We traveled along both sides of the Jordan River and visited cities in Israel, Palestine and Jordan. The Sea of Galilee, Magdala, Capernaum, Jericao, Amman, Petra and Jerusalem were just a few of our stops. We looked at historic peoples in the region and examined the historic religious and political claims on land on both sides of the Jordan River. This was our journey.
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Tuesday, January 18th, 2011
Today we visited to the Holy Family Creche, Home for Abandoned Infants in Bethlehem. Students spent time this morning listening to the Social Worker, Iskander, about the purpose of the Creche and its role in the Palestinian community. Students were able to spend some time with the children (birth to 5 1/2 years) before lunch. Included is a photo of Sister Sophie Boueri, Lebanese Daughter of Charity who has been responsible for the Creche for some 22 years. I have been working with her for the entire time, assisting with funding for the operational budget as well as capital expenses. Attached to the Creche is a Maternity Hospital, certainly the best in the area and which has delivered 50,000 babies in the last ten years. It is largely conducted by the Knights of Malta. The Daughters of Charity also conduct a day care, dentistry care, and a health clinic for the local Bethlehem area population. The Creche's educational programs are in connection with Bethlehem University's early childhood program.
Again, these last few days have been particularly overwhelming for the students. Seeing the day to day situation of the local population, the consequences of the various political, religious, and social conflicts, the efforts for peace and justice, the day to day lives of university students, and life in refugee camps taken together - we are all on overload, I think. After lunch we will do some shopping and try to process the last few days. Tomorrow morning we leave for Bir Zeit University and overnight in Ramallah.