Just a quick post to let you know what I have been doing the last few days. On Monday, Christian and I went to a centre for disabled children in Yatta. We were there to check to see if they had the facilities to help a girl, Laha, who has cerebral palsy. She is very disabled and is cared for by her family. We wanted to know if there are facilities in Yatta capable of giving her physical therapy. But the centre we visited did not have the ability to help Laha. They have classes for the deaf children and not much else.
At noon, we headed to Susiya to meet up with a bus load of German tourists who were interested in having lunch in a Bedouin community. They had spent the morning in Hebron where my teammate, Laura, had met them and acted as translator. Our driver has relatives in Susiya so he had arranged a lunch for the tourists and also explained the history and challenges in Susiya.
Since I had two days off, I headed for Tel Aviv having booked a hotel near the Mediterranean coast. The trip was interesting to say the least. Took most of the day. I checked into the hotel and walked to the ocean before it got dark. I did feel like I should not be there. I recalled what a Palestinian lady had said in the video “Trip to the Moon”. She is a 40-something kindergarten teacher and talked of her father and how he told her about the sea and fishing. He was driven out of his home in ’48 to the village where she was born and still lives. She wishes she could see the sea and fish. But, of course, it is impossible for her because of the restrictive occupation.
Then early this morning, I went for a walk along the coast to the old town of Jaffa and had breakfast at an outdoor cafe. By 11 or so, I took a city bus to Tel Aviv central station and then on to Jerusalem. From the Jerusalem bus station, I took a train to Damascus Gate in order to catch a bus to Bethlehem.
Now I am at Bethlehem Inn. As you look out the front door, you see the concrete Wall. It is across the road. Here I am in Bethlehem where Christ was born and here also is the Wall – a physical reminder of discrimination, occupation, injustice.
I do need to go to bed early as I am joining up with the Bethlehem EAPPI team for the 4 am checkpoint duty.
I will be with the Bethlehem team for the next two days and look forward to learning about this area.