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Greetings from Latitude 13° South and Longitude 77° West!

This website is your window on our curiosity. It’s where we share ideas, ask questions, interpret texts, and invite you to explore places like Peru, the Middle East and beyond. We also love ideas—we have seven academic degrees between us—so we’re almost as happy reading in a cafe as traveling the globe. As we said, our questions, arising from our travels and studies, are about history and culture, about leaders and followers, about battles and conquests, about sacred traditions and holy books. But beware: we prefer to linger with the questions than rush to an answer.

Our logo is an apacheta (or cairn) — a rock pile like those one encounters in the Andes of Peru, the sandstone highlands of Jordan, or the Sierra Nevadas of California. Sometimes they mark trails, sometimes they honor Mother Earth. Following an ancient tradition, ascending travelers add their own rock to the pile, expressing hiker solidarity and gratitude for a safe journey.
It is, for us, a symbol of ascent, of exploration, of community, and of tradition. Perhaps this website is a virtual apacheta, a rough-hewn assortment of ideas, some more jagged than others, gathered from along our path.

Alessandra exploring the Carolina forest

Alessandra Abusada, a Peruvian of Palestinian heritage, has 14 years of business experience, and a rich academic background: a BA in Economics from Universidad del Pacífico in Lima, an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, and an MA in Conflict Research & Resolution from Hebrew University (Jerusalem). A polyglot, she speaks Spanish, English, Hebrew, Arabic, French and Italian, and is working on a few more. She recently produced a video series in Spanish on the origins of the Israel-Palestine conflict. With Bruce she has co-led two Westmont semester abroad programs in the Middle East (2017, 2019) and Jerusalem Then & Now 2019.

Bruce bonding with his camel in Wadi Rum, Jordan

Bruce Fisk (Ph.D., Duke) taught in the Religious Studies department at Westmont College for almost two decades. He has led 10 international student travel programs, 7 of them in the Middle East, plus a wilderness program in California’s Sierra Nevadas. In 2019, he and Alessandra created and led Jerusalem Then & Now for adults learners. He is the author of A Hitchhiker’s Guide to Jesus: Reading the Gospels on the Ground (Baker, 2011) and other stuff, usually related to his quest for fair and responsible interpretation of the Bible.