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01 06 2012
Marco Polo in Armenia – the female explorers of the Magma Challenge

TatevThe time was just before Shavu'ot holiday. These days, my own personal world is turning around a big project (collage sale), that its topic is about First fruits. I find my thoughts being occupied quite a lot with firstling. As the eldest daughter, that after her two sons were born, I know this place quite well and I also feel most comfortable with it. For me, elderness is not a burden at all, but a way of life instead, which I probably chose to my self.
I know how to recognize those little places and points of pleasure in new experiences, in making choices, most of the times courageous ones, and sometimes foolish ones, which defining their classification is possible only in retrospective, according to the results. This is my natural need, which is almost always backed up by the choice to turn to this one and only way that no one went through it yet, or at least nobody did it like me until now.

When I was a child, my mother encouraged me to walk and do my own way, even when it could result a bit inconvenient and also when the alternative could seem easy and tempting. "Always make a stop and ask your self if it suits you". I took this sentence with me even more seriously than what it was meant to be when it was said. Indeed it's not always an easy way to choose but it actually is a thrilling and appropriate way and it fits me just great, like no other way suits me.

I realize that I have a strong connection with people that walk other paths, private paths like those that won't be confused from all the overabundance around and still insist to pave their own way for themselves. When I identify such a partner, a potential member for a journey, I join him or her and enjoy the sharing of this journey.

My connection with the women of the Magma Challenge, last year, was a natural and strong connection. It was such a connection that only grew stronger during the past year. Brave and groundbreaking women, exploring new lands and every year they go out for an adventure journey, in a way that no other women went before them and that also none did it in that way, like they did it.

ArmeniaThe destination chosen this year is particularly magical, the Silk Road in Armenia and another small country with the name of Negorno Karabakh. A country that hardly anyone knows about it, no one really recognizes its existance, only the country itself. Sometimes it's enough, though.
It's a great privilege to discover a land so rich in natural resources, with human resources so beautiful as well, such people that only Armenians knew about them until now.

The journey takes place along the Silk Road, following traces of adventurous and brave traders and merchants who left their villages, sometimes even for a few years and went actually to the unknown. They wandered through twisting roads, gulped dramatic landscapes of snowed mountain peaks, wild forests and strong flowing rivers. Those were wild times and they used to meet bandits along the way, very clever peddlers and many other adventures and serious risks.

Those of them who succeeded these journeys, came back home with triumph and medals, mounted on double humped camels, full loaded with desirable goods, exotic spices, brilliant silk fabrics and stories that could gather a whole village to listen to them attentively. They were actually the lines of information and webs of those days, which connected the small village to the big world across the mountains.

The Magma journey to the Silk Road through Armenia and Negorno Karabakh is based on the route just mentioned. This year, for the first time in history, a delegation of Israeli women is getting there.

Road dust that explorers left behind them in ancient ways, is actually the fuel that motivates those women.
Any adventure seeker will deeply enjoy on a one-time unique opportunity to become herself into a land explorer, to walk through paths that other women never waked through and to mark a new course that other women will follow.
Once upon a time, man used to deal with trade and wandered in twisting and dangerous roads only so they can bring to their women all kind of curiosity treasures from the end of the world. On the roadsides in Armenia, instead of male peddlers of these old days, you can see nowdays female traders that produce their own merchendise in the same modes but with different people around.

Ancient traditions and knowledge that passed through generations from mother to daughter, methods of manufacture that almost vanished from the world, full loaded markets with goodies including some real treasures, that new women are about to discover and collect them on their journey.

The local domestic kitcens here are filled with all the best. This land is blessed with plenty of water and the good quality of the soil fruits serve as great raw material for home made foods, simple and good. The food in this journey is made by the management team of Magma, a very well skilled group of women that arrives to a new place, learns it through the cooking pots and they come up and bring their own cooking without missing even the smallest detail.
Local dishes add a significant flavor and it's notable in these women that they enjoy creating this experience for new women, each time.
The whole journey is built up from a compilation of thrilling and hair – raising experiences which include volunteering activities for the community, a challenging activity like sleeping in a monastery and visiting ancient road – side inns along the way called the "Caravanserai" in which traders and explorers used to rest from their journeys.

There's a lot of mistery and magic in this area and the whole journey is based on a multitude of surprises and experiences. I won't reveal them to you of course, what this journey actually conceals in it. I recommend doing it yourselves. Theres is though, one little secret that I can tell you about this year, it is that I was privileged to assist in counseling and in the sharpening of the experience. A whole experienced, creative and very well skilled team worked very hard to build the program for this journey and because I took part in it, I'm much exited to tell you about it and what an amazing experience it is, so exciting and breathtaking.

Armenia_1It is guaranteed to this lucky group of women that will have the opportunity to go on this experience that they will return home with a great gift.
The intensive interactions between 4 women in a jeep, during ten dense days and all the great experiences that are established around these interactions are magnificent and the consequences never stop being exciting and surprising even to the people who designed this project each time again and again.

Behind this project stand  the most experienced people in the country on the field of challenging journeys for women: If'at Yeger and menahem Abadi, that actually work for many years already in the management and production of brands in themes of field trips (like "Queen of the Desert", Subaru Drive and Isuzu Challenge for example). Yeger and Abadi established the Magma Company in order to create a new journey only for women, with high qualities and challenges.

Along with them, in the Magma project there are many people involved that belong to the larger management teams, like the production team, escort team, guiding team and the medical team as well, that were actually all the active human forces for many years and the executive operators of "Queen of the Desert". Those people gained a lot of professional experience along the way in the organization and production of these kinds, of field and terrain journeys and trips with the highest and best quality. They are actually a team that is able to fulfill any kind of dream of a specific experience that one can imagine.
The journeys of Magma are an example of a product that can be ignited only by a flame of genuine passion from those who will have it when participating in the making of it and will totally fall in love with it. The fire of the Magma spreads rapidly and with great power among all those who compose this gorgeous project, a project that all of it is good and beautiful.

The women that participate on this trip that lasts eleven days, are divided up to teams of three or four women per team and together they have to face different phisycal, setup and personal challenges. The journey itself is actually conducted as a competition and the winning team (which is finally selected by all the women participating in the journey) gets the right to choose other women to give them the gift to go on this great journey, free of charge for it.

Registration for travels is currently underway.
You can contact email, or phone n. 03-9796048. The registration to the journey is open to every woman from age 24 and older and it is possible also for religious and conservative women. You can find more details about the trip at the "MAGMA" area in MAKO internet site.

I recommend you to take to yourself 10 days of liberty and I invite you to a challenging confrontation with yourself and your sorroundings. There's a big chance that you'll reach the end of the world just to discover that the real world is always within you, inside yourself, wherever you go.

Translated by Raul Ernesto Cohen