Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter Service on the Mount

This was our Easter Service. Before the sun rose there was a big glowing checkpoint behind Fred and Gloria. It was one of those moments where I looked at my camera screen and thought, "well....what can we do?" ma lasot? sho bidna nsawi?" From the Mount of Olives we could see a checkpoint, the wall, and a few settlements, so naturally it was mentioned in the sermon....what can you do.

and so it goes.

Gloria encouraged me not to log onto Facebook from their house because the Orthodox settlement next door frequently hacked into their internet and everytime it crashed they had to pay $100 to re-activate it.

No Facebook for 24 hours?

And because of street closures on Passover my friends couldn't get back to Bethlehem and I couldn't get back to Ramallah. So we're staying another night at Fred and Gloria's on the Mount, which is ok by us, it's just kind of ridiculous...and sad. I hope these closures will soon be a thing of the past.

On a more positive note, today was a very fun and relaxing day, the first time I've spent all day on the Mount. After Easter service we ate breakfast (eggs and bacon!) at Mark and Suzanna's house and I relayed the video I'd just watched about the Australian comedian singing "you don't eat pigs, and I don't eat pigs, why don't we...not eat pigs together!" and everyone thought it was really funny, then I got to thinking about it, and you can't ignore when you're sitting on the Mount of Olives eating bacon with a bunch of Christians that this conflict affects three faiths, not just two. What about the bacon-eating Christians? They're just as occupied as the Muslims why paint it as a war between Muslims and Jews? I guess it makes for a funny song....

Before we ate, some of the guests were introduced, including a family from Bethlehem who hadn't been to Jerusalem in 12 years. Fred had to point it out, "7 kilometers away, and it's their first time in 12 years!" Everyone clapped because they were happy for them, but it was another one of those "wtf" moments....

After we ate I made a very easy decision not to go down to the Old City for the 9am service. I just really wanted to upload my photos and take a nap. So that's what I did. Fred and Gloria came back from the service around 11:30, and for some reason I was embarrassed to be sleeping, so I walked around for a minute, then went back to sleep. Then I read a book out in the yard for an hour and a half, mostly to get some sun. Souli called me and told me he was heading to Jordan. The apartment in Ramallah was mine to use, I might be inheriting a CouchSurfer soon, and the FIFA football project for Al Aqaba would soon follow by e-mail. This was the most natural thing...I was happy that he was finally on the move because that's how he wants to be, and that's how I want to be, when I grow up and get a real job. Being in Ramallah all the time was killing us. So now I'm going about my life while my boyfriend heads to Jordan then to  Bosnia to finalize his divorce...and I'm going home to the States in 2 weeks or 6 weeks, depending on the outcome of my appointment at the Interior Ministry. And somehow everything is alright. Got some new freckles today...

As I watched the members of my congregation and their friends playing night volleyball on a court overlooking Jerusalem, I realized that I could stay here for a long time. As long as there are people here who play volleyball on Wednesday nights, I want to connect them and tell their stories to the world. There are people in this place who stay sane in spite of what they see and experience, there are people here who stay human in spite of it all, and that is one of the most powerful images I could ever hope to capture.

Dentro la piel y esas marcas
Posee la extrana mania
De creer en la vida....