Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Sharon's Stuff

January 20, 2013



I started this trip at 4:30 a.m. Friday morning and we got to our room in Manila at 10:00 p.m. Sunday night. I find I just can't sleep on an airplane so I was functioning on pure adrenalin after 24 hours. We got in bed by 11:30 Sunday night and up at 4:30 to go to a different airport for yet another flight, but this one only a little over an hour. Then a VERY bumpy bus ride that should have been 3 hours but was lengthened by a flat tire on one of our three buses (two for people and luggage and one just luggage). I fantasized that we might get a nap when we got to the hotel, but it was just a fantasy....we had a lunch and headed for one of the 3 hospitals to unpack tons and tons of boxes of medical devices and equipment donated by various medical companies, or outdated from hospitals, or excess inventory, or whatever source(s) Dr. Cacdac has. I'll show you pictures later when I get them transferred. My job assignment is to work in supplies....which means after you unpack it all, you....theoretically....organize it into what it is, by size, potency, etc., and then when one of the surgeons sends someone down, you put what they want into their hands and feel like you accomplished something! Notice the word "theoretically" in that sentence, is pure theory that when they ask for a specific hemostat or cardiac needle or suture or tubing, that I am going to have a clue even WHAT THEY WANT, let alone where it is in the room! So I specialized this morning (Monday) in gloves...sterile and non-sterile, powdered and non-powdered, latex and non-latex, and sizes. Unfortunately, I had a table the size of a card table and I needed a banqueting table or two for all of them! And I quickly discovered that if they request a catheter tube, offering them a size 7 sterile non-powdered glove was not the proper response. My first thought was, "Why aren't these things all sorted and organized in the States?" The answer is because most of the boxes come here when we do and from a great number of different sources who donate whatever they have, so pre-organizing isn't an option. So my second thought was, "Why don't the people assigned to supplies come here a few days earlier, with a couple medical people to explain what things are, so we have a nicely arranged and very functional supply room set up by the time the surgeries start?" Possibly that idea might be considered for future missions.

The Philippines ranges from abject poverty (the patients we are seeing) to quite wealthy (the hotel resort where we are staying is owned by the local Congresswoman and her celebrity husband). My heart is with the amazing patients, the poor people. I got to meet several of them, hold some hands, pray for them (not really WITH them since they probably had no idea what I was saying), asking the Lord to provide them relief and healing directly or through the mission doctors. One very very very precious lady who had a tumor the size of a basketball removed kept telling me, "I am very happy, ma'am" as she was wiping her eyes in recovery. I think that's all she knew how to say and it was a "thank you" message....although of course I had nothing to do with her procedure. She didn't know that, though, since I had scrubs on. They are so sweet they are grateful to everyone involved. Some of them were on the list last year and didn't get helped because were are so many, so they tried again. This particular woman, who won my heart totally, probably has cancer. I don't know if they are sending the tissues to a lab to confirm diagnoses or not, but the operating doctor said he cut into it in the sink room and it was hard and looked cancerous to him. Please pray for Anita. 

I am not at the hospital where the children are, sadly. We did have an 8-year-old boy with a goiter removed and a 3-lb baby delivered....not sure if that was induced or a C-section or natural. I suspect not natural considering the timing, so probably induced for a reason or a C-section. Other than those two, all the cases done at Oospah were adults.

Don't worry if you don't hear from me. Rich said more than once that the internet is hit-and-miss here, and he is near Manila when he is here. We are way down from Manila at Ormoc City, so I imagine this area has more "miss" than "hit"! I tried yesterday afternoon and their wifi (only available in the lobby) was down and it was still down this morning. So I thought I'd send this off Monday evening before dinner and ask for prayers and praises. God is SO good!


January 17, 2013


I seriously hate packing.....I don't even know why, but I put it off and put it off til the last possible moment. I START early enough. Pat was kind enough to lend me her suitcase a couple weeks early and I did start piling things in and around it. It's the finishing the project that is so hard! Possibly because the pile of stuff looked intimidating and way too much and the list of "to-do's" too long. But I think Father must have done some compacting, because I managed to get the camera and electronic stuff (camera is in the backpack but the stuff is in the suitcase); toiletries; 10 days worth of sox and underwear; two dressy outfits; heels; a box of Nerd candies Pat gave me for the children and then 350 Pixy Stix I found (here in Pampa even!) after she told me they would be good to take. I had never heard of Pixy Stix, and I rather doubt the kids there have either, but I bet they are going to love them. And I doubt they ever heard the word "nerd" but they'll love how one tastes, thanks to Pat. PLUS I got 16 scrub outfits in the suitcase! I will wear some of those while working there and then we leave them all behind for the hospital staff, so I bought a bunch....and then stressed out about getting them packed! God is so good.


