Thursday, June 19, 2008

Bethlehem

We started our day overlooking the shepherd's fields in Bethlehem. It was really peaceful. We did have a few visitors who know that Americans love trite things like little lambs. :) This family came over and let us pet their lambs and then demanded money. Ugh. :) Our next step was the Church of the Nativity that is built over the spot Christ was supposedly born. In the picture on the right, I'm touching the Star of Bethlehem which is 'exactly' where he was born. You have to realize I'm being quite conservative in this picture... everyone else was kissing it and all sorts of stuff. Wowzers.






After the churches, we spent time at an Olive Wood Factory where I was able to purchase my nativity set... the one thing I absolutely was going to buy! We also learned about Bethlehem and the oppression it is under. Seeing the wall around it made me really sad, but the suicide bombs have gone down by like 90% since it was built. It's a problem without an easy answer.


The part of today that meant the most to me though was the people I met. Below is a picture of Baghdadi (said Bag-Daddy... freaking sweet name, huh?!). Jen and I went on a walk that night to go meet him (we had heard about him the day before) and we just had a blast at his shop. We both purchased stuff and he threw in few gifts because we 'were so pretty' and because he 'loves Mormons' and etc. He was seriously SO genuine and we loved to purchase from him because of how humble and loving he was. Is it weird that I miss him?



On our way home from Baghdadi's, we stopped at a park to record 'the call to prayer'. All of the sudden we were attacked by like 8 to 10 Palestinian kids who wanted to play soccer with us. We sat there trying to talk back and forth and the kids tried to teach us Arabic and it was just so dang cute. We gave them some of our candy and shekels and just loved that they loved us and didn't even know us! I really wish I could have spent more time living and loving these people, but I am so grateful for the small, yet incredibly meaningful experiences I did get.


2 comments:

Colby and Meredith said...

You have such a good memory to remember all this. "Bag-Daddy"...that is awesome.

Deann H. said...

Wow. Awesome.

There was an article in a recent NG about Bethlehem and the wall. Very interesting and sad.