Preparing for the West Bank

مرحبا / שלום

My plane taking me to Tel Aviv, where I will meet my fellow peacebuilder Ally for the first time and from where we will continue to Jerusalem is now not even six days away. The past weeks of preparation have been stressful and uncertain whether we would be allowed to go through with the project. However, thanks to a lot of work and convincing by our organizer Pushpa everything got sorted out and as the day of departure gets closer and closer the excitement rises. I have visited the region for the first and last time three years ago and have always wanted to go back.

Ally and I have spent quite some time on finding a place to stay, which proved to be difficult in a city like Jerusalem in summer time. Luckily a friend living there could put us in contact with someone subletting a place and now we have our little flat right in the city centre. I am looking forward to seeing and experiencing the city and the culture of the region from a perspective other than the tourist one and my friend in Jerusalem already promised to show us the ‘real’ Jerusalem.

Right now, I am sitting in my room and outside my window it is raining heavily. The temperature is at 12°C/53.6°F while the weather forecast for Jerusalem on sunday predicts up to 36°C/96.8°F. I guess adapting to the different climate is also going to be a challenge…

Apart from soaking in the culture, I cannot wait to start working. We have contacted friends, colleagues and NGOs we will meet and that tell us their stories or help us finding people that will. Water is a fundamental human right, necessary to live a life in dignity. Telling the stories of people that had this right taken from them will be a big task, but I am determined to make their voices heard.

For my last days in Germany I am planning to spend as much time with my family, my girlfriend and my friends as I can. Sure, it is not the first time I leave, but this time appears to be the most exciting journey yet.

Twitter @lukasCCS

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