Then I'll have my camera, iPad, book, snacks and miscellany, plus my son Michael's little laptop in the backpack Danina gave me for my first trip to Israel. I love it cuz it is so easy to tell people to look for the yellow and black check backpack....I've never seen another one like it.... :-)  I always sympathize with pack mules when I travel. I am thankful I don't have their job!


My geography skills leave something to be desired, so I looked to see where the Philippines are. Apparently the plane from Houston will go westward and northward, possibly over Washington state, and then out over the North Pacific Ocean to Tokyo.


January 17, 2013

Themes of the Sixty-Six Books of the Bible


Consider the themes of the sixty-six books:


In Genesis, He is the Creator God.

In Exodus, He is the Redeemer.

In Leviticus, He is your sanctification.

In Numbers, He is your guide.

In Deuteronomy, He is your teacher.

In Joshua, He is the mighty conqueror.

In Judges, He gives victory over enemies.

In Ruth, He is your kinsman, your lover, your redeemer.

In I Samuel, he is the root of Jesse;

In 2 Samuel, He is the Son of David.

In 1 Kings and 2 Kings, He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords

In 1st and 2nd Chronicles, He is your intercessor and High Priest.

In Ezra, He is your temple, your house of worship.

In Nehemiah, He is your mighty wall, protecting you from your enemies.

In Esther, He stands in the gap to deliver you from your enemies.

In Job, He is the arbitrator who not only understands your struggles, but has the power to do something about them.

In Psalms, He is your song - and your reason to sing.

In Proverbs, He is your wisdom, helping you make sense of life and live it successfully.

In Ecclesiastes, He is your purpose, delivering you from vanity.

In the Song of Solomon, He is your lover, your Rose of Sharon.

In Isaiah, He is the mighty counselor, the prince of peace, the everlasting father, and more. In short, He's everything you need.

In Jeremiah, He is your balm of Gilead, the soothing salve for your sin-sick soul.

In Lamentations, He is the ever-faithful one upon whom you can depend.

In Ezekiel, He is your wheel in the middle of a wheel-the one who assures that dry, dead bones will come alive again.

In Daniel, He is the ancient of days, the everlasting God who never runs out of time.

In Hosea, He is your faithful lover, always beckoning you to come back-even when you have abandoned Him.

In Joel, He is your refuge, keeping you safe in times of trouble.

In Amos, He is the husbandman, the one you can depend on to stay by your side.

In Obadiah, He is Lord of the Kingdom.

In Jonah, He is your salvation, bringing you back within His will.

In Micah, He is judge of the nation.

In Nahum, He is the jealous God.

In Habakkuk, He is the Holy One.

In Zephaniah, He is the witness.

In Haggai, He overthrows the enemies

In Zechariah, He is Lord of Hosts.

In Malachi, He is the messenger God.


In Matthew, He is king of the Jews.

In Mark, He is the servant.

In Luke, He is the Son of Man, feeling what you feel.

In John, He is the Son of God.

In Acts, He is Savior of the world.

In Romans, He is the righteousness of God.

In I Corinthians, He is the rock that followed Israel.

In II Corinthians, He is the triumphant one, giving victory.

In Galatians, He is your liberty; He sets you free.

In Ephesians, He is head of the Church.

In Philippians, He is your joy.

In Colossians, He is your completeness.

In I Thessalonians, He is your hope.

In II Thessalonians, He is your patience and discipline.

In I Timothy, He is your faith.

In II Timothy, He is your stability.

In Titus, He is the Truth.

In Philemon, He is your benefactor.

In Hebrews, He is your perfection.

In James, He is the power behind your faith.

In I Peter, He is your example.

In II Peter, He is your purity.

In I John, He is your life.

In II John, He is your pattern.

In III John, He is your motivation.

In Jude, He is the foundation of your faith.

In the Revelation, He is your coming King.




From the beginning of the Book to its end,

there is no place you can look and not see Jesus.

He is on every page. He IS the Word (John 1:1, 14).


January 12, 2013

Today I can complain because the weather is rainy or I can be thankful that the grass is getting watered for free.

Today I can feel sad that I don't have more money or I can be glad that my finances encourage me to plan my purchases wisely and guide me away from waste.

Today I can grumble about my health or I can rejoice that I am alive.

