Yom asal, Yom basal = 1 day honey, 1 day onions
Trip Start Sep 15, 2010
29Trip End Jul 23, 2011
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I think the most difficult part for me is feeling comfortable being a woman alone. While unsolicited comments are annoying, what really bugs me is the stereotype that all Western women are "easy." So in my (perhaps naive) desire to respectfully represent a different side, I try not to make eye contact with anyone outside of the house or office. Yet this feels increasingly isolating. I am going to have to find a new way to connect with people because being an ice queen is not a part of my DNA
On a more positive note, my co-worker invited me to see his traditional Palestinian dance troop perform. He is incredibly talented and the show was powerful to watch.
I also met my old college friend, Khalaf, in Ramallah last Thursday night. He took me on a walking tour of his hometown and then we met a big group of his friends at a beautiful restaurant.
During dinner I learned that by requesting not to have an Israeli stamp on my passport (so that I can travel to Lebanon later) and having no additional paperwork, I could have issues getting out of the West Bank. Thankfully Khalaf's friend was able to "sneak" me out of a secondary checkpoint in her car later that night. She is an American too, so the guards just assumed we were settlers and waved us through.
Due to these passport issues I wasn't able to visit Bethlehem or go to Quaker meeting this weekend as planned. Therefore on the first day of the work week (which is Sunday here) I immediately took care of business at the Ministry of Interior
For now I am just trying to count my small blessings ... like eating fresh pomegranates and Antoinette translating Arabic jokes and soap operas for me. My co-intern also just showed me where the educational bookstore is located. I can't tell you how nice it is to finally find a place to read and write other than my room.