News from Bethlehem 6

Posted in Blog on 16th November 2009

Hannah: After a superb midway break in Jerusalem we are back at the SOS Village and eager to continue the project. Jerusalem is fantastic; we spent most our time in the old town which combines hundreds of market stalls with some of the most interesting and beautiful sights in religious history. Jerusalem has a completely different vibe about it than Bethlehem as it appears to be thriving under constant development (at the moment they’re building a tram network), it is much cleaner and its spaciousness allows the architecture to perhaps have a larger impact. It was very busy though! The old town was heaving with a combination of tourists and local shoppers but the atmosphere, like Bethlehem, was still extremely friendly. We spent much of Saturday in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre which is a church built upon the Hill of Calvary where Jesus was crucified and contains the tomb in which Jesus was buried. What I enjoy about the churches we visit here is that they often have more than one chapel and are shared by different religions. Hilariously for me, we were staying in St.Andrews Scots Guest House just outside Jaffa Gate and so coming from St.Andrews, Scotland it almost felt like a home from home! Our journey back to Bethlehem and through the checkpoint at the Wall was, this time, very quick and easy and we arrived back the village on Sunday afternoon just in time for lunch at SOS house 11, extremely tasty and reminiscent of western tradition – home made pizza! Following this Liz led two very successful sessions with our trainee Nabil and children from the village. Liz: We are now beginning to think about preparing the booklet we will leave here to help staff continue and develop their Music as Therapy work. As well as containing information we have discussed in meetings with staff, this will also give them a description of activities we have used and ways in which they can build on the techniques they have learned. I am particularly keen that staff have the confidence to work with their own particular style; I think this will give them a sense of ownership of the work, and allow it to be sustainable and enjoyable for them. This means it will become an integral part of their work with the children and young people in both settings.

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