Today I can lament over all that my parents didn't give me when I was growing up or I can feel grateful that they allowed me to be born.

Today I can cry because roses have thorns or I can celebrate that thorns have roses.

Today I can mourn my lack of friends or I can excitedly embark upon a quest to discover new relationships.

Today I can whine because I have to go to work or I can shout for joy because I have a job to do.

Today I can complain because I have to go to school or eagerly open my mind and fill it with rich new tidbits of knowledge.

Today I can complain when I get out of bed about my aches and pains or I can thank God that I can serve Him another day here on earth.

Today I can murmur dejectedly because I have to do housework or I can feel honored because the Lord has provided shelter for my mind, body and soul.

Today, I can share my experiences.

Today, I can share my strength and hope.

Today, I can praise and worship, for I am in a free country.

Today, I can open my eyes and see the beautiful blue skies and sunshine.

Today, I can feel the glory of God and His blessings all around me.

Today, I can be thankful for the healing of a friend in pain.

Today, I can smile, when I see the innocence on a child's face.

Today, I can arise and say to myself, "This IS a beautiful day".

Today, I can feel the soft breeze from a hummingbird flying near me.

Today, I can smell the earth and the fresh cut grass and be thankful.

Today, I can help someone that needs a helping hand.

Today, I can cry for others that may be in pain, for I too can feel them hurting.

Today, I can fold my hands in prayer, at any hour or minute I wish to.

Today, I can feel God guiding me to help others.

Today, I can take time to dream, for it connects my soul to the stars.

Today, I can take time to think, for it is a good source of power.

Today, I can say, "Thank You Jesus, for giving Your life to save me"

Today stretches ahead of me, waiting to be shaped. I get to choose what kind of day I will have!  

Have a GREAT DAY . . . unless you have other plans.

January 9, 2013

A note from my friend Rich about the Philippines

You are always in my prayers.


Sharon, most Manila taxi drivers are kind, but a few will kidnap & sell you. The drivers to watch out for usually wear caps because their religion requires it. Many taxi drivers will try to make a half mile trip into four miles by circling a block or more or just driving the long way around. Always be with at least one other person in cabs, Manila or most anywhere in the Philippines. Erica was robbed by a guy with a knife while in a taxi for multiple people. Took her cell phone, gold cross necklace, purse, money & ID & the sack of purchases. He was going to rape her, but she took off running toward a security guard with a shotgun. I was robbed by 2 ped cab drivers. One of them wished he had never tried it & the other ran off with 190 pesos ($4) out of my shirt pocket. In my other pockets there was 15,000 pesos I had just withdrawn from the bank! I was walking on a crowded street within 100 ft of my apartment building with 3 security guards at the car park entrance. There was a policeman directing traffic about 150 ft the other way. The cop actually helped the guy I laid in the street get back up. I always carried a walking stick that was actually a golf club which I carried it upside down so I was always gripping the wood. Word got around that I was looking for the other guy (which I wasn't), so every time I walked that way (twice a day), the ped cab drivers would go to the other side of the street. Nobody has tried mugging me since then. I also got a stun gun, which I carry in my hand while in a taxi or any other transport. Erica wouldn't even carry mace, ("might make em mad"). My apartment was in the best part of Manila, across the street from the famous civic center fountain & yacht club. My village has 7 armed security guards on duty every day & night....Most Filipinos are honest, kind people who will help you and most any circumstance (except weapons) if you ask. The Filipinas (women) are especially helpful.


The mosquitoes carry encephalitis, dengue fever & malaria. Most huts do not have screens, just holes where the windows & doors are supposed to be. If you give them some screen, they will sell it. If someone installs screens for them they will punch holes in it trying to get it off to sell. USE mosquito repellent, always.


Most of the beggar children are being exploited by what the Filipinos call a "syndicate". However, there is usually one or two adults who take every centavo, candy, gum etc you give them. Finally, I started carrying little zip lock bags of rice, sometimes already cooked. Usually the "syndicate" person (some are women) won't make the child spit it out. Especially sad are the ragged, beggar women carrying babies. It is staged. It is sad, because the babies often have been kidnapped. I do not encourage this by giving the woman money. hey sure can act hungry, sad & exhausted. Sometime I play a little golf with an invisible ball until the child finishes eating what I gave them.


While you are giving the children candy, they will try to pick your pockets or get your purse or sneak your wallet out. Usually the bigger kids takes the candy away from the small children and will "hog" up to you to get more than their share & all of the candy if possible or jerk the bag of candy out of your hand.


