A day in the Old City

What I love about other countries the most are the people and the food! I love the falafels, they are like these crunchy bean meat ball thingys in pita with veggies. Very delish. I love to drizzle an excess amount of sauce on! Espcially hot sauce! YUM!
Some little things are so wonderful, they are too sweet to be coincidences. I met this woman in the Old City who was so beautiful in so many ways. Her water bottle came rolling down the steps at Damascus gate just in time to greet my feet and I know it was supposed to happen! Even though we could only say a few things to each other, her kind heart radiated such love! Her baby was just as darling and she let us play with her for a while!

There always seems to be little kids hanging out all around the city. They are so sweet to eachother too. It reminds me of Hawaii how the brothers and sisters are always taking such good care of one another. Trying to carry eachother even when their sibling weighs just a few pounds less then them. Very touching. They love learning games and they love cameras...

When I say things like, "lets not do that, or Maybe thats not a good idea", American kids never take me seriously as a disciplinary so I dont know why I even tried it with the kids here.

After the children zoomed off with my camera photographing every shop keeper, tourist and friend, they snapped some individuals of us, and by then I think my friends were ready to go! The pictures all are halarious. But I must say I loved seeing what the world is like from a child's perspective. Very beautiful! Yet sadly reviewing the photos I saw some irritation in a few peoples eyes...But the kids seemed to have a good time.

A few weeks ago there were the most darling neighbor kids leaning over the wall of our school as we were feeding the stray cats asking us as clear as best as they could, "is that your cat"?

We told them no she wasn't but asked them for their names. One by one in a line up they told us while leaning over the wall peering down at us excitedly giggling, Mohammad, Adnan, Natalie, Joel, Nam, and there were a few others but I have already forgotten!

I told them to come down and meet me at the entrance gate. I felt so excited as I heard their little footsteps on the other side of the wall matching mine. They quickly beat me there and my friends Madeline, Kathleen, Kyle and I taught them 'red rover, red rover'.

It made my day! They didn't understand at first and would just run to us sometimes without even having their names called, but eventually caught on. It was so special to hear them say "red rover, red rover" as we held hands and invited someone from the other side over. If only the whole world could be called over like so easily, I love them so much.

President Brown from BYU Jerusalem says that he was once walkng with Gordon B. Hinkley here at the Garden Tomb and President Hinkley read this sign and said, "I do. I do pray for the Peace of Jerusalem". I thought that story was so cool, if sweet President Hinkley prays for peace, than shouldn't we all?

Anyway I feel like sometimes I'm not fully immersed in the culture as I would like because of the language barrier, but its so wonderful that children truly don't need words to be your friend. They truly are the pure in heart. I think peace will come from the Children. It has to! Someone in my Palestinian class said, that "in our grandparents generation they couldnt imagine a world with equal rights, but in our generation we cant imagine a world without them".

I want to learn more Arabic and think of more games to teach them. So far I have: red rover, the knot game and red light green light, these may be a bit childish but perhaps not. If anyone thinks of any please let me know!

There parting words were, "Tomorrow! Tomorrow!" So darling! Love you everyone!


Brooke Self said...

Gorgeous! Pretty pictures and stories. I'm in history class right now learning about monks and I couldn't help but think of one of your previous post and the experiences you're having there. It's so crazy how this ancient history is being so applicable to my life right now. Love ya! Keep these post comin!

Courtney Elle Holmes said...

Marni! so i somehow stumbled to your blog and guess what! I went to jerusalem for a semester too! aww i love falafels and the old city and everything!hope you are loving every second of it because you sure will miss it :)

Vadamn! said...

Darling. I'm in love. I'm glad I discovered you are blogging so faithfully. Imma check it everyday. Missing you, Chan.

Moni & Paul said...

Marn I love this,

TRY the game SPOONs! That wins every childs heart :)
Miss u !

Trina said...

Hi Marni,

I've been thinking about you a lot lately, SarahBeth told me you were going to Jerusalem and I thought I'd check out your blog. Hope you don't mind. It sounds like you're having the time of your life. I'm so glad you're able to have this experience. You're still just as beautiful, inside and out. God Bless!

Love ya!

Dan Kettle said...

Marni I love it! Im so jealous of such a cool experience. I hope your keeping a good journal of your thoughts and experiences. I love the pics. They prob love you over there so much. LOVE the sunset picture. I would blow that up and print it. How much? hah a