This has been a busy month. Between things heating up at work, me starting to have things to do almost every night with friends (what a blessing they are!), a few special trips, and some illness, I have done a very poor job of blogging. But here is a “catch-up” post with lots of pictures. If you don’t hear from me at least weekly from here on out please send me an email like wonderful father did yesterday: “Hey, I just noticed that you are not doing a good job with your blog. Time to get with it!!” Thank you Pops:-)!
Stars and Bucks in Bethlehem. Definitely enough of a “green circle of pleasure” to make me smile when I see it, and it serves one of my favorite things: fresh-squeezed pomegranate juice! There are many benefits to living in the Middle East and the fruit is at the top of my list of those things.

My boyfriend, Kagiso, was able to get a visa to come visit me here at the end of February. We traveled around the country during his four-day visit.

This is me floating in the Dead Sea. It is very cool, but I think the water is one of the grossest things I have ever tasted! (No, I didn’t drink it intentionally. I think a little splashed on my lip. YUCK!)
Kagiso on the sea of Galilee. It was cool to be at a place we read so much about in the gospels.

Hanging out with friends and eating a wonderful traditional Palestinian barbecue lunch. These guys have made life here so much fun!

My roommate, Judith, walking in the hills near Jerusalem. This was at the beginning of March and I hope gives you a taste of the beauty and diversity of this country.

Setting out on a trek through the desert near Jericho with good friends.

After our hike we rode on a cable car up the Mountain of Temptation. It was amazing to spend the day in the place where Jesus had done his fast and been tempted by Satan. I have new respect for how difficult it would have been to not turn the loaf into bread… we were sooo hungry and tired after our one-day hike!

After the recent bombing in Jerusalem I was concerned that getting through the checkpoint would be much more difficult. Thankfully, the day of the bomb was the only time we noticed a difference at all. I’m thanking God that for us here it hasn’t caused the problems I feared it would. Please continue to pray for real peace here, and that people would not turn to terrorism. I have many thoughts on this, but will post them another time.

Friends and I went to an event at the Intercontinental Hotel (which is amazing) in Bethlehem. It was my first stand-up comedy performance to see live, and had a great time.

Believe it or not, two days from now will mark three months in The Land. I needed to leave the country for a new visa, and spent a week in Bradford. God is providing some possibilities for my time after being here, and I’ll need to write about them later as well. This picture was taken in a paddle-boat on the pond in Lister Park on a gorgeous spring day.