We wandered through the old city, sat at little cafe for a cold drink, and then headed to the Jaffa Gate. I wanted to show my friends where to get tickets for the Ramparts Walk. Surprisingly we entered this bustling area to the sweet sound of a harp. Looking around, we found a young woman tucked into a spot of the wall playing a small and exquisite harp. What a treat! Not far was the ticket area and Ramparts Walk. Waking back through the old city, we returned to the Damascus Gate and ultimately to St George's.
After a little cooling off time, I headed out again to the old city to the Western Wall, as it is the day of Sabbath. Walking through the city are all sorts of people and interesting relationships happening, like two older men chatting around a hookah. I went around 5 pm to just sit at the wall for some prayer time. It is a privilege to be at that holy space to experience the prayer that fills the air. People from all over the world and from all walks of life and all facets of Judaism come just to pray. The Jewish men in particular are dressed in many different ways and many continue praying with their prayer books as they walk to and from the wall.
Dinner was at 7 pm with some new students coming for the "Jesus in Palestine" course, our chaplain and his wife, and 2 friends from my class who had just returned from a two day trip to Petra. We went to a Palestinian Italian restaurant--a favorite spot for locals and another adventure in dining. It was fascinating to hear about the Petra experiences and to see their pictures. Our class formed close bonds and I'm hoping we can stay in touch. We are in many parts of the world and staying connected can be a challenge. Our intentions are good and I hope we'll try.