May 192011
 

We had a meeting today to go over the itinerary for the trip to Jerusalem in a couple of weeks. There’s a lot of stuff crammed in there, but all worth doing and we also have some excellent guides with us. So, what are we up to? Here it is:

Thursday-Friday:

Travel – and somewhat tedious it is too.
Depart Edinburgh 13.35, arrive Tel Aviv 2.30, Friday morning!!!!
Arrive St. Andrew’s hostel, 4.30/5.00am !!!!!!

Friday:

After a whole 3 hours kip, it’s up and out and walking round the Old City, taking in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
Lunch and siesta (or whatever the Israeli equivalent is).
Early and late evening, more Old City walking and the start of the Sabbath at the Wailing Wall.
Dinner.
Worship.

Saturday:

Early start, heading for Hebron, Herodium and Bethlehem, including a visit to the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI).
Dinner.
Worship.
Sabbath worship in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

Sunday:

Long lie – breakfast at 8.00.
Worship at St. Andrew’s, Jerusalem.
Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial.
Thinking time.
Dinner.
Worship.

Monday:

Early start, heading to Masada, the Dead Sea, Qumran, Jericho.
Tiberias and a swimming pool!
Posh dinner.
Communion at St. Andrew’s, Galilee.

Tuesday:

Early-ish breakfast.
Sail on Sea of Galilee with morning worship on the boat.
Mount of Beatitudes, Tabha.
Caesarea (not Philippi).
Head back to Jerusalem.
Worship.

Wednesday:

Haram (Dome of the Rock, Aqsa Mosque).
St. Anne’s / Pool of Bethesda.
Mt. Scopus, Mt of Olives.
Worship.

Thursday:

‘Flexi-day’. Time to explore on our own or to revisit sites.
Communion.

Friday:

Outrageously early start to head home.

Aug 202009
 

Yesterday (Wednesday), I was visiting the university town of Leuven to grab some books from Peeter’s bookshop. I also took the opportunity to have a wander round the historic place and see some of the sights. It was, in many respects, not unlike many of the other historic towns or cities in Belgium and has the Grote Markt as its focal point. There was the usual Stadhuis and loads of cafes and bars. Continue reading »

Jul 302009
 

IMG_3188.JPGHaving got bored with Brussels (kidding!), we decided to take a daytrip  to Bruge (or Brugge, depending on your preferred language). Photo album here.

It’s a very busy touristy place but it is still a very beautiful old town. many of the buildings date back to the early 17th century. The photo on the left is the Belfort, the bell tower.

I’ve been to Bruges before. The company I used to work with were bidding for a contract with a company in Bruges. I spent some time in the town working on the bid and had a bit of a chance to see some of the sights. We didn’t get the contract, but it was nice to revisit the town.

To finish off the day, we had a very nice meal in La Taverne Brugeoise. The apple pie with flaming Calvados was most excellent.

IMG_3217.JPGHad a quieter day today with lust a little walk to a nearby park. Brussels has some very beautiful green spaces and some interesting architecture. I am no expert when it comes to architectural styles and it’s not something that really interests me, but I find the sheer diversity of buildings in Brussels quite fascinating. Anyway, some more pictures to view here.

Jul 012008
 

It’s amazing how succinct a teenager’s texts can be when there are far more interesting things to concentrate on. In response to my text, “How was the flight? How is Nairobi?” the following reply was given:

“It’s cl! Small”

Pretty much sums up a laid back attitude I suppose. Barring one other, equally brief, text along the lines of “we’re fine”, that’s been it for communications from darkest Africa.

On a more serious note, I bumped into another parent today and their child is not just so ‘cl’ about it all. Being the foreigner and in particular a very obvious white in a sea of black foreigner is pretty intimidating. Not understanding the language and just the general ‘strangeness’ of everything added to the extreme tiredness from the journey is all compounding a sense of being very homesick. We both agreed that when they finally get to their proper destination and are made welcome in the school they are visiting, things will be very different and the homesickness will quickly disappear. Still, there’s a serious lesson to be learnt from this and our welcome to ‘a stranger’ can be far more powerful than we might realise.

I think some prayers for the group (and parents) wouldn’t go amiss and so if anyone who’s reading is so inclined, that would be appreciated.

As for my two girls, so long as everything is ‘cl’ and ‘fine’, that’ll do me.

Jun 282008
 

Not me, but both daughters. Only problem is that they have to be at Glasgow airport before 4am tomorrow, so it’s a case of grabbing a few hours rest and heading off very early and putting up with the inevitable overnight roadworks.

And where are they off to? Malawi, via Amsterdam and Nairobi, for a 2 week visit to a school that Falkirk High School has links with. You can keep tabs on it all on their website. There’s a group of 12 pupils and 4 teachers going for what, I suspect, will be an eye-opening, life-changing adventure. I’m a little jealous – I’d love to be going but that’s maybe a trip for the future.

The school they are visiting, an all-girls secondary, was established on a mission station by the schoolteacher wife of the missionary. She, Mamie Martin, just happens to be the grandmother of one of the teachers who is going. The school has a very Christian ethos with many meetings often opening with prayers. The group will be expected to attend church on Sunday as well. Not a problem for my two and a few others but it may be interesting to see how the others in the group react to an African church.

Anyway, this is just me killing time. I really should go and do another ‘kit inspection’ and grab some rest.