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Date: Mon, 30 Nov 1998 08:30:08 +0000
From: Jon Lea & Bob Hetzel <jonfbobh@internetegypt.com>
Subject: Re: Egypt Calling!

Happy Holidays!! We just got back from a Thanksgiving break in Lebanon and Syria. Both countries are quite interesting and filled with amazing history, past and present. Beirut was heart-breaking and hopeful. To see modern buildings riddled with bullet holes and bomb damage is very humbling. Somehow it seems that we could find a better way. On the other hand, it was very hopeful to see how enthusiastically the Lebanese are trying to rebuild their country and put the past behind them. Syria was very different from the "press" accounts. Surprisingly most of the people were very friendly towards Americans. Since Syrians believe that they are the cradle of civilization (I thought Egypt was but Syrians have the first alphabet), they are very proud of their heritage and history. We had an "oriental Thanksgiving" in Old Town Demascus and spent two days wandering the Roman ruins of Palmyra.

By the way, I attended a technology fair held by the local American k-12 private school. The little first-graders are using computers for graphics, presentations and research. I dropped in on a sixth grade class that was using Power-point for one of its class presentations in history. The Middle School is putting their yearbook on CD ROM (yearbook costs $50/per person, CD ROM costs $5 and kids are more excited about developing it). I found this amusing since I had just returned from a training seminar of adults where I was trying to persuade them to use Powerpoint for their presentations. The adults had so many worries and concerns, the kids were excited and curious. When these kids hit colleges and businesses, no one will have to "sell" technology. They already have cell-phones glued to their sides and gameboys as their constant companions. It was a very informative look at the future.

I wish you all a very wonderful holiday season. Please give my best to Naomi, Betty, John and any other MCCCD buddies.

Ma Salaama,

Jon Lea

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