Tuesday, July 18, 2006
Culture shock
Some fun links...

Virtual Dan tour. Coolest website ever. Okay, maybe not EVER, but still, pretty dang neat, I think. Click on the Israelite gate, then "25. Initial View: South." That's where I was digging last week. You can also get 3D views of the Middle Bronze gate and the Israelite high place that got them all into so much trouble.

I've got the first batch of photos on flickr. There are lots more to come so keep coming back.

Ryan has a handful of photos posted.

Gary is an over-achiever and has all of his pictures up.

According to the Jerusalem Post...
A suicide bombing was preempted Monday in downtown Jerusalem, after a 25-year-old Palestinian was caught carrying a bomb in a bag on a main city thoroughfare, police said.

And which main city thoroughfare might that be? Why, Jaffa Gate, the entrance to the Old City that I walked through at least a dozen times last week. What fun. It's just another datapoint for the Hand of Providence surrounding us on our time in Israel and our timely exit of the country.

I sat in Solomon's Porch in Wilmore this morning, catching up on journaling and reliving the minutes of last Wednesday. A trio of guys sat behind talking blithely about Middle East current events. Maybe it was that. Maybe it was the effect of three cups of coffee on an empty stomach. But my hands trembled and my nerves were mangled.

I wasn't expecting culture shock like this. I've had the experience of seeing extreme poverty overseas and then coming home to the mall and thinking this is sick and wrong. This is different. I don't know yet how to articulate it. I think it has something to do with safety and distance and naivity and what I take for granted.

Church yesterday was awkward. On the one hand, I was overwhelmed by the genuine concern and relief that people expressed. On the the other, I don't know how to give a concise response to the question "How was your trip?" in a manner suitable to that social setting. I'm prepared to tell the whole long story, but I haven't yet figured out the cliff-notes two-sentence reply. Please give me a couple more days and I'll get back with you.

One guy in absolute, complete sincerity, I kid you not, asked me, "How did it feel to be there when Armageddon started?" I believe the blank expression on my face probably broadcast something like "404 error: The URL you requested is not available on this server."

Something like that.

posted by Peter at 12:11 AM
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