I found out today I will be leaving Zababdeh. It didn’t come as a surprise so much as a relief that when I was called to meet with the Bishop, the Chaplain, and my boss that the topic up for discussion was something so painless, rather than another one of those awfully uncomfortable and upsetting bare-all conversations where everyone feels like crap at the end. No, this went rather smoothly, in that way where they try to pretend you are making your own decision by leading you to what they want you to do without just coming out and saying it. They told me to take some time and think it over, but I know that this is what is expected of me, so I will do it and I will not complain. As much as I am loathe to leave Zababdeh, and as much as I will miss my friends (not to mention seeing something besides concrete, which is about all there is in Jerusalem), I believe I will enjoy the change.
After returning from Jerusalem I walked with my friend down the street to play ball with some of the kids at the Latin Church and then grab some coffee. On the way home I mentioned the intended move, and then stepped off to my house. I sat on the wall of the front porch for a while watching the sun go down. It was one of those clear dusks that mushy watercolour painters love, where the sky fades shade by shade from blue to pink to that washed out yellowy orange as the sun slips behind the last hilltop in the distance. I looked at the olive trees, the hills, the minaret pointing skyward over the village. The evening call to prayer from the mosques broke the pseudo-silence of barking dogs and playing children, and I listened to the two singers battle it out for aural dominion of the spring evening.
For whatever reasons, I have grown to love this place. Sure I have my troubles here, but nothing that isn’t manageable. On the whole, it’s beautiful, interesting (even if perhaps only for its novelty), and I have friends here that I have grown to love. I don’t understand this place, and I’m frequently lost and confused, but I love it. I don’t know how that works, but that’s how it is.