I am recapping yesterday’s events, Wednesday, April 17. It is 8: AM, Thursday, already “home” from our first check point duty 4: AM to 6:30 AM. I will tell you more about that later.
Wednesday was filled with excitement because it was the day we were to go from Jerusalem to Bethlehem. In the morning, we were briefed on important security and cultural issues.
Receiving my EAPPI vest was a very emotional event for me. This vest is our identity while here. Yes, I have on three layers and was still cold 62 degrees and the wind made it feel like Michigan.
From our hotel to catch Bus # 24 for Bethlehem was about a six-block walk. I was glad Steve, EA from team 47 offered to wheel my large suitcase.
Even with this vest on, we, like the Palestinians, have no rights. We are under military law. This became very evident on our ride on bus #24 to Bethlehem. Armed military came through the bus and checked everyone’s ID. There was a noticeable change in atmosphere, as tension filled the air. No one was taken off the bus, but one person who had been waiting for the bus was not allowed on. I am glad Steve, from team 47, was on the bus when this happened to us, he talked us through the incident. The Palestinians deal with many different enforcers.
The bus stopped at the wall; from there we walked through the wall and into Bethlehem. There are no security checks coming into West bank.
Another six block walk and after climbing a steep hill, we arrived at the beautiful front yard of our new “home.”
Team 47 our hosts and trainers are from four different countries. They are Jenny and Rachel from Ireland, Anne from Germany, and Steve from Canada.
There had been another team member, Merta from Finland. For some reason, unknown to her, she had been given only a two week visa at the airport when she arrived. During here first two weeks here she applied for an extension. She was not given an extension at that time, but was given an appointment for a hearing in a month and half. At the hearing, even though there would have been only three weeks left for her to complete the program, her visa was denied. She was given only one week to get out of the Country. No explanation for the denial was given.
On a personal note, I now have more cats now than my sister, Molly, does. The our house has a cat, Cleokata. Five Kittens arrived not long ago. Cleokata comes up from the field for food, but has not brought the kittens with her yet. She allows us to look at them from over the fence.
Team 47 provided a wonderful candlelight dinner for us
This entry is really all about Wednesday. It is now Thursday 9:42 PM. I have been on the walk since 4: AM. I have decided to tell you all about Thursday in another entry that I hope to create in the morning, Friday. Our first event is at 9:30 AM Friday morning instead of 4: AM as it was today.
When you see the post about all I did today, you will wonder how I even had the energy to push send for this one.
Your prayers are needed and appreciated.