. Endless dunes, sand so soft you could walk barefoot for miles in the talc like sand, we climbed mountains (both kinds), the sky crammed with stars and galaxies, golden sunsets, music and singing, swimming in the warm silky water of the hotspring at an oases after three hard days of walking. Laughing and laughing as we played in the bubbling spring, with dunes of sand around us as far as we could see.

Seeing the sheep, goats, camels and Algerian Bedouins at the well - though difficult to appreciate as we arrived in the middle of a sandstorm.

Our wonderful guides; Mohammed, who kept insisting what he did was normal, but it was SO not normal - after a full day of walking, he would prepare amazing meals - and then had the energy to sing or play gasbya. Mekki, my dear friend, who, I'm sure missed his wife so much, he is newly married. Mekki's steadiness, gentleness and humour that can be missed if you don't look. He had a knee injury, I could see it was difficult for him to walk, and he did not complain once. And Zied - Zied who helped me in so many ways - with joking, assistance, friendship.

I learned more about my sons. And appreciate them both so much more. Rustyn's endless sense of humour, found myself giggling like a schoolgirl when he cracked jokes. His charismatic video interviews. Jesse's stamina and gentle presence when I needed it so. He kept going and supported me when I struggled. How they both helped out when needed. I loved that they got closer to each other as well.

The photos will tell their own story. I am including only a few of the many many beautiful ones. Was it difficult? Yes, very. Am I blessed? Yes, very.


Lisa said...

Such a blessing....

Lorin said...

Ha, ha.....!! Dont' the boys look so good in the desert...all pimped out in white with red noses... VERY nice photos?? Juanita, hope you had / and are having a great time. Are you staying?


mtarrab lotfi said...

i'm from douz and for me it's the most wonder place in the world
thank you