Saturday, November 1, 2008

Tea, Basketball, and a Whole Lot of Walking!

Yesterday I had a GREAT day. Naomi and I went to the Domari Center in the morning, and tutored some of the little kids. We also taught Amoun, Katia, and Marwa how to make an "American" dessert-- brownies from a box. They think it's so funny that we make things that come from boxes. But they sure loved eating them! Meet my young friend Fatima:

From there, I went to Marwa's house to hang out for the afternoon. I met her 20-year-old sister-in-law, who is expecting her first child. They are amazed that I'm not married yet. We had traditional Gypsy tea and talked (I really got to use my Arabic!) As people in their apartment heard that an American was visiting, they stopped by to meet me. It was really fun.

After that, I met up with Ashleigh, Naomi, and Matt, and caught a bus to Bethlehem. We went to our friend Jared's house-- he is here with Athletes in Action playing on a semi-pro Palestinian basketball team. His roommate is a YWAMer working here, so it was fun to meet him and exchange YWAM stories. That night we went to the championship basketball game-- what a cultural experience! Almost no women were in attendance, so we attracted some attention. Before the game started we stood for the Palestinian national anthem and had a moment of silence for everyone who's been killed by Israeli soldiers. The Bethlehem team was playing a team from a nearby refugee camp, so the game itself was rough; many players ended up on the floor. Other than that, most of the rules were the same. The fans were quite rowdy, and banged on drums and blew horns and whistles as we cheered. Unfortunately, Bethlehem lost by one point. It made for an exciting game! Jared played well.

After the game, it was too late for any busses to be running, so we walked from Bethlehem to Jerusalem. (I thought about Mary and Joseph making that trek on the same route!) Other than some trouble at the checkpoint, the walk back was very enjoyable. When we got back, I was exhausted and fell asleep right away.

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