After arriving in southern Iraq about a week ago, I noticed a striking similarity to my first trip in northern Iraq last summer: being graciously welcomed by everyone we met. I can’t say that I was surprised by the Iraqi hospitality (it’s great everywhere we go) but I certainly enjoyed it.
One thing that did surprise me, however, was how similar some parts of southern Iraq are to my home in southeast Georgia.
On our day off from working at the hospital, we traveled to the ziggurat at Ur, the city where Abraham started his sojourn, and to the marshes outside of the city. Okay, so maybe there aren’t any huge ziggurat pyramids in southeast Georgia, but there are definitely marshes. Our hosts arranged for us to be taken out onto the water in canoes- I could easily have forgotten where I was while looking out over the beautiful landscape.
Of course, turning to the right and seeing a boatload (literally) of our Iraqi friends laughing and taking pictures reminded me I wasn't in Kansas--I mean Georgia--anymore. Still, between being near my familiar marshes and the incredible hospitality, I keep feeling more and more at home here in southern Iraq.