Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Wednesday, September 7th

After all the worrying I did, customs was a breeze.  The agent did not even make eye contact with me.  He was too busy talking to his friend in the next booth to ask me even a single question.  He just stamped my passport, gave me my Visa and said "Have a nice visit".  I must not look as criminally insane as most of you think I am.  : )

As instructed, I took a sherut to Jerusalem & asked to be dropped off at Tantur Gate as it is the closest stop any taxi will make to Bethlehem Bible College this side of the checkpoint.  It had been suggested to me that I might offer the driver an extra ten dollars to take me to the checkpoint.  No such luck.  He basically told me to get out of his cab and he left me somewhere along Hebron Road.  So, it's 90 degrees & I'm hauling a giant suitcase and two bags half a mile to the checkpoint (which is on top of a hill I might add).  I tried to walk through it and they yelled at me and told me to go back to the bottom of the hill and have someone drive me back up.  WTF?  Luckily, some nice man that didn't speak English offered to drive me through the checkpoint.  (he mimed it)  After several wrong turns and bad directions from people on the street, he finally dropped me here at Bethlehem Bible College.  (Which I must say is a wonderful place to stay if you're ever in the area)

I hadn't been in my room for more than 20 minutes when my phone rang.  Dear, sweet Kasem had come straight to BBC after work to see me.  For those of you who don't know, Kasem and I met on my ill-fated 2008 trip.  The man is a saint.  He literally carried me not once, but twice to the hospital and back to St. George's.  He is without a doubt one of the greatest human beings I have ever had the privilege to know.

We made a quick stop at the Church of Nativity as they were closing up for the night.  We found an outside cafe in Manger Square with Taybee on tap (yippee) and had a wonderful dinner of kidra.  We then wandered back to the college via the old city of Bethlehem where I am just about to crash.  Sorry, no photos tonight but I will be at it first thing in the morning.  Right after I buy a new electrical adapter as mine just blew up.  Seriously, loud pop and now it's smoking.  Gotta run.

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