Kathy and I had to kind of rush away on Saturday, but we spent the last two days visiting with her friends Ya’alah and Netanel. And our friend Laura is ALSO visiting them so we got to visit with her, too! Hurray!
In one picture Laura’s face looked silly and in another Ya’alah was scratching her head, so Kathy cropped them out. In this picture Laura is sharing her sweetie with me. They are a cross between a grapefruit and a pomelo.
One of the things Kathy and I have enjoyed doing most this month is feeding the team’s compost to the ducks and geese from the shop that is the only other building on our street that isn’t locked up. They really like rotten tomatoes and they REALLY think the parts of cauliflower that humans don’t eat are yummy.
On Friday, Kathy, our teammate JoAnn and I went out to the Beqa’a Valley to visit her friends Atta and Rodeina Jaber and their children. Their daughters Dalia and Lara were helping them make dibs. At the end of the grape harvest, all the grapes that aren’t the very best grapes get put in a pot and boiled and boiled into syrup called dibs and it is YUMMMY! Especially when you mix it with tahini. Normally you visit, and then tea comes out and some snacks and maybe a little dinner and then coffee. Well for our visit, tea, thyme bread and coffee all came out in the space of about 20 minutes, and then Atta’s brother called to tell him that soldiers were shutting down the roads because so many Israeli settlers were coming in for a special occasion in Hebron, and JoAnn and Kathy and I had to leave right then. We missed out on a lot of yumminess and a good time with our friends!
Well I guess Kathy and I had better finish packing. I hear there are storms in the Netherlands. Hope they’re gone by the time Kathy and I land. Goodbye Palestine! Goodbye Israel! We will miss you!
I don’t know why Kathy decided to take a picture of this earlier in the month when she was in East Jerusalem. But Kiwi-fried chicken doesn’t really sound all that yummy.
Every time Kathy and I come to Hebron we always spend at least one evening with the Sharabatis. Hisham Sharabati is the first friend Kathy and CPT made in Hebron. He and his wife Nariman have five children, Abed, Tamer, Wi’am, ShuShu and Adam.
When Kathy saw Adam last time he was a newborn. Now he is almost 2! His favorite toy is his bouncing ball.
He didn’t like it very much when his brothers Wi’am and Tamer tried to get a picture with me and him and his ball.Nariman cooked a yummy dinner. We started with freekeh. It’s a soup made with green wheat. MMMMMM! Then we had roast chicken and potatoes and a salad. YUMMMMY!
Tamer finished his dinner before the rest of us and he asked if I could go play with him and his motorcycle. Then Wi’am joined us. It was fun!
Then ShuShu and I played with Adam’s backpack!
Abed, Tamer and ShuShu got their homework finished, but Wi’am sometimes has a hard time focusing and getting his work done. Kathy helped him a little with his English homework. I helped him with his Arabic homework. Kathy asked him if I spoke Arabic. He said I didn’t, but I could help him erase stuff. Well, that’s all for now. Kathy was tired because she had been up since 5:30 for school patrol and she had to get up early again the next day I guess ShuShu was tired too.
I have been at SO MANY MEETINGS with Kathy the last two weeks. The team in Hebron has been learning about Nonviolent Communication and is in Bethlehem this week making plans for its work next year and it’s interesting if you’re human I guess, but I’d rather be out having fun.
So while Kathy’s in meetings I thought I’d talk about some yummy foods I’ve been eating.
About a week ago, some German Mennonites stopped by and Kathy talked to them about Hebron, then they took us out to lunch at our favorite chicken and salad place! Konrad, the leader of the group who’s wearing the shirt with the peace sign worked for Mennonite Voluntary Service in Cincinnati, Ohio. I especially liked the pink salads!
The next night Gabriel, who’s from Santa Catarina in Brazil made some yummy macaroni and cheese for dinner and a special Brazilian dessert called brigadeiro made of cocoa, butter and condensed milk. Then he stuck eight spoons in it and we ate about half of it. Gabriel finished the rest the next day. Here’s a picture of Maarten an JoAnn eating some with me.
Cory had some days off and went to Tel Aviv in Israel and found some custard fruit in a shop there. It was her favorite fruit when she lived in India. This one wasn’t really ripe, but it was still VERY yummy. Cory says when they’re really ripe they taste and feel just like custard in your mouth. I really, really, really want to eat a very ripe custard fruit. Patrick, our teammate from Wales says they look like dragon poop.
Well, that’s all for now. We had a day off from the strategic planning and stuff happened, but Kathy forgot the camera cord for downloading pictures.
Well it was quite a trip here! it took 26 hours to fly from Rochester to Detroit to New York to Nice (that’s pronounced “Niece” so I liked it a lot, because Kathy’s nieces were the first ones that introduced us) to Tel Aviv. Kathy spilled pumpkin spice latte on herself in Rochester and almost forgot her coat and computer cord. In New York at JFK airport, the server dropped her organic wheat crust and hormone free cheese pizza on the floor, but then said Kathy could have a free Fiji water. The bottle said it had a uniquely soft mouthfeel because it was filtered through volcanos, but Kathy was thinking that drinking water flown from Fiji to New York probably left a pretty big carbon imprint, but then her new teammate Corey Lockhart told her that in an airport it’s probably silly to worry about a bottle of water’s carbon footprint.
In Nice, Kathy was just going to take a little nap, because the seats let you lie down, but she ended up sleeping four hours.
You could see the Mediterranean Sea from the waiting room!
Our first night in Hebron, Tarek cooked a yummy meal of fish, potato, onions and salad. To my left is Joanne from Chicago, Corey from Kentucky, Mona from Ramallah, Palestine (She’s the team coordinator), Tarek–originally from Bethlehem, Palestine and now from Washington, DC (He’s the Palestine Project Support Coordinator), Gabriel from Santa Catarina, Brazil, Martin from the Netherlands and Alwyn from England.
Tarek also brought some yummy Turkish delight! People will understand Narnia better, Kathy thinks, if they eat this.
That’s all for now! Adults might want to check out my new twitter account @Markie4peace.
I will soon be leaving for a field assignment with Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT). For those of you who don’t know me well, I work most of the year for CPT from my home in Rochester, NY, editing releases from workers staffing our projects in Iraqi Kurdistan, Colombia, North American Indigenous communities, etc.
At least once a year, however, I spend some time in the field, so I am alerting my blog readers that I will soon be shifting my writing into a more political mode (maybe I should say “even more political.”)
Those of you who know me well know why I am not going to go into great detail here about the whens, wheres, whys and hows of my travel. I will post more of an explanation for those of you who don’t once I get to my destination. Those of you given to prayer—I would appreciate prayers for an open and loving heart should I encounter people on my journey who don’t want me to get to where I’m going.
I will have my traveling companion Markie with me, who will probably post some of his adventures on Facebook. He has encouraged to wear this lucky unicorn necklace. I am hoping it makes me look inoffensive.