As you are reading this, I am *hopefuly* in an airplane leaving Ben Gurion International Airport (I say *hopefully* because as anyone knows, the Israelis could easily detain me for questioning if they detect any problems with any of the answers I give them when I go through the Security Check line at the airport). I am exhausted, because I had to get up at 3.30am to catch a taxi by 4.15am to make it to the airport by 5.00am; three hours before my 8am departure time.
I am exhausted, and I am ready to come home. I am coming home almost 3 weeks earlier than I had initially planned. There were a lot of factors that played into that, naturally; of course, I am most excited to see Sarah in a few days when she returns from Ghost Ranch. Being back 3 weeks earlier also gives me much more chill-time before classes start this fall. It’s going to be a crazy school year; having a long-distance relationship, classes full-time, a 15hr/wk field education placement at Princeton University, an “Emergent” conference to help plan at Princeton Seminary, a few websites to ‘maintain’ over the next year and everything else that is probably going to pop up during this year. The fact that I get a few weeks hanging out in Atlanta (some with Sarah and some by myself while she travels to Scotland) before all of that starts is very appealing to me. I need to take care of myself this summer too. And then Sarah and I head off to Washington and Idaho, and then as soon as we get back, classes start. So, it was a good decision to come home early, and I’m glad for it.
I’m exhausted. And I’m also wondering…”Now what?” How do I share about my experience…? When are the ‘appropriate’ times to really share what I saw, and to just keep silent? How will I know when an argument is not going to help solve anything? How will I know who I can talk to about this, and who will just irritate me to no end? How will I be understanding with people who just don’t see it like I do, but when I just know if they came over and actually SAW what I’ve seen, they might think differently…? These are all questions that I think everyone asks when they come back from a summer that has the possibility of being a life-changing experience. And these are questions that I do not have the answers to…
I’m grateful to know that Sarah will be there to listen to me, and to help me process things. I’m hoping that as I can continue to process these things on this blog, people will be understanding as I figure out where I am at with all of this, and how I will do my part to help get the word out about the plight of the Palestinian people.
Thanks for following along with me this summer as I’ve journeyed to the Holy Lands, and sought understanding, compassion and justice. I know some of you disagree with me, and…as much as that disappoints me sometimes, I have to be okay with that. I have to leave room for what you think, and understand that many people have just not had the chance to come over here and see what I saw, and hear the stories I heard. At times it’s felt like a long journey, and at other times, it’s flown by. But I’m grateful to everyone who helped me out this summer, and for the FTE grant that enabled me to come and travel and have this experience. I have to write up a report for FTE about my experiences, and I will be sure to post that here on this blog. Again, thank you.