Friday, July 07, 2006

Dead Sea Adventures


A Filipino friend of mine was just so happy to be able to visit the Dead Sea for the first time (who among our group isn’t?). He has always wanted to swim in the Dead Sea. (Float should be the more appropriate term).

He has been staying here in Israel, working as a caregiver for a septuagenarian lady (whom she affectionately calls “lola” or grandmother). Yet it’s now that she was given the chance to go there when he joined a trip organized by some peeps at the embassy.

Poor him (for his seeming ignorance?). When finally we got to the place (couldn’t remember the name – we didn’t pay for any entrance fee), he was the first to run towards the beach. Then he look back and waved at us before…guess what? He dived into the Dead Sea – head first of course!

And boy, did he surfaced back as quickly as he plunged into the waters. The next thing he knew, he was panicking and begging everyone for mineral water. His eyes got severely irritated and bloodshot. We thought he would be needing medical attention but he refused after getting himself finally settled.

I myself got some Dead Sea water going to my eyes – and it really can be irritating. The group got an hour or so of mostly floating and hanging on to the sea. There’s not much activity like water-splashing on everyone – who would dare? Still, I enjoyed it totally. Some of us joined a group of foreigners in applying dark-colored sand or soil on their body supposedly to get therapeutic or healing benefits. The sand is said to be rich in minerals and nutrients.

Everyone had a great time at the Dead Sea. Even my caregiver-friend got okay and was even able to muster enough humor to poke fun at himself. Next time he dives into the Dead Sea, he said he won’t forget his goggles.

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