Final preparations

July 28, 2010

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The table is set out with tee-shirts, name badges and bags… all we need now are some young people!

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Impossibly tall priests

July 27, 2010

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Now that I have a wireless connection again, I thought I’d better post the picture of Fr Julian from Notre Dame. Honestly, he had to bend down to put his hand on my shoulder in a condescending way… 🙂


Goodbyes and hellos

July 27, 2010

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So, the kids have been dropped back at the Kalandia checkpoint where they were collected by parents or older brothers and sisters. The camp was very successful – surprisingly, their favourite part was not my training but the parachute games we played 🙂 the ‘chute took up a lot of space in my suitcase, but it was well worth it!

And then Fayez gave me a lift to Bethlehem where the Youth4Hope programme starts tomorrow. Staying at the Francisco Casa Nova Palace hotel on Manger Square I took the opportunity of an afternoon to myself to visit my old friend Jack Giacomman at his new shop in Milk Grotto Street. The shop is fantastic and Jack has managed to keep 6 olive wood careers employed since the old family business was split up. We shared a beer and caught up with family news. It was good to hear that his eldest daughter (who’s now 6!) is still clear of her health problems.

A couple if years ago, Jack acted as tourist guide and taxi to my daughter and 2 FURY friends, Lizzie and Zoey. He is a good, and honest, man – and a good friend.

Tomorrow morning the West Bank young people arrive, as do the German young people. It is a busy programme of visits, training and cultural exchanges… I can’t wait 🙂


Programme (provisional) for tomorrow

July 24, 2010

Breakfast at 7:15 to be on the coach to get to Mass for 8:30 (hoping we don’t crash en route this year, eh Cutler!)

Then to Neve Shalom for a swim before transferring to Bet Gemal for the remainder of the programme. That’s Bet Gemal where the nuns are Russian, fierce and unbribe-able so I hope anyone who’s reading this will forgive me if there’s something of a hiatus!


Out of the mouths of babes…

July 24, 2010

I was trying to do some impromptu Bible explorations as we visited just about every church in Jerusalem this afternoon.

They came up with some interesting ideas but my favourite, by far, was in the church of St Peter In Gallicantu, where tradition has it that Peter denied Jesus three times.

To the question “why do you think Peter denied Jesus?” One suggestion was “because yesterday at Capernaum you said that Jesus healed Peter’s mother-in-law”

Was Peter just getting back at the boss? 🙂


Room with a view

July 24, 2010

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For all the faults of Maison D’Abraham, chief of which is no air-conditioning, not even a fan, in my bedroom, the view does make up for it a little bit!


Things Ain’t What They Used To Be

July 23, 2010

And just in case you’re wondering how I’m able to blog from Maison D’Abraham …. It’s 5 shekels for 15 minutes on the old Pentium 386 in reception, but I was able to bribe one of the French nuns into giving me the wireless key for “Father’s computer”

That’s the thing about nuns, you can kiss them once, even twice … So long as you don’t get into the habit.