Today I was so tired! This jet lag thing is a beast.This is the outdoor wing where are rooms are located.
Our director, bless his heart, has the most soothing voice and we were all asleep half of orientation. We were divided up into groups of ten yesterday and taken for a tour of the city. It reminds me a lot of Athens last summer. There is a city-code that requires everything that is built to be covered with white limestone. East Jerusalem is seething with ancient history and merchants of every sort. Lots of foreign smells, lots of Arabic being spoken, quite a few slimy guys, you know, the works. The trippy thing was walking along and our teacher pointing out, “There is the road to ge to the Garden of Gethsemene and here is the Garden Tomb that you can come back and visit. We are walking down the Via Dolorosa..” Excuse me?? It’s unreal. They have these juice stands on the corners where they fresh-squeeze oranges, apples, bananas, plumbs and especially pomegranates. I tried some pomegranite juice and found my new obsession! We also ate bread from off the street. They sell spices by the kilo and you just go get a loaf of bread and a little bag of Thyme (it’s called Zahar, here) and sprinkle it in the bread. It’s is an interesting taste…very raw. It was great to be in East Jerusalem during Ramadan because most of the Muslims are inside fasting and the streets were much less crowded than usual.
Mostly what stuck out to me yesterday is that Jerusalem was a major religious and political hub even before Christ and when He came, healing the people and preaching the Word, I see how he would have met a lot of resistance. It's pretty amazing how the city is divided up! You can feel the atmosphere change as you walk through the different quarters (Arab, Jewish, Christian and Armenian). Even more abrupt was the change from East Jerusalem to West Jerusalem! More on that, later.
I have to go to an internet cafe if I'm going to post pictures because the large files clog up the internet here at the JC, but I do have that on the agenda, so you can expect some soon!
Over and Out.