iight, sooo I am SUPER tired, but the internet just began working full-throttle for the time-being, and I finally have a few hours to spare for once in the past few days, AND the conference begins tomorrow so I am taking advantage of spending some quality time with Y-O-U.
(update for those out of the loop, I am currently in Jerusalem for the second night before heading to a conference tomorrow that focuses on learning about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict on ground, and the prospects of peace regarding such complicated issues. The conference is based out of Bethlehem, but we will be going to and from other cities such as Hebron, back into Jerusalem, refugee camps somewhere (not sure where yet), etc. (if you are just dying to know where I am supposed to be at all times feel free to ask for the itinerary! firstname.lastname@example.org))
After spending 17 hours in transit, I arrived in Jerusalem last night (after a VERY interesting encounter with a Ukrainian gentleman on my first flight – ask me about it later if you want…) and jumped on an opportunity to tour Masada (one of King Herod’s fortresses), the Dead Sea, Jericho, the Mount of Temptation, the Sycamore Tree and… some other stuff, as much as I REALLY want to see more of Jerusalem – I am banking on seeing more of it a bit later in the conference where I perhaps wouldn’t have been able to experience what I did today.
Basically that’s all I’ve done thus far – no intellectual/political stuff… although I will say that because of what I knew going into Israel, and going into Palestine, and speaking to various people that live in the different places – the politics are everywhere.
I’ve only been here 24 hours and already have encountered plenty of individuals visiting on Birth Right, Palestinian locals willing to open up about their lives, and dozens upon dozens of Christian tourists here to see the Holy Land (– poor innocent souls, if only they knew). The reactions from those whom I chose to tell the truth to about why I’m here has varied as well from cold to hot – but one thing is clear, I actually can’t wait to stop being an innocent tourist and start really diving into why I am here.
Here’s for tomorrow,
G’night and sweet dreams!
p.s. hummus and falafal are FANfreakingtastic – come dine with me :))
Flight into Kiev, my transfer city
Posters lining the exit from BenGurion Airport into Tel Aviv
View from outside Hostel, in Jerusalem
More of the view
Breakfast - miss it, H & J? (I'd also note that the touch of Canadian in the top left was mine - don't get excited that we've extended Timmie's influence that far ;))
The Dead Sea, viewed from Masada
View from the fortress, you may note the mountains in these pictures - all are from across the Dead Sea and are the shores of Jordan.
Jewish Birth Right trip group
Israeli sign where we were floating in the dead sea...
I had as difficult a time as this guy - the rocks are SO sharp from the salt plastered to the rocks...
...as you can kind of see the blood running down my feet onto my ankles from them!
The wretched but wickedly cool looking rocks.
Moi nursing my bleeding feet in the salt water
One exciting thing I discovered was this man with his shirt up - the phenomena of pot-bellied men rubbing their bellies has made it from China, to Macedonia, and down to the Holy Land - I am at the point of no longer even being shocked when I see one.
At the entrance to Jericho - Palestinian key representing the keys and deeds many still hold to their demolished homes and taken land. The words on this key say "We Will Return"
View from the Mount of Temptation - these guys were picking up garbage on the way out of this ravine - don't know why they were there..
Palestinian tourist artisan - pretty neat, had a sweet convo with him.
Greek Orthodox Monastery built into the caves of the Mount of Temptation.
Ruins with smoke from a few explosions - DON'T WORRY Mom, I really don't think it was dangerous!
Polish friends I met and had a little birthday party with for their Grandma :)
Banana Farm that I wandered off to peek around.
Fabulous Fresh Falafel
Sycamore tree - over 2000 years old... apparently the tree Zacchaeus climbed..
This Much I <3 You