Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Since it's been a while I realize since I last wrote, I thought I would pop in and let you all know that I'm still alive, and doing fine.

Not much of note has taken place. I led another English section, which seemed to go well. I then wandered the town with Jamil and Jamil, and we ate some falafel and just chatted about this and that. I didn't manage to make it Jerusalem this weekend, but I'm hoping to go next week and spend a couple days in Bethlehem. I want to photograph the wall, as well as get some time in in other places around the West Bank. I also could use a little mini vacation, so to speak, where I can get some time to myself, buy some new books, and explore a little. Sometimes I'm kind of a loner, and I look forward to little adventures on my own.

I went to Ramallah yesterday, where I saw St. Andrew's, the Evangelical School, and the Vocational Training Centre. I met a couple people, took some photos, and generally enjoyed myself. That is, enjoyed my time not in the car. I have decided based on a personally-created ranking system involving New York, Seattle, London, Paris, and Las Vegas, that taxi drivers here are the most terrifying I have ever encountered. So despite having woken at 5:30 am for the trip to Ramallah and being utterly exhausted by the time I came home in the afternoon, there was no napping done in the car. Just sitting upright, bracing for the high-speed turns and general terror of passing trucks on a winding highway at 70 miles per hour. Ah, the joys of highways with no cops. I laughed because the driver asked when we came near a checkpoint with many police that everyone put on their seatbelts. Everybody did. Fadi turned around and asked if I put mine on. I laughed and said, "Are you kidding?? It's been on since we started moving!" I think the joke is lost on most people here, since everyone drives (by my standards at least) like a maniac all the time, and probably no person from anywhere else (Seattle, for instance) would dream of getting in a car here without a seat-belt. I personally wouldn't mind a helmet too, but that would just look silly.

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