Good morning all. Today I’m a slow-go. I’m slugging around the flat, loathe to venture out into the continuous rain to walk through the checkpoint, take a bus and get somehow to Augusta Victoria Hospital on the Mount of Olives, where I’ve booked a room in the guesthouse for the night. Tomorrow, if it stops pouring, I’m supposed to help with the olive harvest. Somehow that sounded better when it was hot and sunny.
Yesterday’s teaching went well. We did texture lab, which involves lots of materials and the possibility of getting really, really messy, in a rather small church fellowship hall. We were spraying and pouring staining paints. While I was setting up, piano students were being tested at the piano by their music teacher so the room was doing double duty. We had the room booked for 2-4:30 so I was setting up when I was told we would have to be out by 4pm and the room cleaned up! This was because Pastor Mitri had a meeting scheduled for 4:30, exactly when our class was supposed to be over. So they had planned to set up the room at 4pm. I had a moment of despair. Fortunately, Pastor Mitri moved his meeting to another room so we did not have to boogie out early as that would have been nearly impossible for this lab. In fact, our second session was able to meet in the same room, so I did not have to move the lab setup, which takes at least half an hour. I felt as though an angel had intervened on our behalf.
The point of all this has to do with resources. We often don’t realize what we have. Here in Bethlehem there is a fine arts college trying to do programming in a very small shared space in which a great deal is accomplished. Dar Annadwa, the place of international encounter, is a guest house for alternative tourism which is physically attached to Christmas Lutheran Church. Some of the programming occurs in the facilities of the church. Many groups come through here. There is an arts and communications college under the same roof. Currently they are building a much-needed free-standing facility on a shoestring budget. Since I was here about 2 years ago the college has upgraded their computer lab, which is great! And they are building their library collection.
Before coming to teach class yesterday morning I was in the flat when I heard fighter jets fly over at high speed, followed by the sounds of two explosions and then the siren of an ambulance wailing. When I spoke to my host about it I was told, “Yes, this happens often. They target one individual and then they get them. But for the rest of the people there is no danger. We often don’t hear what happened, but of course we hear rumors. You get used to it.”
Soooo…..I guess it’s time to pack out and walk over to the taxi place and go through the checkpoint. Blessings to all.