Monday, July 17, 2006

Day 3 in JLM

I awoke this morning to hear Israeli radio news reports and see my friend busilyIM-ing with friends in the North. "More bombs in the north" she said. After my shower I sat down infront of Sky news to hear the update. Yael joined me and immediately got on the phones, she wa trying to make a connection between old friends to find soem in Kiyrat Shmon which is right on the border a place of refuge from the onslaught. Many of the people in the norther town like Naharyiha have been in bomb shelters for the past 10 days. Also many are sending their kids now to relatives in the south or central part of the country, away from the bombimg. In many ways it all feels surreal. Yael too said this is surreal for her and unexpected, there have not been a rocket attack like this in Hiafa for some 32 years. But it is close to Lebanon about 25 miles and on a clear day I could see the Lebanese border from my apartment balcony at the university.

Last Thursday after the first rocket fell I called Oren from Jeruslaem while still in my safe room asking on advice on what to do in such circumstances. He has a bit of a sarcastic sense of humour and he said smirkly, "the first thing you must do is put on clean underware, what would your mother say if you got hit in dirty pants". He was trying to be funny obviously...That said, no on ever thought things would escalate to this situation. It is hard to see all the things happenign here and seeing all the innocent in Israle & Lebanon being effected and able to do nothing.

But JLM not a bad place to be stuck. Yael's parent's home is the nicest place I have stayed in Israel, they have a huge house with view overlooking the hills of Yad Vashem and the valley near Ein Karem. Yael's granfather was a well known Israeli artist so the top floor looks more like a gallery than a home, the have a 2 tier garden so it is a beautiful place to take refuge. ALso Yael is one of my research collaborators so we are able to do work here together which is good.

I have had many emails from friends around the world who are a bit concerned about me , it is nice to hear that they care. I promised in the letter I had to write to get leave of TAMU that I would be safe and not do anything silly and I will live to that. It is my 4th trip so I know the country and I am staying with local who are in the know so that is good as well. Besides I have a praying Mum and have seen God's hand move in several times in the last 3 days to protect me and my friends so all is well with my soul.

Will report more later today.


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