When we were kids, that was a taunt. Like, if things don't go your way the other kids couldn't care less and that's their response to you. "Too bad, so sad." Augh! I hated that!
So it's 8:30pm on Monday and we just checked in to the hotel in Bethlehem in time to throw the bags in the room and make dinner at 7. So I come back to the room after dinner and my room is like a sauna! I've got the AC turned on the thermostat and it's set for 19 (66f) but it reads 24 (75f). It's blowing hot air!
So I go out to the desk to ask about it and the desk clerk looks at me like I am the stupidest human on the planet. And she shrugs and says with not a care in her tone, "Sorry, it's winter time and we've got the heat on. Open your window."
Wish I'd thought of that! Too bad, so sad.
Well I did, in fact, think of that.
Me: "I can't open the window. I tried. It's locked and there's no knob."
She: "Yes, I know."
Me: "Well, can I either get the air conditioning turned in my room or can someone come and open the window?"
She: With a very irritated sigh, "I'll get someone to come as soon as I can."
Me: "Thanks for your help."
And the WiFi doesn't work in my room. So I'm sitting out in the middle of the hotel lobby because I burned through a huge chunk of my international data on FaceTime for a few minutes with Becky.
We came down to Bethlehem today via the Mediterranean coast because we went to Mt. Carmel, the mountain range on the other side of the Jezreel Valley from Galilee and Tiberias. It's in Haifa which is right on the coast. Amazing views! I've never seen the Mediterranean Sea before today. So cool!
In the OT book of 1 Kings, you'll find stories of Elijah taking refuge in a grotto on the mountain. So guess what? Just like at pretty much every other significant Biblical spot, there's a church there now. And according to tradition, the church is built over THE grotto that housed said prophet, Elijah. The church is maintained by a Carmelite order of Monks, hence the name. And it's beautiful! Pics on Facebook.
There's also an amazing Baha'i Garden there that stretches down the whole mountainside almost to the Sea. It's amazing! Nothing to do with Christianity or Judaism, but let's not forget that we've clashed with the Persians over the centuries over some of the same territory.
Just because our God promised Abraham's progeny the land of milk and honey, it doesn't mean that the indigenous peoples ever saw it that way. And there you have the root of the Palestinian conflict.
Speaking of that, we met today with retired Archbishop of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church, Elias Chacour. Father Chacour is a three-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee, author, and the founder of the Mar Elias school with K-12 and gifted programs serving about 3400 students. He is especially focused on Palestinian Christian, Muslim, And Druze students. The focus is interfaith and inclusive education for all peoples. He continues to work for peace and prays constantly that Jewish kids will come to the school. They have Jewish faculty, but no students--yet.
We also made a stop at the ancient site of Caesarea. This was a resort and palace built by Herod the Great. It's right on the beach and featured an outdoor amphitheater that seats 3500, a hippodrome capable of hosting chariot races and seating as many as 10,000, and a complicated adequate water system that also fed an ancient flushing toilet. You can't make this stuff up! The toilet sat several people, too. I did not take a picture of the potty, sorry. Too bad, so sad.
Tomorrow is holy sites here in Bethlehem and Hebron, and meetings with Muslim clergy. We're also visiting the Tent of Nations and lunching with families affected by Israeli settlements. Lent is coming fast! I'm sorry to miss our church's Shrove Tuesday pancake celebration.
Now I gotta see if this will post because the internet connection is spotty now. And stuff must be blooming here, because we've all got allergies flaring up. I know, right? Sounds like I'm whining. Better get on with it. Too bad, so sad!