I took the bus to Nazareth from Jerusalem. I got on the bus no problem but then realized it made many stops (I just assumed it was one stop in the centre of Nazareth) and then I became very nervous because the announcements saying which stop we were at were all in Hebrew (or maybe Arabic) either way, I could not understand them!
I pulled out my map and tried to find landmarks so I would know when to get off. I knew to get off at the Basilica of the Annunciation, and that it was a five or ten minute walk through the market to my house. I saw a sign for the ‘Nazareth Bazaar’ so I got off. I tried to ask the bus driver if this was the Basilica stop but he did not speak english. It was quite clear to me I was going to have a hard time. Luckily, right near the bus stop was the familiar arches of a McDonalds. The only familiar thing in sight! I went in to try to figure things out. I have an Israeli phone number, and tried to call the Inn, but for the life of me I cannot dial out on this phone! I went up to the counter and asked the two girls working there if they knew where the Fauzi Azar Inn was. They spoke english, but they did not seem to understand me. I asked if the church outside was the one I was looking for and then finally I just asked for a cab. They still seemed confused and I was getting nervous because it was going to be dark soon. I started crying in the middle of McDonalds, causing a huge scene. The girls were very nice, I calmed down and showed them the name of the Inn on my phone and they understood! One called me a cab, and when they got there she explained to the driver where I wanted to go. I was so relieved! I must have gotten off at the right stop, because we were not far away! He drove me to the entrance of the old city (no cars in the old city) and there were signs along the way to lead me to the Inn. Hallelujah!
I got to the Inn and the head volunteer was out, so I waited in the lobby until she got back so she could show me where the volunteer house was. Just around the corner form the Inn, about 50 feet or so there is a little apartment where the volunteers live. I unpacked my stuff and could not fall asleep. It is neat being in the apartment. It’s very similar to how the locals live.
I was told I am the first volunteer they have had since the conflict ended. They also have less tourists than normal because of everything that has happened over the summer. I am living with a woman named Linda, who has been here volunteering for five years.
Today, I met my boss and actually spent some time watching the from desk. I also went grocery shopping and did my laundry. There is a dryer here but when I mentioned it everyone exclaimed, ‘its summer! the sun is good!’ so for the first time probably in my life I am line drying my clothes! I am working today at 4pm which will be my first official shift so we will see how it goes.