Last Wednesday I had the pleasure and honor of attending the funeral of Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish. It was the first state funeral to be held in the occupied Palestinian territories since the passing of Yasser Arafat - absolutely incredible experience; thousands of people and state vehicles. We watched from a third-floor coffee shop in Ramallah before walking down to join the procession. I only have a few photos (didn't bring my camera) - my friend Reanna took some great shots:
Friday was my last meeting with all parties involved with the playground process. For the new, sustainable, Palestine-built designs we've decided to go with a local contractor who is also a physics teacher at a Bethlehem high school. Hopefully we will see these new designs implemented over the next few months in several different locations. Hopefully I can return to assist with these new playgrounds before too long. When photos arrive, I will post them to this blog.
I had my last day with the Palestine Red Crescent Society - I'm going to miss those guys - we became so close over the past two months. We celebrated with a final barbecue at Osh Ghorab park and I was even able to spend an evening in Tel Aviv with the family of my sister-in-law. They were incredibly hospitable - Tel Aviv is a beautiful city - I thoroughly enjoyed the beach.
I flew to France then on to Atlanta for a three-day retreat for the FTE Ministry Fellows - the FTE being the organization that helped me begin this undertaking in the first place.
Finally, I am home. I spent yesterday unpacking, today tying up a few loose ends and tonight I should be on stage at the Division Area Arts Collective rocking out with my band. Home at last!
Until I can return, my prayers will continue unabated for the nation of Palestine and her inhabitants. For anyone reading this, if you have questions, please contact me and I will make time to speak with you about the region. My email is dannison (at) gmail (dot) com - otherwise, give me a call some time - I'm excited to be home and begin talking to people about the Holy Land and the steps that must be taken to ensure a lasting and just peace.
Thank you for your support this summer.
Blessings and Peace to all of you.