The small towns, villages & barrios are much better.


We live near the Manila International airport you will land at. Come visit us when we are there...We are not in our Philippine home because Erica has her interview to determine whether she will get US citizenship in Denver at 7:00 AM in a few days (Jan 23rd). Pray for us.


Usually, I don't write so much negative stuff; but I feel like Creator wants me to inform you. I look forward to your emails & want to hear all about your adventure helping the children.



October 14


I had another 4-hour layover.....but that is okay, cuz I don't have to stress about a tight connection, and 2 planes were delayed a bit. I went into Brookstone's. There are so many gadgets for iPads! There is a scanner that turns the document into jpgs, a neat keyboard case for $99 (bluetooth), a SILICONE keyboard (bluetooth), a projector.





Completely flexible silicone bluetooth keyboards!





An airport employee driving one of those little carts was playing like he was aiming at me, so I dodged around and said, “Don't hurt me, I’m having too much fun!” He said, “It's okay, it's not your time yet”!!! I hope he was a prophet....  :-)

Sitting in the boarding area in Houston they announced that boarding our plane was delayed because the plane “was too hot”. I was surprised they even TOLD us what the problem was, but if they WERE going to tell us, I wish they had explained a little bit more! What does a “too hot” plane mean? Was it on fire? Was its a.c. Not working? Was it just too sexy for its own good? My anxiety level WOULD have gone up at that point but I had a 4-hour layover and I figured they could find some ice to cool it down in plenty of time. Or even hose it down. Whatever they did, apparently the pilots and/or mechanics were satisfied it was was air-worthy, cuz they started boarding us about 25 minutes late....and I think the pilot made up some time in the air actually....guess he got us in the fast lane and floored it!

I found one of those kiosks with chargers again in Newark. (Unfortunately their wifi didn't work so I couldn't send this "real time".) I heard a passenger getting on “my” plane in Houston say that seats 7-23 (probably rows 7-23?) had chargers? I was in 36C so I was in a non-charged seat (except for the hefty ticket price, of course). I was all settled in when the two passengers that went into seats 36A and 36B needed to get in. They didn't speak English, but the pointing told me where they wanted to be. How tall people deal with airline seats, I’ll never know....I thought we were doing try-outs for pretzel shapes for them to get in there. It was like practicing to be sardines....except that sardines at least get all that greasy oil to make moving around easier. Why is it when you see an action movie inside a plane it always looks like there is plenty of room for them to throw each other around right before somebody shoots out a window or kicks open a door in the melee and everybody starts getting sucked out? What plane has that kind of room? Maybe the first-class area is like that??? Within a few minutes I realized that I would need special grace for this flight....are there cultures who believe deodorant is unmanly? I was considering praying for my nose to get stopped up....but there would be some serious disadvantages to that, so I hadn't actually gone there yet. But I HAD asked for grace....and it came in an unexpected way....a flight attendant with two ladies behind her asked to see their boarding passes....they were in the wrong seats! So a mother was in 36A and a beautiful teenage girl was in 36B. They didn't speak English either, but the young lady knew how to make those controls for the monitors work. I was going to play Bookworm for a while....but the ONLY selections were movies, some TV shows and music....all with teasers that were designed to get you interested and then get you to “swipe your card” in the device. $6.99 a movie. I KNOW last year there was Bookworm on there, and at least a couple free movies as I remember. It was “DirecTV”....which I guess makes sense, since cable TV would require a VERY long, flexible cable! There must be a peanut shortage, too, cuz they didn't hand those out this year either. You did get a free drink (except alcohol....they charged what I thought was a lot for that). For food choices you looked in their magazine for the menu options, and the thing I decided I wanted, a nice turkey/provolone sandwich (Dr. Werner hasn't allowed cheese yet, but this is a sort of vacation, after all) on rye. But....they didn't have that on their I had hot tea. Last year I was in a window seat on the long flight from Newark to Tel Aviv and between my hand and not wanting to disturb my very nice seatmates (two Jewish doctors from Maimonides Hospital in NY), I was in agony 11 hours later. There was a throbbing lump behind my knee that still bothers me even now once in a while. I asked Dr. Werner about it when I saw him last week and he said to press your feet against the metal bars of the seat in front of you and move your foot up and back to exercise the knee/calf muscles and increase circulation so you don't get an embolism. So I did that on this flight and it did help....but this one was just 3.5 hours, so we'll see how it works from here to Tel Aviv soon. By the time we landed in Newark, I was really hungry, and they have some unusual but yummy looking food here. I decided on veggie pizza with a salad. It came with some little dough balls that were obviously marinated in garlic, and that would be SO unfair to my coming seatmates that I passed on them. I waited too long to decide to go on this trip and couldn't get an aisle seat, so I’m in the middle seat for the long flight.


