Thursday, June 18, 2009

WOW! (written on June 5)

Well it’s been about a week since I’ve gotten back, so therefore I should be able to articulate my experience. Yeah, well, the only thing I can say for sure is that I won’t forget these darn bug bites any time soon. I’m still itching…

Overall, I had an unforgettable life altering journey that has changed the way I look at the world. And that’s a lot to say about a two week trip, but I feel confident in making that statement here. If there’s anything that really struck me, and left a deep impression, it was a conversation I had with a Jewish settler. We were discussing the communication barrier between Israeli’s and Palestinians. I asked him casually “so how many Palestinians have you spoken with?” His answer didn’t necessarily surprise me, “I speak to the ones that work in my neighborhood”. And I retaliated, “Well I mean outside of your neighborhood. Have you taken the time to speak to Palestinians in the territories?” And the answer of the day was, “Why should I”. And he had a good point. Why should he? Here is a man who has a beautiful home, beautiful family situated in a well built, safe neighborhood with gardens and swimming pools galore. Why should he?

I remember feeling so discouraged and disappointed at that moment. It was then that I realized when a group has power; they get to decide the rules. Furthermore, people who are close-minded only add to the conflict because they are unwilling to open up their heart and minds to another perspective. It was very disheartening to experience.

On the other hand, we met with many groups on the Palestinian and Israeli sides that are trying and succeeding in making a difference. They foster hope into the community and it is beautiful to see. I personally don’t know the answer to the conflict, and I don’t know how it will all play out, but I do have hope in mankind.

And just to wrap things up I have to give a shout out to the group. What an amazing group of people we had on this trip. Whoever is reading this blog, you should check back with the group in ten years because already we will have accomplished great things. I love you all and I’m blessed to have shared this experience with you.

Take care.

Love the one and only,