Our Daily Bread

Trip Start Jan 08, 2008
Trip End Mar 18, 2008

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Thursday, January 24, 2008

Dear friends and family,
"Give us this day our daily bread..."- on Monday when we were at the Church of the Patrer Noster and we saw these words inscribed in so many different languages, I decided to use them in this blog to share a piece of our daily lives with you. We are living in a small studio apartment that is only a 10 minute walk from both the Damascus and Jaffa Gates. The apt. is located on the corner of 2 pedestrian streets, which means that we have no cars outside our windows. Our landlady, Ruthi, is Jewish, a potter, and has spent the last 30 years purchasing parts of the building. She owns her apartment, 2 studios, has a small garden with a new studio, and her pottery studio is tucked under part of the house. There is still one apartment upstairs that she does not own. Her English and her helpfulness are wonderful.
Our days begin with an exercise walk and then it is "kitchen table time". This table is where our bodies are fed and our minds are challenged. In other words, Michael does his studying here, so there are always books, notepad, and our computer that rest here. The only noise disturbance comes from a dog that loves to hear his own voice, cats that howl for each other, and a neighborhood rooster. In the afternoons we leave on our daily adventures. We tend to make a plan each day - sometimes our trips have been based on something that Michael has read about; or a place that he wants to explore for more information; or a historical/spiritual journey that has been written in a book that we are both reading; or a previous site visited that we want to learn more about; or simply an errand for our food shopping. Every place that we see and experience has an impact on us both, and each day we learn and observe something new. We try to share with you in our blogs. We depend totally on our feet for transportation, so thus far, we have logged a total of close to 75 miles. There is no pre-calculation of how many miles away a site is. We just go and trust that we can make it.
Our meals are simple and creative with just a hotplate and toaster oven. We eat rice or couscous with sauteed veges; chicken soup (no chicken, but we use the leftover rice and veges in it); eggs; tuna; pita pizzas with fresh veges; humus; yogurt; and fruit. Desserts have been some incredible cookies and pastries that we purchase at our neighborhood Arab baker. I know that in a past entry we have included some picures of the open markets. This is indeed how we shop for most items, however there is a larger market where we can purchase canned goods, yogurt, milk and juice. It is approximately 1/3 of the size of the Plum Grove Jewel. Everything is smaller here - homes, cars, stores, streets, sidewalks, people (we rarely see anyone who is overweight ), and showers! Aaron had asked us if we see many tourists, and the answer is no. We know that tourist groups are here - we see the buses and at some sites we see groups, but on most days we are in neighborhoods with the residents. On our trips into the Old City we see some individual tourists such as ourselves. Our evenings are frequently spent on the computer (preparing the blog, answering e-mails, research, etc.), going for a little walk, or watching some T.V. (there are NO commercials on the English speaking stations!). Dad - I have taught Michael how to play cribbage - you're a better teacher, though. We go to bed incredibly exausted - in mind, body, and spirit. Each of our day's here have been "filled" with daily bread. May your days, too, be overflowing with daily bread - may you find adventures that fill your minds, bodies, and spirits.
Christ is with us all!
Jolene and Michael
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