This afternoon the kids and I played sidekick to Owen on his survey project at Tall Safut. He was walking around the site taking GPS points, from which he will reconstruct the top plans and etcetera...Safita helped him with this task, and was a fantastic assistant.
Jack wandered around making stone pizzas and dirt soup in any spare bottle cap he could find. I was in charge of the glorious (but important) job of cleaning weeds off the tops of excavated walls for pictures that will be taken in the next few days. Unfortunately, I didn't accomplish very much due to frequent requests to taste the aforementioned pizza and soup, amidst tending to other needs of the small ones. They really did splendidly, though; we were quite impressed with them. Safita, adorably, was practically giddy over daddy.
The sunset and dusk from atop Safut were amazingly spectacular! The site overlooks the Bekaa Valley, so we watched the villages of the valley slowly sparkle to life while the sky burned beautiful deep tones of red, orange, to deep pink, to heathery purple. At one point, we were serenaded by a surround-sound of the call to prayer, broadcast from numerous minarets all around the site and down through the valley. It was kind of majestic, with sunset, and the wind, and the twinkling lights, and the echo of the valley. Jack got excited about the "scary green prayer" and had fun counting all the minarets he could spot. There were at least 10 in close proximity, and countless more throughout the valley. Sadly, we forgot our good camera and only had the point-and-shoot, so the pictures just don't do it justice.
The young man who farms the plot of land at the foot of the tell came up after a while to keep us company, and before we left brought us a bounty of his crop--I'm not sure what the name of it is, but it's some sort of cross between cucumber, zucchini, and summer squash. It's tasty. We ate it with our falafel dinner, which Jack requested on the way home. (We're so proud when our 2-year-old son requests falafel or shawerma for dinner! He also loved the cucumber/zucchini thingies and ate them heartily.)