Monday, June 13, 2011

Camels...who knew?

Last weekend we went out to the Badia, or the desert. I was expecting tents, fires, holes for toilets, and a lot of nothing. As it turns out, the Badia is home to many wealthy Jordanians. Slash, the contact we have from out there, is from a very powerful family that owns several wells worth millions of dollars. The Badia, as I came to learn, is a series of small villages about an hour outside of Amman. Most people out there are related to each other somehow. They are more traditional than the folk in Amman. So you get an idea of what it's like:

The people of the Badia have homes just like (or better) than the homes in Amman, yet they set up tents outside their homes for social events. There is no furniture - only carpet lines the floor. In the middle there is pit with hot coals to heat the coffee, which is passed around in a small glass. (We, of course, did not perform this custom, but it was interesting to learn about.) They'll eat and dance the night away in these little tents. It would have been a perfect, relaxing afternoon if it weren't for the swarm of flies attacking my face 80 times per second.

Yes, this is in the Badia. Orchards of apricots and grapes dotted the landscape. I never thought I would see anything "lush" in Jordan, but this trip proved me wrong.

So we to see the camels. Here we see a mother with her newborn child. These camels were very mellow.

Then we met Bruiser. This guy had a big attitude to go with his big body. Slash introduced us to the beast, put a rope around his neck, and challenged us to ride him.

First step: have the camel sit. This things are substantially taller than horses, so it is imperative that they sit down. Slash gave me the rope and told me to tug in a downward motion to tame the camel-ion stallion. Bruiser didn't take me seriously and kept jerking back, almost to the point of lifting me off of the ground.
With some serious help, I finally got Bruiser to sit. Then I got ready...

...and mounted. Notice that these camels only have one hump. Am I the only person in the world who assumed most camels had two? As it turns out, the two-humped camels are the least abundant on Earth. You can imagine how awkward riding these things can be, especially for males. It was actually quite comfortable...until my adrenaline wore out and my nerves regained their sensitivity.

Victory. You sit on their back hips, hold onto their thick back hair, and hit them with a stick now and then. And that's how you ride a camel (and get completely nasty hands that smell like camel).

After taming Bruiser we visited another location with female camels. This darling is pregnant. We called her Sofia.

It took a random field in Jordan for me to finally understand Sting.

We went to a place called Black Mountain, which really was just a hill of volcanic rock. It was beautiful. And we were near Syria. I conquered camels and death on this quick trip.


Tyler, Brooke, Britain and Braden said...

You sure look handsome in these pics, nice to know you haven't lost your touch! So, riding that camel is the most awkward looking positiion...glad you had someone take pics of you!

ginger said...

Brady, this is awesome.
Sorry it's taken me so long to reply on your blog. You do look very handsome.
Why are you wearing a white button up shirt for casual wear though? It looks as though you could easily slip off these camels. Do lots of people really use them for ride?