Sophia's Peace Work

Friday, October 08, 2004

Goodbye to Baghdad

It was a beautiful morning in Baghdad and Abbas, my driver to the airport, drove me down a long section of the Tigris River. It was sad to say goodbye to the River, to Baghdad, and to good friends but it's time to go. I was thankful to arrive at the airport without incident ... the road to the Baghdad InternationalAirport is always being attacked because Camp Victory, (Americans do come up with the silliest names for their military bases), is located nearby. I've never been to Camp Victory but I believe that it is located at another one of Saddam's palaces, which was built near the airport).

It was a routine flight aboard a small, propeller plane with AirServe, an airline that offers cheap flights to NGO staff. (I'm told that propeller planes are safer since their engines generate less heat than the Jets do ... always a good thing when you are trying to avoid those pesky heat-seaking missiles). To avoid any attacks they do a steep take off followed by tight corkscrew turns directly above the terminal until they reach the right altitude.

The flight over the Iraqi and Jordanian deserts was just a short hour and a half jump, with just a slightly bumpy landing. I passed through Jordanian Customs and Immigration without incident, haggled a bit with a taxi driver and made it back to my old hangout here in Jordan ... the rather dingy and dinged up but very friendly Al Monzer hotel. I've got a few things to wrap up tomorrow ... and alot of Za'atar (yummy spices), Freekeh (a turkish grain that make a mean breakfast), and olives to buy. Then I fly back to NYC on Sunday.

I can hardly believe it. I'm going home.

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