Journey to the Holy Land – Day 16

November 8, 2010

Today brought another opportunity to spend time with the seniors at the HCEF Center.  I decided to come in early to get some computer work done and was provided with a key and instructions about how to walk to the facility.  GPS where are you???  The instructions seemed clear but, as usual, being geographically challenged did not work in my favor.  Instead of walking maybe 1200 steps to get here, my circuitous route accumulated for me 2800 steps.  Let’s here it for exercise!

Actually, if the Center had been any nearer on my first trip down the street, it would have bitten me.  In frustration, I called Karmen and tried to again confirm the instructions.  She offered to send the driver for me and asked where I was.  Well, I just knew I was going to feel really stupid if he came, and I was like right next to the place so I declined her offer and decided to give it the good ol’ college try again.  I went down the same street and ended up in front of the same building and decided it still was not the right one.  As I turned around, there, big as life, was a sign for the Center with an arrow pointing to the right.  As I moved in that direction, I realized that I was actually within 100 yards of the place.  I need to be more observant of my surroundings and remember not only to look down but up. 

After trying every key on the ring at least two times, I managed to get the door open and I was in.  Such an accomplishment for 7 o’clock in the morning—especially since the barking dogs kept me awake for several hours despite having taken a sleeping pill.  Just no justice.

The seniors began arriving along with Karmen around 8:30 so it was time to get up and begin the day with them.  Two women immediately approached me and asked to have foot massages.  They did not come forward on Saturday so I was delighted to see that the example set by the other women encouraged them to take part as well.  Again a very enjoyable experience.

Next on the agenda was exercise time.  Only about 7 women (no men—they were busy playing dominoes) took advantage of this healthy opportunity.  It was fun to watch them go through the routine with their instructor.

Jewelry making was next on the list of offered activities.  I brought all kinds of beads and tools and memory wire and elastic string and you name it—I think it was in my suitcase.  Karmen laid everything out on the table and three women immediately came over to learn this new craft.  One of the ladies, Georgette, said that people should learn this when they are younger like 35 or 30 or 25 or 45.  I think she is around 70 and I firmly reinforced that no one is every too old to learn something new.  I then pointed out to her the lovely bracelet that she had just designed and made.  That brought a smile to her face.

While the jewelry making was going on, a bingo game was started.  My jewelry makers were multi-tasking by marking their bingo cards at the same time they were stringing their beads.  These elders know how to live! 

Many of the ladies bring their knitting to the Center and mainly spend their day in this activity.  They make many beautiful items especially baby sweaters and booties to sell at their Christmas Bazaar.  I talked them into letting me purchase two of them to take home.  I also brought my prayer shawl that I am knitting for my friend and they were very interested in the pattern.  One lady looked at it and almost completely figured out what the pattern’s stitches were.  I was amazed.  I did write it down for them so they could maybe use it in the future.  We may not speak the same language but when it comes to knitting, there is no barrier between us.  Right, knitters?

Soon it was time to enjoy a nutritious lunch of lentils and rice along with salad and pita bread and, of course, green olives.  Dessert was a luscious, locally grown banana.  I was stuffed!  No dinner for me, I think.

Too quickly 2 o’clock arrived and the van began transporting the folks to their homes.  I am glad that I will have one more opportunity to see them and say good-bye on Wednesday before I leave for Bethlehem.

Until tomorrow, enjoy the rest of your day and pray that the dogs cease their barking tonight.

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Published in: on November 8, 2010 at 12:47 pm  Leave a Comment  

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