Journey to the Holy Land – Day 6

October 29, 2010

On one of my first days here, I heard the most delightful music coming from outside and it was definitely “traveling.” The music had the sound of a kaleidoscope and my first thought was ICE CREAM TRUCK! Since ice cream is one of my very favorite foods, although I allow myself to indulge infrequently, I quickly arose from my desk and went out on the balcony. When, what to my wondering eyes should appear? A pick-up truck carrying about 20 cylinder-type tanks! Definitely NOT ice cream.  When I inquired about the truck and its contents, I found out that the tanks contain gas for household use such as for cooking, and the vendor sells this commodity because there is no piped-in supply of gas in Palestine. In the U.S. we take so much for granted.

As I drove in from the airport on Monday, I asked Tony about the price of gasoline here. They use the liter as measurement instead of our typical gallon. After some quick calculations on his cell phone, he said the price would equate to about $6 per gallon U.S. and he said that is for diesel fuel. Gasoline is more expensive—just the opposite to the U.S. prices. He also said that the fuel prices are slightly less in Palestine than in Israel but he didn’t know the reason for the difference. So the next time I complain about the U.S. gas prices approaching $3 a gallon (or have they now passed that mark since I left), just “slap me upside the head” and remind me to be grateful for the prices we are privileged to pay!

And the hills! We think we have hills in Connecticut? Don’t even go there! Some of you may remember ‘days of old’ when most Christmas cards that were sent and received were of a religious nature. And do you remember some of those cards may have depicted the ‘little town of Bethlehem’? You probably saw buildings and houses in the distance that appeared to be built in layers or levels. Did you ever wonder if it really was like that? Well, your wondering days are over—yes, it IS like that!

Yesterday during my lunch hour I went seeking the Christmas Lutheran Church as I am currently reading a book by the Palestinian Lutheran minister assigned there. When I was here last November, we didn’t have the opportunity to walk the old city. Anywhere you might walk has only two directions—up or down—and both are very steep. The only really flat area I have seen is Manger Square. My heart muscle should be strengthened exponentially by the time I return home!

In a previous posting, I mentioned “living stones.” If you would like to read the story of one of those living stones, please go to http://lluker.faculty.ltss.edu and click on the link for Fr. Elias Chacour. How often do we hear people say “But I’m only one person. What can I do?” Fr. Elias is only one person and he has done amazing things for the Palestinian people. Also on this website, you will find other links to a virtual tour of the Holy Land. If you have visited here, you will love seeing the pictures and description of the places you saw. If you haven’t YET visited, I hope it inspires you to consider a pilgrimage to this holy place. I was unable to find my journal from last year’s pilgrimage before I came on this trip so I was delighted to be able to again see many of the places I visited.

Wishing you all a restful weekend.

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Published in: on October 29, 2010 at 8:20 am  Leave a Comment  

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