Daily Archives

17 March 2009


O Little Town of Bethlehem

17 March 2009
St. Patrick’s Day is so cool, especially when you have a field trip to Bethlehem! 
     Bethlehem is in the West Bank, which is Palestinian territory. For the most part, Palestinians are not allowed out and Israelis are not supposed to go in. Other people can go there of course, and to get there, you have to go through the border and through the big, ugly Separation Wall.
     At the beginning of our field trip, our professor for our Palestinian/Muslim studies class, Dr. Adnan Musallam, met us and he taught us things about the West Bank and another guy did too. Then we went to Bethlehem University.
     It was so cool being there because we were interacting with college students just like us. They were all Palestinian and 70% of the 3000 students are Muslims with the other 30% are Christians. We talked to them for a long time and it was so good because you really realize that we are so similar. They really want peace of course. They want to meet with Israeli youth and talk with them, but it is practically impossible. Many Palestinians and Israelis want to meet together, but they can’t. 
     Dr. Musallam is the coolest. He is such a genuine person and wants to teach us so badly. He is so proud of his heritage. He was just smiling the whole time while we were there, learning about his people, his life, and his home. We were smiling too. Adnan is so great. I miss his class. He puts so much work into coming over to Jerusalem to teach us. He has some sort of special permit and he has to wait in line at the border and probably be all checked and everything, but he loves coming over to teach us. Hooray for Musallam!
     After Bethlehem University, where Musallam teaches and is in charge of a lot, we went to the Shepherd’s Valley Tent Restaurant. It was in a giant tent. Sweet dude. Fo rizzle. We didn’t pick the food, they just come around and put all of these little plates in the middle of the table of all of these little sauces and salads and then they give you a basket full of pitas. Then everyone just grabs pitas and dips wherever they want. It’s such a dun eating style. I love it. But I don’t really care to just eat pitas and dips and things for a meal. But at least they gave us some wheat pitas. Wheat is the best. 

     After lunch we headed to the Church of the Nativity. On the street there was this sweet VW bug. I want one of those cars. I think an old bug would actually be my most favorite car to have. Yep, that’s what I want. Maybe not one all tricked out like this one, maybe I could paint pretty pictures on the outside instead though. 
    Instead of a VW bug, this is my sweet ride! If only there were more rust, this is exactly what my car is. Oh man oh man I love this baby. I love it so much!
     This car would probably be pretty sweet too. This cute little boy was just cruising around the grounds at the Church of the Nativity.

     The Church of the Nativity is built on the spot that tradition marks as the birthplace of Christ. It is one of the oldest operating churches in the world.

     We went under to where Christ was born and there were so many people that I couldn’t really grasp where I was. We were all being rushed in and out unfortunately. But this star on the floor marks the spot where Jesus was born. I was in Bethlehem, where Jesus was born.

     I’m not sure why Kara is closing her eyes :), but this is the only picture I have of this spot. It is where the manger was. This is where the wise men came to, where the animals stood around, where Jesus lay wrapped in swaddling clothes.

     The flames in this picture are so cool. This was inside the church in front of a statue of Mary and the baby Jesus.
     Of course there were also stained glass in the windows. These churches are so beautiful. I love them. After visiting inside, we walked around a little town square thing in Bethlehem to buy things. The tourist industry in Bethlehem has gone down so much, especially since the Wall was built. They are struggling in a lot of ways.

     After we crossed the wall, we went to Shepherd’s Field, which is hill between Bethlehem and Jerusalem. We had the most delightful Christmas Program there too. I love Christmas.
     We sang Christmas songs, read the Christmas story out of the scriptures, and a few people shared other stories,  as well as some testimonies. I really enjoyed it alot.

     I saw a shooting star!

     Making wishes – one of my most favorite things to do.

     My wishes always come true.