They just announced for another flight, going to Phoenix!, that they were overbooked and were looking for volunteers to go tomorrow instead, in exchange for which they got a hotel for the night, meals, and $400....if you didn't have a tight schedule, that sounds like fun to me. Must be a lot of people from Newark going to Phx in October....go figure!!! I guess they got volunteers, but just now they announced that they don't have enough overhead space for all the passengers, so carry-ons are going to be checked, take out what you MUST have with you and carry it. I think I’d be asking if they needed any more overnight volunteers at this point. The lady was explaining to 5 Jewish men that American law allows them to overbook....only in America can you sell what you don't have! They don't give you actual cash, though, just a discount on a future flight.

In Houston they have these nifty elevated trains that take you to the far-distant terminals. You hold onto a pole (or at least you do if you don't like looking pretty silly falling over when the train moves), something like I think subways work in NY? I only know that from movies, not personal experience.


But in Newark you walk....lots....except they have these FLAT escalators that don't take you up and down, just help you walk faster. It kind of plays with your head to get on an escalator and stay at the same level. It made me think about the Christian life, though....if we walk WITH the Spirit, we can get where we want to go a lot faster with a whole lot less effort on our part. If, however, we choose to walk the wrong way on that “flatalator”, we're probably going to LOSE ground....and sooner or later, get very very tired. Lord, remind me to check and make sure I am walking the direction I’m supposed to be and not doing a Jonah. 



October 13


For frequent travelers that sounds mundane, but for me it is sooooo much fun! I have a 4-hour layover here and went in a couple of shops in the "little city" called the Houston Airport!!! The young lady in the "Mindworks" store didn't know where Tel Aviv was, but after I said Israel, she said, "Oh, like over there where they have more Bible stuff? Like Babylonia?" Well, kinda sorta! She was fun. How she keeps sane after listening to that laughing monkey all day long I don't know! I was there 10 minutes and wanted to surgically remove his battery!


My postmaster/boss extraordinaire Bob and his dear wife Marty met me in the phone lane at Amarillo airport at 6 a.m. this morning and he took my car home again, bless his heart. Last year he couldn't drive it anywhere, though, cuz the tags were expired and I didn't know it! In Phx the DMV sent you a notice when your renewal was due and it never entered my mind that I had to keep track of it myself here! So one of my stickers expires in June and the other one in December! At least this year he can drive it if he wants to without worrying about a ticket.... (o;


I met two really interesting guys in the Amarillo airport this morning. Eric had some pants on I wish I had known about before! They are from places like Gabelli's (maybe Gebo's?), of a fabric that washes and dries in no time, and you can unzip them at the knees and have shorts!!! Is that cool or what? Could have packed lighter if I had known about that. He is an "international auditor" for AIG. He did work in the oil and gas field but that hit the wall in 2009 and he got laid off. He doesn't like AIG at all, though. He said it is a dreadfully badly run company. But then if you're bailed out, I guess you don't have to try harder??? 


John is actually staying at some apts near McDonald's in Pampa right now (don't know what those might be, but I think that's where he said they are). He's working with Enbridge in Wheeler right now, so I'm not sure why he's in Pampa, except that Enbridge is in Pampa too. We actually have (had) a carrier whose last day was yesterday who went to work for Enbridge. John travels even more than Eric does. He works with a heavy equipment company and had some tools in his suitcase that United said made it 54 lbs, so he got to pay $125 for his checked bag. If he had taken them out and checked a second bag instead, it would have cost $25.....personally, I would have taken 5 lbs. out and put it in my carry-on! The check-in lady in Amarillo was actually going to charge me $100 for my bag, and I said the website said the 1st bag up to 50 lbs is free....she had put it down as 2 bags for some reason. Another lady corrected it, thankfully! John and Eric and I had quite an interesting conversation. When we all got on the plane, I was in the last seat right next to the restroom. I though I had changed that but I guess not. The two young ladies in the two seats across the aisle were delightful. One was from Amarillo and one from Lubbock and going to Miami via Houston. For some reason the ticket was $200 less if she flew from Amarillo than from Lubbock. They are going to a convention for a uniform company that is taking place in Miami. One of them asked me where I was going and I said Israel and she asked if it was far away....I said I read somewhere that CA and Israel are directly opposite each other on the globe, so it's a pretty far piece. She was interested, but it struck me that in today's world people can know so little about Israel. I guess it's so much in the center of my heart and view of the world that I assume everyone knows all about it. She asked why I was going there and I said it's a study group tour of the Holy Land and she asked what we would study. God gives us so many opportunities to share!


