By Sam O.

Waking up in Nazareth was a refreshing change to our local in Birzeit. We got to explore the sites the ancient city has to offer and it was truly amazing.

Our main stop during our walking tour was the Annunciation Church. Built atop Mary’s home, it was a humbling experience to walk through the church, see the remains of the ancient city, and hear the stories of the many times this church has been rebuilt. Seeing the old and new churches really opened our eyes to the age of the religions that have lasted until today.

Next we visited The White Mosque. This was a beautiful building that’s sure to catch the eye. It’s funny how we can visit so many ancient holy sites yet each seems to grab you all the same. With further history lessons, we really got to appreciate the importance of each site and of how Muslims and Christians always coexisted peacefully in this land.

We wrapped our tour and embarked on a fair drive away to arrive in Jaffa. Exploring in the peak of the summer, the Mediterranean coastline is something of wonders. Stunning scenery, seafood, and the sites are plentiful. It was gorgeous to see and impactful to notice the differences between the West Bank and the Mediterranean coasts. After all our travels, we loved getting to enjoy a day at the beach and tan it up! This brought along smiles from each and every delegate. When the sunburns set in, it was time to go.

We drove back to Birzeit and were thrilled, yet again, by the food prepared for us. Stuffed vine leaves (Warak Eenab), zucchini (cusa) and stuffed eggplant (batinjaan) was the feast and it was glorious. The dishes alone will bring you back to the homeland. Just remember to pack some loose clothing. We debriefed our days of travel and we were ready for tomorrow’s final adventure!