Time is picking up speed now, as we reached the halfway point of our project this weekend.

Sessions with the children progressed well this week, and our trainees are starting to lead games and exercises for themselves. Their ‘homework’ is to think about one therapeutic goal and
an exercise that might encourage it… and to bring a short
melody that might work as a ‘hello’
song. I’m hoping someone uses ‘Tik
tik tik ya em sleiman’ which is a Palestinian
children’s song I really like! It has a
catchy little rhythm and a repetitive tune that will work well with
any group. I might adopt it and bring it home…

Our second day at Hope school, Ramallah was as successful as the first. Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors we were able to take them instruments purchased in Bethlehem, which everyone was delighted with, especially the tablas! (not Indian tabla.
But here, all drums are tabla and I think they may be that
for me forever now.)

Getting the instruments was an interesting experience… we went to
Bethlehem to buy them in a shop called Valentine’s, having
visited previously and now armed with a list of what we
wanted. In the centre of the shop floor we
amassed our selection, then gently engaged in a little bargaining
to reach a good price… Pleased with our
success, Teleri went to a cashpoint to withdraw the 2,000 NIS
agreed. After rather longer than expected, she
came back to say that she’d only been able to withdraw a
certain amount and was having no luck finding another working
cashpoint. So the lovely music shop owner loaded
us and our unpaid-for instruments into his personal car, and drove
us to a further 2 cashpoints in Bethlehem. Not only would the
charity’s card not work, my personal card wouldn’t
allow withdrawals either! So without further ado
the man drove us to our home, took the amount we could offer him
and told us to bring the rest to the shop on Saturday, or Monday.
He didn’t take our names or ask for anything in writing, just
unloaded the instruments and even offered to help carry them to our
door! I love these people.

It transpires that sometimes, the cashpoints run out of money at the end of the month. ‘Don’t worry’, I said to Teleri, ‘we won’t starve here!
We’ll just go and say to someone, please feed
us… people will probably queue up to make offers.’

On Wednesday we attended a concert at Dar al-Kalima called ‘Brass for Peace’ which is an initiative by German musicians. Lovely
music, interesting setting – the school playground is a kind
of natural amphitheatre – and friendly atmosphere. The
concert was informal and good natured, with a brief appearance by
the children who had made ‘elephant trumpets’ out of a
piece of hose, a funnel and a brass mouthpiece.
Bravo! Lots of people took part, children
and staff as well as the visiting musicians.

We took our postcards to Bethlehem post office on Monday, so hopefully our sponsors will receive one before too long. However, my mother reports not having heard from me yet, so it may take some


Hazel and Teleri.