Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Leaving Jerusalem: 10 March 2010

I've got a couple of other posts to write about this trip, including the one about yesterday. But tonight, what's really on my mind is leaving Jerusalem.

I have fallen in love with this city. There's something about the air and the energy here that captures my attention. I've learned how to stare down drivers when I want to cross the street. I helped a new arrival to the city get oriented with her map yesterday. Baloney, pita bread, olives, cucumbers and tomatoes seem like normal breakfast.

And now, it's time to leave. Don't get me wrong: I miss friends and family like crazy. I'm ready to be back at St. Barnabas. But my heart aches to leave this city and I am already plotting my return.

Today, Anne, David and I ventured to the Armenian Quarter of the Old City (where I had yet to go). We enjoyed a lovely lunch of Armenian food (not dissimilar from what we've eaten in other places: hummous, eggplant salad, Armenian yogurt, Kibbuh, and a great chicken dish). Then, Anne and I took the rampart walk (a walkway around the top of the wall which encloses the Old City and gives you a rooftop view out over the city - the three of us did it for the first time yesterday) to return to the College. We walked beyond our departure gate, to the end of the walk - which took us nearly 2/3 of the way around the city.

As we walked, I realized that the rampart walk was a fitting way to say goodbye to the Old City. As we walked and talked (and walked and climbed stairs, and walked.....), I looked out over Jerusalem, trying to memorize what I was seeing. I have photos galore (I think over 800), but I didn't take my camera today; I want to carry some of these images in my heart and mind.

This will be my last post from Jerusalem. We depart from Tel Aviv quite early in the morning, and arriving in Washington around 6PM (local time). I am so thankful for this trip, which has changed me in so many ways.

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