'Freddy' is back in Bethlehem as a community artist. As ever her emails are a delight to read. She would make a great blogger...
This being Bethlehem nothing is as expected as regards the job. The American artist, Don, is in residence, and I am now his assistant. So original plan to paint the sky behind his relief sculpture art work, has not happened, nor the employment of my own team. However I am sublimely happy and working myself to exhaustion from 8 am-4-30 pm, on a huge and rickedy scaffolding, following his instructions. We are quite a sight he is nearing 80 years old and as you are aware I am not a wee spring chicken, and oddest of all, to all around me, am female. The site is huge and excessively noisy, with 20-30 workers at all tasks mostly involving cement mixers, jack hammers and drills. (I will send pics later, as the work is hard to explain.)
After work, a rest and a shower, I go for lovely long walks in the beautiful hilly streets of the city, retuning to my comfy flat around 9 pm, for supper and bed. It is so quiet and 'safe' walking about at that time. With little traffic, there is only one set of traffic lights in the whole city! My first night while catching up with a local RC Christian, who has a shop and a tiny bar, I found myself opposite a large security ring of plain clothes and soldiers, but they were there because the Palestinian Prime Minister was inside the building. when he came out to get into his white limosine, he gaily waved at me! He is popular here I believe.
My bar friend and I had a lovely chat in Spanish (our only mutual language, as he spent 2 years in Argentina) about things I had missed like the Pope's visit, Christmas, and the Gaza war.
Tomorrow I shall go to church in Jerusalem, and have a lunch date with my former hosts, back here. Tonight I may finally meet up with the `Palestinan artists in the refugee Camps that I know. Loving every minute, hard work though.