Friday, October 24, 2008

fat lad running in the footsteps of where Jesus walked

we are in a bus moving the the jordan river valley, the vista is so stunning and massive
there is green pastures of date palm that are reputed to be the best in the world, green oasis' in regulation style blocks of land all around surrounded by high stone mountains.
this is gods country

only thing is the settlers have nicked the best bits and most fertile soil to tirn into these oasis'
they may produce the best dates on earth, but eating them will surely leave more than bitter aftertaste

wow it just started to rain - out of nowhere, the first sign of it on our trip, we are rising up towards nazareth, we did make a quick stopover in jericho for a comfort wipe :-0
and an attempt to purchase a coffee from an increasingly irate and rude fella serving a queue of orderly english folk totally out of turn, weird. it nearly kicked off when he shouted at me to wait... our great guide stepped in a told him to be polite and he quickly shut his gob.

last night in bethlehem was just wondrous
we took a trip to a local concert of palestinian group playing kind of arabic jazz rhythms, and garth was asked to get up and give a rousing rendition of some of his locally written songs, the warmth he received from the locals and us visitors alike was so striking. he is so loved here by the people he calls brothers and sisters, and who the people here call he and his lovely mrs gill, brother and sister.....

finished off by a fantastic sing song in the bar into the small hours, with harv on piano and martin googling the lyrics and shouting them out before each line of song. oh, and me on some arabic roland keyboard playing drums and 'grace notes', it was heaven........
and i got to sang ONE by u2, oh yes oh yes oh yes

we just passed the border of what is known as west bank, and the state of israel..... a security checkpoint that pulled us over and we were told by our guide to expect maybe to have to be searched and have all our luggage put through scanners before we would be allowed through...
a sniffer dog doing his circuit of the bus looked dis-interested, perhaps his 2 other dog friends were taking their lunch our guide joked, as he went on to explain that this was the quickest it has taken for him to be allowed through with a group of travelers...... maybe we have an angel on our shoulder.....

we are just about to pass through a very special place - the place of the first miracle jesus ever performed.....the place where he turned the water into the wine...,

after today being in nazareth and with arab muslim guy, and visiting the church of mary paintings, it is fitting we pass through here
it is clear that miracles are still the one that happened to the american lady who bought 15 bottles of local ine to take back to usa....

i seem to have been re christened john the big, i like that
if they ever erect a church to me in this land many moons in the future (which i very much doubt), i am gonna insist on cigar smoking instead of incense burning, and replace the church organ with a bontempi and karaoke
the communal wine shall be jack daniels of course...

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