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I’m just now back in Oregon

4/1/10 — I’m just now back in Oregon after returning from Israel and then taking off immediately for an author visit in Connecticut. Twenty-six time zones in ten days. Whoosh! I don’t know whether I’m coming or going, an appropriate state of mind for April Fools Day.

A few pics of Israel:

The grounds of the American International School of Israel. I had a great time talking writing with the kids. Fantastic educators there. Fantastic school.

After leaving the Tel Aviv area, we went to Jerusalem. Here is a view from our hotel window of the Old City. The Dome of the Rock dominates the cityscape.

Typical street scene in the Old City.

If you pay any attention to the news you’re aware of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Well-armed soldiers were, indeed, common, but willing to take time to give us directions. We ventured into the West Bank and East Jerusalem, but saw no hostilities and were treated with great kindness and respect everywhere we went.

The Western Wall, also known as the Wailing Wall, sacred to Jews. Behind it the Dome of the Rock, sacred to Muslims.

The Garden of Gethsemane, sacred to Christians.

A Muslim, a Christian, and a Jew. Jerusalem must be one of the most varied holy cities in the world.

Much has been written about this contested landscape. I like the sentiments expressed here in Hebrew, English, and Arabic. If it could be achieved, what a wonderful legacy to leave for the next generation . . .