Jerusalem

It took me a while to make up my mind on whether I should post this photo or not. Maybe because the past few days have been an especially trying time for this region and I don’t know exactly what to say but an exasperated “Can’t you all just get along?”  To hear about all the aggression going on in the news after having been there only a few weeks earlier is partly sad but mostly maddening.

Like most people in the world, what I know of the Israel-Palestine region is whatever the news feeds me. I had a lot of naysayers telling me not to go through with my trip but heck, where would the world be if we all listened to the naysayers.  And so I went… and fell in love with everything.

Above is Jerusalem, one of the oldest cities on earth and home to three major religions: Judaism, Islam and Christianity. You don’t have to be deeply religious to grasp the cultural and historical richness of this region. You don’t even have to be an anthropology, art or architecture nut.

What’s needed is the basic understanding that none of these really matter if we don’t bother to preserve it and pass it on to the next generation. Preservation does not merely refer to the buildings nor artefacts but more importantly the people.  They are after all the heart of culture and no amount of reconstruction and restoration can make up for the loss of human lives.

Dining With the Carmelite Sisters

Located on the slopes of Mount Carmel is the Carmelite nunnery of Stella Maris Monastery in Haifa, Israel.  The monastery serves as a sort of spiritual headquarters throughout the world with sisters coming in from many different countries– some spend a few years to help while others stay on permanently.

Now the monastery itself has  a rich history but I’d like to focus on their dining room behind.

They aren’t exactly running a restaurant business and I’m not exactly a food critic but I’m gonna write a review nonetheless: They serve the best roast chicken I’ve ever tasted! There you go.