Entry Granted! … Really?

No smile, no questions, no hassle from the officer in booth #30 ~ just a long look at my passport, and then the stamp!  The standard 3-month visa was granted.  Just like that!  But I had been prepared for questions, probing questions.  Check and cross check.  Only answer what you are asked.  Tell the truth but not the whole truth.  Say you are with the World Council of Churches (true).  Do not say you are with EAPPI.  Say you are going to Jerusalem (true).  Do not say you are going to Bethlehem or the West Bank (true, as I’m not going today).  If pushed, say you will go to Bethlehem and visit the holy sites (also true, eventually), but don’t mention living there or working with the Palestinians, or the refugee camps, or the villages or…

It’s all a bit surreal.  But then that is part of the strategy of the occupation in this military state ~ if they can just keep you guessing …  Will it be me or the next person?  Will it be today or tomorrow?  Thankfully, it wasn’t me and it wasn’t today … And so I reflect as I sit on our hotel patio in Jerusalem.  What must it be like for Palestinians who live with this uncertainty every day?  I feel the warm evening breeze blowing softly, and I listen to the Muslim call to prayer as this day draws to its close.  Jerusalem ~ City of Peace ~ For some? Only in dreams? If only it could be a reality for all!

Full Moon Over Jerusalem
Old City ~ Jaffa Gate ~ May 2012
Photo Credit: Dawn

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8 Responses to Entry Granted! … Really?

  1. Kimberly Roy says:

    What a beautiful picture! Thank you for sharing it and your reflection. My thoughts and prayers are with you as you journey through the next few months.

  2. Jo Nicholas says:

    I think that this part of the program is most illuminating Dawn. The “uncertainty” of some is life threatening, while uncertainty for others is mere inconvenience. Life in our western world has given us a perspective that, I feel is in most cases, very unrealistic.
    Thanks so much for this wee note this morning. I look forward to this journey with you

  3. Theresa Wynn says:

    Such relief to know that you weren’t interrogated on entry. May God continue bless you as you make your way to Bethlehem!

  4. TRISH YOUNG says:

    Dawn, what a beautiful photo and how peaceful it looks. As you say, if only… Take care and be well. love and hugs, Trish

  5. Dawn, very happy to hear from you–glad you got in. (Our mutual friend is Norma Luccock.) I am also in touch with Nan Maxson, from Naramata. And last week I was talking with Diane Jones, an Anglican from Vancouver, who hopes to do an EAPPI stint next year.
    Blessings from Vancouver.

  6. Janet E. Campbell says:

    Hi Dawn:
    So pleased that you made it safely to your destination. I am glad that there were no questions asked at this point. Maybe you had an entry guard who sensed the peace and calm that you wished to bring to the situation and needed you to enter in. Perhaps the guards also feel trapped by a duty and way that they must uphold the law or be in danger themselves. Yes living on the edge, never knowing who or what to trust and for how long definitely shortens a persons lifespan. Fortunately you were sent with healing energies of strength and hope to pass on to those in need around you. This hope and Peace however foreign to those constantly living on the edge will possibly some of the first seeds of change for them, even if they do not germinate or show at the moment. I’ll keep dreaming of peace and hope for you and those you encounter and send those energies forth. Thank you for the beautiful picture of the moon.
    Till the next picture is sent, safe passage,
    Janet E. Campbell from Edmonton

  7. Judy Dube says:

    Hi Dawn
    Glad to hear news of your safe arrival.

    Your story took me back to April/May as we walked through customs going from Egypt through Israel to enter Jordan as well as re-entering Israel again a few days later. You were so VERY CLEAR that we “answer only what we had been asked; Do not give any more information.” You taught us all so well!!!

    My thoughts are with you as I follow your stories. Keep well. Lots of hugs
    Judy Dube

  8. Peter blackall says:

    Glad all went well Dawn! Hard to believe a few weeks ago we were all together sitting around your camp spot and now you are half way around the world. Stay safe and please send us your mailing address when you get settled.

    Big hug,


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