These are Brave Women

From Brooke's Journal August 5 and 6

"I have been in touch with a sister in the branch for a time now (whom we will henceforth call A) and she has been a great help to me. I woke up early on the 5th (because I went to bed at 7 the day before) and found an email waiting for me that said she and another sister from the branch (We will call her W) were going to the Old City to get some things If I wanted to come.

So I met A, her two kids J & J and W, her three kids B, M, and S, and her husband J at A's apartment which is only about 1.5 minutes away from our house. What a blessing. The 8 of us got on an Arab bus (4 shekels) and headed for the old city after a bit of a wait at the bus stop. I still can’t get over how brave these moms are. Not only have they brought their small children here, they are trucking them through the old city which is a crowded, hot, crowded, busy, some times scary, crowded place. These are amazing women.

The day was pretty successful for me as I came away with the following:

Spoons, Forks, Cooking Utensils and a Broom

50 NIS (New Israeli Shekels)

Floor Mop

46 NIS

Comforter, Sheets, Duvet Cover, tiny pillow cases

135 NIS

Amazing Falafel and Water

11 NIS

Super Sharp Fancy Knife (you only need one)

100 NIs

342 total Shekelege

$87 US dollars

I learned to ride the bus, met some new friends, ate really good falafel in the Old City, and got the comfy bed I needed to make everything ok. It was a very good trip.

When Max got home he told me all about his first day at school and we decided to take a little nap before dinner. Worst idea ever. We slept and slept and slept until I woke up at about 2:30 in the morning and couldn’t go back to sleep. I think our jet lag is better now, but that day was doozy. "

" After Max went off to school (which he is loving) I set about cleaning the house. I got most of the way through and even scrubbed the bathroom floor on my hands and knees. It feels a lot more like home, but I’m still not sure what to do about our prison-like kitchen. I’ll figure something out.

After Max came home we had a light lunch salad of arugula, tomatos, cucumbers, and homemade honey Dijon dressing. It was delicious. They evidently eat a lot of salad in Israel. At 5 pm we met up with a group of students led by Max’s “Madrich” (his denmother) Ronin. The tour was about 5 hours and took us through modern Jerusalem, and the Jewish parts of the city. We visited the Shouk “Menahe Yehuda” and learned that we can buy a lot of things cheaper their than at our local grocery store. (And things are probably even cheaper at the Arab souk in the Old City.) I’m glad to have options for groceries that will lower our bills.

We walked through Ben Yahuda street, and Jaffa and Agrippa street. It was really eye opening to see the modern Jewish parts of the city since my experiences has been almost exclusively Arab and almost exclusively the Old City. We went through Mamilla and some of the other pricey neighborhoods in Jerusalem. It was a great, if very long tour. "


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