Sunday, September 7, 2014

In the heart of the Old City.

We've been exploring the ancient souks of the Old City with the kids.  This is their first experience in a crowded, noisy, busy, and dark Middle Eastern market.  For Jacci and me - this is pure fascination.  For our kids, this new adventure was a bit overwhelming.  Smells of unusual spices, loud and animated Arabic speakers, lots of people, and chest thumping Arabic songs were too much for Max.  His hand was sweaty and I could see the fear in his face.

But this is good for them.  After a few visits - an Arab souk will be old hat to Max and he'll have another feather in his world traveler cap!  I love giving my family these great experiences.

Max hides his fear very well.

Amazing sounds in Jerusalem...

I remember hearing this for the first time in 2006 in Morocco and getting a chill down my spine.  As Americans, we have a variety of reactions to hearing the Muslim call to prayer...most of which are bad.  Now, I find it hauntingly beautiful...

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Why I will leave here fat...

I walk or run 2 to 3 miles per day...sometimes more.  It will not be enough to counteract the gut busting effects of huge bowls of hummus....and falafels and pita bread.

Please note the Coke Zero.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

My visit to Ramallah...

To some this may not seems like a big deal.  For was amazing.  The Consulate General rents a property in Ramallah in the West Bank for outreach to the Palestinian community.  It is very, very difficult for some Palestinians to cross through the checkpoints and enter Jerusalem so the Consulate General comes to them.

Ramallah is a Zone A meaning that no Israeli passport holder can enter Ramallah. This zone is totally Palestinian  controlled.  Other Zones are B (Palestinian and Israeli controlled) and Zone C is Israeli controlled.

This is one of the reasons why we picked Jerusalem as our next Post.  Not only did we want to come here for the history, but also to understand the politics.  The politics here are incredibly complicated and interwoven into everything.  I learn something about the political situation here everyday.  It's astounding how challenging it is terms of politics.

Dad, what's that?

The past few weeks have been incredible learning opportunity for our kids.  As Christians, we are the minority here in Jerusalem...far out numbered by Muslims and Jews.  It's an exciting opportunity to explain the history of our faith as well as try to explain the differences between the different groups here.

Each day the kids see or hear something and want to know...what's that??

We've been working on not pointing...

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The title of this Post will be....

"So this is why Jerusalem has a danger pay."


"Not how I wanted to be worken up in the middle of the night."

or maybe...

"How to scare my kids so they insist on sleeping in our bed."

One of the reasons I wanted to come to Jerusalem was to get an on-the-ground understanding of the politics in Israel.  Last night around mid-night, I got a first hand account of how folks in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv live. (Right now, Tel Aviv gets a lot more of these than Jerusalem.)

At 12:05am, the Red Alert Siren in Jerusalem sounded and we locked ourselves in a protected room in our apartment for 10 minutes.  About 2 minutes into the alarm we heard a loud *boom* where Israel's Iron Dome intercepted the rocket fired from Gaza.

After 10 minutes we emerged from the protective room and attempted to go back to bed.....

For the record - this is not me in the video.  He has much thicker hair than I do....  :\

"Hamas and the other militant factions in Gaza fired more than 50 rockets at Israel on Tuesday. Sirens sounded in Jerusalem, and a rocket hit a highway near Tel Aviv. No injuries were reported."

Monday, August 11, 2014

Another reason I love this job.

In the past 8 weeks, these are some things I saw along my jogging route....