The Desert!

Today was a day to relax and do a bit of tourism, and the delegation scaled a desert mountain in Jericho, one of the worlds oldest continuously inhabited cities. Jericho is rich in agricultural wealth, with dates, bananas, oranges, and eggplants lining the arid valleys with green. At the top of the mountain, we toured a working monastery, housing the stone where Jesus was said to have been tempted by the devil, and the cave where he fasted for 40 days and 40 nights. It was peaceful and serene, and offered a much needed opportunity to reflect on an extremely powerful week in Palestine.

And, of course, no trip to the Holy Land would be complete without a dip in the Dead Sea. Israel has confiscated all the land beside the sea, restricting opportunities for Palestinians to
generate tourism revenues from the many visitors to this unique natural wonder. We did have a nice time, giggling at the internationals painting their bodies with the healing mud, and floating effortlessly in the extremely salty water.

The delegation has not even had time to upload any pictures! The internet connection is too slow to get too many up, but we managed to get one. This is the office of our host union, the Independent Federation of Unions of Palestine.


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