We crossed successfully into the West Bank, and we have been very busy touching base with many of our friends, "co-workers" and contacts here!
We spent two days in Jerusalem, where we got in touch with a friend about further "training" for the spring and summer teams here in the WB. We look forward to touching base with this group in the next few weeks to get updated, and of course the summer team will learn much at this training.
We visited the neighborhood of Sheik Jarrah (see posts from last fall, including this report about MPT's presence at the Al-Kurd home). Sadly, much has happened since MPT was at the home last fall; Um Kamel Al-Kurd and her family were evicted from and are now living in a tent on a rocky slope of ground below their former neighborhood. In good news, their tent home is now a center for resistance to evictions in East Jerusalem, and volunteers from all over Palestine and internationals come there to coordinate efforts and share information. We will post a brief update with more information on Sheik Jarrah and the Al-Kurds family soon.
We also picked up an updated book from Passia (http://www.passia.org) for 2009 which has many contacts and organizations working on behalf of Palestinians here. We hope this will be a good resource for our team and future teams.
Then it was on to the United Nations OCHA post in Jerusalem (two trips, they were closed both times!) to pick up maps and other humanitarian information/updates. Luckily, someone took pity on us even though they were closed and we got the information we needed to take north.
After stopping at the site of our previous (much-loved) apartment and checking in with our friends in the village there, we have come north to Nablus province. We will be living in the area while we concentrate on finding a new apartment to rent here in the North. Then we'll work on getting it ready to live in, furnished, etc... the idea is to have it all set for the summer team. Or mostly, they may have to bring their own pillows and forks, depending on how much we can furnish the place in the meantime :) !