We got to sleep in an extra half-hour today. It was nice because I was tired. We took the bust back up to the mount of Olives. We went into the garden of Gethsemine and spent some time. There was a church there (as always) and we checked it out. People were being served communion. We spent some time in the garden and it was cool. We saw the city a lot today and we went and walked on the teaching steps where Jesus and others used to walk on to get into the temple. It was a very hot day today, but it was cool to see the old city and how things used to be. There was a barmitzfah right by us and these dudes were playing djembes. They were really good and it was fun to watch. We ate lunch and then went to the place where King David is supposedly buried.
At night we had a debate between a Palistian and an Israeli man. They were friends but each presented his side very well. It put the dispute into a very different context for me. Before coming here, I didn't know what was going on with all that, but now I understand enough to be interested. It is a very complex and troubling issue, but they framed it in such a way that I understood a lot. From what I understand, the main problem really comes down to trust, just as in any relationship between two people. Both sides has betrayed one anothers trust so many times that there is no trust to be found. You can't make a deal with someone or work anything out if you don't ever and can't ever believe a word they say. The solution to that has been difficult to find throughout history and it doesn't look like a solution is coming any time soon.
Oh yeah, I met some people and ate with them the first day we were here. We talked a lot and i saw them at several places. I saw them at the dead sea and we were talking and said we should exhange information and keep in touch. They were from another tour with another company and are from iowa. I said sure, I'm sure we'll see each other tomorrow and we can exchange info then. Today, i heard someone yelling at me and I turned and looked and there they were. They had their info on a piece of paper ready to hand to me and I gave them a few of my different cards. It's neat to make connections like that. Tomorrow is our last day in Israel. I leave the next day for Egypt. I don't know how much I'll be able to get on line there, but for now, you can catch up on what I have so far! See all of you later, my friends.