Friday, February 10

[four more days in paradise lost]

Alright, friends. We all knew this day was coming, when the adventure of Palestine would come to an end. I did not expect it to be so soon. The brief rain this morning was followed by gorgeous sun and dark clouds, and the air smelled like springtime. It smelled so familiar, welcoming, and alive -- it smelled just the way spring in Kirkland smelled.

I have come to feel about Nablus the way I feel about Kirkland and Northampton. These are places where I know people, where I have favorite places, where there are regular spots I hang out, where I have experienced the full range of emotions from lowest low to highest high. It is a place I will return to, throughout my life, I am sure.

Palestine itself has been welcoming and challenging and inspiring and educational. 'Nothing in the guidebooks is true but the maps,' said Dave Eggers in You Shall Know Our Velocity. That's certainly true in this part of the world, except that depending on who you ask, even the maps aren't true.

I am confident that Palestine and my friends here will always hold a special place in my memory, and in my future. We're not done yet, Palestine. I'll see you soon. Thanks for the ridiculous amount of life experience you've managed to cram into four months. It's been real.

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