7:56 pm

I am trying to get started early this evening – and hopefully a bit shorter.  Want to get in some extra rest.  My goal for these days is to regroup…but the city lies out there and begs to be explored.  But…priorities!

I woke up about 7:30 this morning.  Which is later than I’ve slept in weeks…maybe months.  So it was nice.  But what woke me up was the sound of children gathering and talking and playing.  I figured out what was next door to me – a private high school.  It got quiet again once school started – but there were several breaks throughout the day.  I did figure out I could open my window (and the metal shutters).  Some natural light and fresh air was great.

Had breakfast downstairs.  Came back to the room and just tooled around until the cleaning crew came to refresh the room.  Then I left on a bit of an explore around.  Went out the New Gate and around to the mall.  Made an appointment for a massage in the morning.  Remember the goal? 

Wandered back to the room, now clean and fresh.  It was a mess.  Tooled around again and got sleepy.  Decided…why not?  I fell asleep for as much as a couple of hours.  Not sure I’ve ever napped before noon.  Woke up and got ready for some lunch.

Found a new place located between me and The Gloria (if you’ve been with me you know where that is….sort of).  It was a falafel and hummus shop.  Had pine nut humus with salad and three falafels and pita.  It was a good.  I enjoyed it a lot.  A little more wandering.

Came back to the room and decided to watch “The Dead Sea Diving Resort” which I had downloaded onto my phone before the trip.  It’s a Netflix original movie about the rescuing of Ethiopian Jews from the genocide down there in the early 1980’s.  I am going to finish it when I’m done here.  I’m enjoying it.

At 4 pm I had an appointment with our new tour guide, Benny Rozanski.  He’s my age and very personable.  I think he’ll do a great job.  He wanted to get to know me (and I wanted to get to know him).  He’s done some research on me (he talked with Andre, my previous guide). Hmmm….would love to know what that conversation was like.

Benny is Jewish.  His daughter is getting married about a week after our tour.  He went to guide school years ago (met his wife – a top IGM guide) and then got a job with public TV here in Israel.  35 years later he retired and picked up guiding again.  He’s been doing it a couple of years.  So he is fresh and excited to be doing it – and loves it.  He really wants to make this a good experience for our group – and takes only about one group a month.  So this could work out well.  I liked him.  He won’t go (by law) into Bethlehem or Samaria.  We’ll have a guide provided by the olive wood shop for Bethlehem – and NET will arrange for a guide for Samaria.  So that’s not a huge deal.

Came back and waited for dinner.  It was not ready when they said it would be – which is no big deal.  It eventually was ready – and the salmon was actually quite delicious.  So now I am back in my room.  Finishing up my daily tasks. Then I will finish the movie and sleep. Sweet sleep.

I did hear from Danny.  The rest of the team in Uganda made it back to Kampala from the safari. They were to have dinner with the Ojera’s.  They will shop in the morning and head out to the airport around noon.  He’ll be glad to get that part going I think.  They did love the safari.

So all is well in Jerusalem. Warm, but not too warm (unless you are in the direct sun).  We won’t be back here for a while, however.  All is well.

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