February 4, 2018
I know that many people go to Israel to focus on the holy sites and the historical and Biblical richness of the area. And while those were certainly important parts of my experience, I was also interested in capturing images of the people who live there. What a wonderful and rich variety I found.
Here is a dad, waiting with his children for the school bus, certainly a universal theme.
I loved the fact that this mom stopped to pose for a picture with her daughter.
Mothers the same, the world over.
This little guy in Israel was no different from the little guys I know in the United States. Give them a set of wheels and they are happy.
It was especially interesting to observe the people of Israel in their daily jobs.
This fellow got to chatting with Steve and ended up giving him a peacock feather which Steve carefully carted home with us.
His co-worker believed in his product so strongly that he wore it on his head!
This shot is for my mom who wanted to see someone ride a camel. This is a fellow pastor from our tour group. (Hi, Mom!)
We stopped for a quick lunch at a convenience store and watched the cooks whip up our meal.
I loved watching this guy at work; he was so passionate about his job.
It was wonderful to see the bounty of fruits, vegetables and bread.
It would have been easy to have overlooked this hard-working man and his donkey from a distance–they blended right into the rocky landscape.
But a cropping of the photo brings their labor into focus.
We got to tour behind the scenes at an olive wood-carving business.
The man with the microphone is one of the owners of the shop.
Steve and I purchased this piece from the store, one that we will treasure.
We saw many people involved in the police and military. In Israel, military service is compulsory–three years for men and two years for females, starting at age eighteen.
Tourists enjoyed getting their photos taken with them.
At the Western Wall.
Steve spent some time talking with this woman at the Jordan River–one of his gifts is making conversation with strangers.
The main job we got to witness while in Israel belonged to our tour guide, Leo.
He spent 8 to 10 hours with us every day, imparting to us all manner of information and historical background without ever looking at any notes. And even though dealing with twenty-four Americans was sometimes like herding kittens, he never lost his equanimity, good humor or patience.
And if Leo was wonderful, our bus driver (whose name I didn’t hear) was doubly so.
This looks like a quiet, mild-mannered fella, right?
Well, not so much. Leo told us that there were some drivers who were unwilling to drive to some of the places he wanted to go because they weren’t comfortable wheeling enormous vehicles over miniscule roads.
This particular road was so narrow that when we met a car coming the opposite direction, it had to stop and back up quite a way to let us through. I can’t imagine what would happen if two tour buses met.
Our driver was equally comfortable with crowded city roads with all manner of traffic flying at us. A few times I looked out the window and had the urge to squeeze my eyes shut while waiting for the imminent collision. Somehow though, we were always whisked safely on through.
I’m thankful for the great team our knowledgeable tour guide and plucky driver made.
Apart from specific jobs to observe, there were plenty of general people-watching opportunities which of course, I loved.
One of those opportunities took place at the Jordan where several people from our group were baptized. It was exhilarating to be a part of the swirl of nationalities and languages all around us. This woman saw me taking pictures and sent a cheery wave my way, effectively bridging any gap between her language and mine.
Also, taken at the Jordan. I loved the feminine gracefulness of this woman in blue.
Our group leader and his wife making friends with a local boy.
A few more people shots . . .
Amazing land. Amazing people.
Health Update: Neither Steve or I felt well enough to go to church this morning. Steve had scheduled someone to come and preach and lead worship in our place but late yesterday afternoon, we got a call saying that he had also come down with the flu. So there was a little bit of scrambling to be done but our church folks stepped up to make sure everything was taken care of for the service. They have also dropped off several meals for us over the past few days which has been a huge help since my energy level is below zilch. Looking forward to feeling better soon . . .
Thrift stores, fuzzy socks
and conversing with my Yorkie
are all on the list of things I love.