Sage tea and other niceties

Shepherd with sheep in Beit SahourGreetings! It’s evening after my third class and I’ve settled down to a cup of sage tea and a handful of figs, dates, cashews and almonds which I bought at the Arab bazaar at our break time. I’m going to have to buy a lot more sage tea, I can tell!  I also have a couple nice loaves of bread from Inger which I will save for breakfast.

On my way to Dar Annadwa this morning I took some pictures of local people. One gentleman, an older man who was quite thin, wanted a studio fee for his photo, expressing by gestures and by holding up his fingers that he wanted 7 shekels for standing for his photo…and I did pay him because he looked like he needed the money.  I am a kind of naive voyeuse with my camera wherever I go, taking pictures of street scenes full of people, and portrait shots when I can get them, and everyone is so colorful here.  I hope I am not offending anyone by this behavior.

Teaching has gone well.  We have had a couple of people drop out and a couple new people have started.  This evening the checkpoint was closed because the Jewish people are celebrating the holiday of Rachel’s tomb, which is very near here.  Consequently, the Palestinians cannot move in or out through the checkpoint.  So one of my students was unable to attend the class tonight.  This was a great disappointment to us.  We know the woman really looks forward to coming to the class.

In our class we are currently working on realism.  One section is painting lemons in a blue bowl. ( Yes, Susan, if you are reading, they are your lemons!  As you can see, they have traveled far.)  The other section is painting a white rose.  In addition, I am working on some apple blossoms.   I think the sections will be jealous of each other, since each is learning to do something remarkably beautiful.  I have suggested that they teach each other by trading subjects after I am gone!  At least they will need to have a small show of their works, which are looking great.

My host and I drove around this morning looking at places to paint on Saturday and we had a nice time. We found some good places. For instance, we found this shepherd with his sheep in Beit Sahour.  But we also had some sad things to see.   She showed me the separation fence that extends into the countryside.  From our view we could see how it divides olive groves in half, making it impossible for the farmers to harvest the crops.  While we were out, we experienced the blessing of rain. It’s early in the rainy season and everyone looks forward to a little rain coming down.  Afterwards, the sky was intensely blue and the air cool. Tonight I will close my windows for the first time since arriving here.  Ah, a quiet night…inshallah.



One thought on “Sage tea and other niceties

  1. Just catching up after an insanely busy week. Glad to know your teaching is going well, and glad to know my lemons are more well traveled than I am! I was just fantasizing yesterday about being where you are…but that is of course a good way to waste the life we have. So it’s back to Seattle & reality for me. Thanks for keeping this blog, it’s great to not have to wait till you’re back to hear about it, and then know I’ll only get the executive summary!
    Blessed All Saints’ to you, sis.

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