We Can’t Go Back Now: Tunisia, Egypt, Syria

When my husband, Martin and I served in the Peace Corp in l989, in Tunisia, we learned the language and studied the culture, while traveling through much of the country. Our sites included a tour of the ruins at Carthage. We became familiar with Mid-Eastern cuisine and were able to prepare a good Tunisian couscous. Stateside, we managed to substitute foods that were available for a Tunisian meal.  We are in contact with many life-long friends. But we can’t go to Tunisia now.

On a trip to Egypt, we immersed ourselves in Egyptian mythology.  At the museum in Cairo we saw the mummified remains of the pharaohs and other rulers of ancient times. While cruising the Nile between Cairo and Luxor we witnessed people swimming in the Nile River without any fear of crocodiles. There supposedly were thousands of crocodiles walled on the other side of the Aswan Dam. However, when we visited the Aswan Dam, not a single croc showed its face. We can’t go to Egypt today.

A three- day excursion to Damascus, Syria, was included in a visit to Jordon and Israel. We combed the shouk, hunting for special spices that friends and relatives requested. Marty and I walked through the entire old city and quenched our thirst with marvelous mango drinks. When people learned that we were from the U.S., we were welcomed.  We can’t go to Syria now.


30 thoughts on “We Can’t Go Back Now: Tunisia, Egypt, Syria

    • Thanks, Lisa. You saw a bit of the world other than from the seat of a bicycle.We should be able to do more travelling.

  1. Pingback: We Can’t Go Back Now: Tunisia, Egypt, Syria | cyclingrandma

  2. I agree. I remember taking World History in High School. I passed because I knew Biblical history. The fact that many of these sites have been damaged is heartbreaking. i had hoped to travel to all these places. We can continue to strive for a goal of world peace.

  3. Luckily, you can go back to Israel, if you so wish, and see a continuation of that ancient culture as it adds life, culture and innovation to the present day world.

  4. Dear Barbara, The world doesn’t always seem to be progressing in a positive way. Nevertheless I think it is impressive that you and Marty were able to balance family responsibilities and public service so successfully and had fun too. Incidentally, I received yesterday a travel brochure from my college alumni association describing a trip to Myanmar next fall. So, although Egypt, Tunisia and Syria can no longer be visited, we can go to Burma! Glad you too are safely back from Wyoming. I’m off to Atlanta tomorrow. Warm regards and love, Robert

  5. Beautiful memories…against the current backdrop of mankind’s inability to coexist harmoniously. The Peace Corps has been a great attempt at resolving the seemingly impossible. hugs for serving…

  6. Thanks for sharing your experiences and thoughts!

    Ditto to the expressions of sadness expressed by others about the constraints that exist between countries. Not that constraints between countries haven’t always existed. I recall going to East Berlin, through Check Point Charlie, before the Berlin Wall was toppled. I also remember visiting the DMZ in Korea and listening to the propaganda spewed from the North and that was manifested in the museum located on the South Korean side of the Zone. It just seems to me that we humans have always found reasons and ways to separate ourselves. I suppose one lesson for me is to take advantage of and cherish every opportunity that comes my way.

  7. Barbra, I deeply admire the service you and your husband have rendered via the Peace Corp. I wanted to join the Peace Corp; but couldn’t because I had served in the military. So, I have looked for other ways to change the world for good.

  8. Pingback: Say “Ah” | bestofbarbara

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