Arts, Culture & Media

Taking a biblical donkey ride

(Why are you doing this?) I've been based here for a year and a half and these are extraordinary places and to string them together seemed like a unique opportunity. (But the journey is not easy and it's long. This is roughly 70-80 miles and you're doing it by donkey.) It's 80 miles in a straight line but our route is about 100 miles around the landscape. The donkey started off carrying my stuff but today I did have a ride. I'm on donkey #3 now. I tried to bond with donkey #1 but on day one of the trek she removed to budge an inch. #2 was fine but on the second day when we crossed from Israel into the West Bank, they let me cross but the Israeli authorities told me my donkey's paperwork was not in order. So now I have my third donkey who's an absolute star. (The rest of the story is more difficult. It's not easy to negotiate around the current politics of the day.) This is about the modern day road to Bethlehem so I've spoken to people along the way who face these difficulties every day. If Mary and Joseph wanted to do this journey today, they'd have to go through five checkpoints. (Do you have any sense of spirituality of this?) I would've said no with the first few days, Nazareth is a quite busy and loud town. but today was quite nice, a lot of olive groves with hills and stars. That was picturesque and made me think of Mary and Joseph ever saw what I saw.

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(This story is based on a radio interview. Listen to the full interview.)

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