Arts, Culture & Media

Retracing a Christmas donkey ride

(You actually made it to Bethlehem?) Yes, I'm standing now in the focal point of Christmas celebrations worldwide, I'm standing in Manger Square, where it's believed Mary and Joseph laid their baby Jesus in a manger. (How do you feel looking back on your trip?) As I walked through Bethlehem with donkey #5. the latest donkey was just terrific, but she was the fifth. #1 was not so good, she wouldn't budge an inch. #2 was a little bit better but wasn't allowed through a checkpoint. #3 was fantastic and we walked through some fantastic landscape together, but I decided to rest her because she went through some tough climbs. #4 wasn't allowed through Jerusalem because she needed a permit to be on camera. So now #5 was a great company as we came to Bethlehem. (What do you feel you've learned now about the people who live between Nazareth and Bethlehem?) A lot of the villagers I passed by, I did realize how much people's land means to them. Also, it did highlight the divisions of this place, I walked through Jewish settlements which are considered illegally, and then the little interaction between the settlements and the Palestinian villages. It did highlight how difficult it'll be to solve these problems.

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