Evidently they have wifi here in the Houston airport; Micheal's netbook connected so I could go to United's website and sign up for mileage. I assumed that was automatic, but I asked the lady at the desk and she told me how to do it. Then she checked after I did it and when I finish these flights I'll have my first miles! I don't know anything else about it, but it's a start. If God enables me to go to the Philippines with Dr. Quiros and his medical missions group, I'll get some more. 


Better go find the ladies' room....I had my first Starbucks coffee and boy is that stuff STRONG! Of course part of that is that I haven't had coffee in a few months, but I seriously think the straw would have stood up on its own in this cup. It does help after a 4:00 a.m. alarm clock, though!




October 12


I traded Tom my usual Thursday off for Friday off this week so I have today for last-minute things before leaving tomorrow morning. I ordered a passport holder from Amazon, and I NEVER have a problem with their deliveries. But when I tracked it yesterday, it had taken a "scenic route" to Abilene and Lubbock for some unknown reason. I didn't think it would make it in time, but praise the Lord, it was in my mailbox this morning!!! 


Last year I took my 17" laptop and it was very difficult to deal with. My finger was extremely sore then (and splinted/wrapped), just 7 days after the injury, and I had to manage the big suitcase Pat kindly loaned me, the backpack Danina kindly gave me, and a laptop bag all with one hand. Being short, getting that laptop in the overhead was challenging at best (even with two hands it would have been challenging!), and getting it out when everyone was departing the plane was even worse. So, being somewhat educable, this year I borrowed my son's 10" Netbook and it is going IN the backpack so I have nothing to store in the overhead. And, being the skilled computer guy he is, and sweet son that he is, he put software on it for me to deal with photos, the email program I like, image software, e-Sword, etc., so I got a customized, small & backpackable netbook to take with me. Doug (tour leader) says that we should have wifi available at least every other day....we'll see. I think the hotels sometimes provide it free in the lobby for at least a few hours in the evening, but of course that depends on the hotel. Last year I rented a netstick but that was a group thing we could do cuz we had 45 going. This year it's a small group (study tour) of 15. One of the reasons I was attracted to this tour was that it includes some sites we didn't see last year and I wanted to see. You could probably go to Israel 20 times and not see everything you want to see, though. 



Isn't the backpack neat? You could not have a problem spotting it! This was some of our group last year on the southern steps going up to where the temple was. The chances of our precious Lord having gone up and down these steps is VERY VERY high (almost 100%, unlike many of the places advertising "He was here"), so it was a special place. The archeologists say that these steps led to the main entrance of the temple. Of course when He was there, He could go on up and into the incredibly beautiful temple Herod had remodeled to please the Jews. You can see from the coats that it was pretty cool in Jerusalem right then. See that HALF arch in the center top of the photo? Notice how the wall coming out from there cut what was the entrance in half? There must be a architect's reason why Suleiman decided that wall had to be RIGHT THERE rather than over a few feet so the opening remained intact....or maybe he was making a political or religious statement of some kind....but it would have been nice (IMO) to have located it differently....     Of course his guys did what he told them to do, because he was known for beheading workers who disobeyed or disappointed him. No OSHA or unions or workplace negotiators in those days. Actually, though, maybe he DID want it over farther and whoever put it smack in the middle of that opening lost his head over his mess-up. The Ottoman Turks were big on recording history the way they wanted it recorded and leaving out details that didn't put them in a good light. 



The lady standing behind me holding the water bottle is from TX too. She and I and 3 other ladies had a GREAT time in the Cardo one afternoon, shopping and drinking pomegranate juice....and she eats the pomegranates themselves, just peels them and chomps into them. How she did that without staining her clothes I don't know. She and her husband (not in the photo) are from Odessa. There was another couple from TX as well, so outside of WA (main group from Seattle), TX was the most represented state....


It appears to be warm and dry in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem right now, but of course you can't count on that. We went much farther south last year, to Eilat for a while, where it was quite warm, but Jerusalem was cool. That was November, this October, so should be similar. I think the warmest place we're going this year is the Dead Sea. Last year was a Messianic group with a Jewish guide; this year a "regular" (meaning not messianics) Christian group led by a seminary professor, so the "flavor" should be much different.