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Sam and Ruth's Blog from Ibillin
10/30/2013; 9:00 pm
Going back to Sunday: All the lodgers left early in the morning -
the Steel Drum contingent for the Tel Aviv airport, and the
Italians for Nazareth. The latter group did not rise or leave
together. The two women were up first and left first, while the
two men were more leisurely and left separately, the last an hour after
the women. It all made sense, except that he was the one with the
It being Sunday, the four volunteers hiked up the hill to the Melkite
(or Greek Catholic) Church. It is the same one that Elias Chacour
(or Abuna) was given as a one month stint in 1965. He stayed for
nearly 40 years, and still has a house on campus which he uses when he
comes to campus for his many talks.
The church was about half full when
the service began, but every seat was filled by the time it ended.
It was a long service with a lot of rising and nearly constant
singing, We only understood the occasional hosanna and amen.
For that reason we can report that there were about five adult
women for every adult man, and that about 30 percent of the
congregation were children.
Leaving the church
After the service we were invited for coffee by a woman who sat behind
Kate each Sunday. After some futile attempts at conversation her
grandaughter came over to help interpret.
There were sheets to wash and rooms to clean in the afternoon, but with
four of us it was not difficult. The weather has been very good,
with few clouds and highs around 80. We hung out the linens on
lines on the roof, and the combination of wind and dry air dried them
in about 20 minutes.
Israel went off daylight savings time Sunday night, and now the sun
sets at 5 pm. Ruth and I usually have free time in the afternoons
for walks, but now it is dark when we come home and the cars on curvy
and hilly roads are worrisome.
I have to admit that we have not gone far. We usually walk down a
steep hill to a main road at the foot of the campus, and then up a
steeper hill to a shopping area near the church. We managed to
surmise that Nabeeh (whom we have yet to meet) has a music school in
that neighborhood, and on our third try we found it and were ushered in
by a unuversity student who teaches dance in the evening. We were
hopeful that when I mentioned an accordion there would be some
response, but there were only smiles. I told our host (who speaks
good English) that I had sent a message to Nabeeh earlier and that he
had responded. She said yes, she remembered our names, since she
had written the response.
Tuesday a large group from a British missionary society, came for a
talk and lunch. We are getting better at our duties - setting out
tables with refreshments, setting up the book table, and in this case,
talking to the group briefly while we waited for Abuna. Then,
after his talk, we go into a frantic mode, making sure everyone is
happy and trying to make change in four different currencies (Euro,
Sterling, US Dollars, and Sheqels). Ruth got the group started on
a tour of the campus and the church, and then we returned quickly to
the guesthouse (about 200 yards away, up a steep hill) to assist our
cook with lunch. So far, the lunch groups are very comfortable in
the guest house dining room, and stay beyond their scheduled departure;
but eventually they leave and we clean up.er
Then we may have a long time to wait for the next group, and we try to
do some maintenance and improvements - or just get in some reading.
We have long periods of relaxation interspersed with short
periods of panic.
Here are a few more pictures of the schools and students,