We've been back from the Footsteps of the Prophets trip for about 10 days now, and I've had some time to reflect upon my experiences. I'm kind of sad that it's over. Yes, I was exhausted by the end and ready to go home, but I miss seeing amazing sites every day, having three wonderful professors being such a calming and constant presence in my life, and always having friends at my side to talk to and experience new things with. I was constantly with the same 14 people for 14 days, and then everyone went their separate ways. The trip was life-changing, and by experiencing it with that group of people, we formed a unique bond.
People back home are eager to hear about my trip. I've talked with my acupuncturist, boss, and bank teller about the experience and what I learned. That was one of the goals of the trip, to be able to take our experiences and share them with people back home. I've told them about the Israeli, Palestinian, and Turkish people I met, and how hospitable they all were despite religious differences. I've told them about my impressions of the religious sites and the military presence.
The course brought a number of different issues to my attention. Through lectures, readings, conversations, and experience, I learned about religion, culture, history, and politics. I learned a lot about political science which was unexpected, but political science and religion are very much related and one cannot be studied without consideration given to the other. I learned about the political climate of the Middle East and the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. I had an amazing time on the trip and it was life changing in my understanding of politics, religion, and interfaith relationships.