Saturday, August 15, 2009

Our West Bank Excursion

   Ok. So here is the deal. After our travels I have been inspired to write. About anything. Things I know and things that are new to me. To expand my mind, to discover and rediscover. I have been thinking for awhile about writing something to submit to my favorite magazine The Walrus (a Canadian publication which is a general interest magazine dedicated to things such as politics, canadian fiction, poetry, art etc...) as well as to our student paper and on campus magazine. I think we has some unique and fantastic experiences on our trip and what better way to connect with the world than sharing through this type of media. I would love your feed back on something I am working on. This is the bare bones;  I know what I want to do with it but for starters I just sat down and wrote out what I felt and what I saw. The rest will come. 

 The day was hot. We boarded a bus outside the old city Damascus gate in Jerusalem and headed to Bethlehem. Waiting attentively, I watched as people boarded the small bus and get off once again. By the time we reached the West bank border, there was only myself, Shaun and another girl (blond, likely a tourist). The bus pulled up and we emerged into the glaring Israel sun, meters from the barricade. Looking around anxiously, I asked the blond girl if she knew where to go. Shrugging she introduced herself as Margot and we discovered we had a mutual acquaintance. Margot mentioned that she was from Switzerland and that she also aspired to journalism. 

    The three of us watched as buses rumbled past as a woman gestured us toward a door, opening to reveal a concrete passage that immediately took a sharp turn right. Shaun led the way and we walked for a few moments before reaching an open area caged by a chain link fence and sharp, twisted barbed wire. I distinctively recall a single yellow rose, in bloom, growing through the parched soil on the opposite side. Perhaps a desperate attempt to make the border crossing seem less like a cattle corral. I think that rose could be representative of the beauty and generosity that we would later experience within the confines of the wall in Bethlehem. 

   Army officials stood at attention with smug expressions as the sun formed beads of sweat on their furrowed brows. We entered another gate, again adorned with barbed wire, into the concrete slab structure that was before us. Inside the walls were glaringly white. It was a labrinth of closed doors, metal detectors and x-ray machines. Besides a few men lingering at the other side as they completed the rigorous process of exiting the compound, and the few soldiers about the place was empty. It was silent and possessed an asylum-like quality. We flashed our passports, which were not even open, to a bored looking man in the booth and continued on. Winding our way through more concrete hallways, under red flashing lights, through another chain link fence and metal enclosure we emerged into a barren parking lot. 

-Over and out, Delilah

Graffiti of West Bank Part I

    During the duration of the trip we were constantly on the look-out for great graffiti. The best place by far for this endeavor was in Bethlehem, West Bank (the Palestinian territory in Israel). Jack was in his glee snapping photos so this is the first installment here. Enjoy!


Friday, August 7, 2009

It has been so looonnnnnggggg!

    Helloooooo out there! I realize it has been quite awhile but Jack and I were in motion, flying from Israel to Romania, taking multiple trains to the Czech countryside- where we stayed with the most amazing people ever- then travelled to Germany and flew home to Canada!!!!!

   As many of my readers might know I am a university student studying politics and history. I aspire to perhaps one day do journalism so this is my creative outlet for the moment- although I try not to get too controversial on this blog (concerning politics). Since the trip is over, after I catch up on my posts I intend to continue writing and posting so...


    I have some amazing stories to share, including one about our experience in a West Bank refugee camp, about the amazing people we met in the Czech Republic and our experience there, the 600 euro we almost scored, and much more. For the month of August we also have a big canoe trip planned for Northern Ontario so I will include tips on:
  • How to bear proof your campsite
  • How to clean a fish
  • Idea for a tasty camping friendly meal
Anyways, I will keep posting.... Over and out,