Friday, October 17, 2008
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Another bubble burst - no winter birth, no quaint barn for Jesus. We knelt in the filth of what he was born into.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
The Augustinian Gate. At this complex, RVL gave a stirring lesson that transformed Jesus' trial and execution into a triumphal entry.
Sorry for the lack of pix - I don't have a waterproof camera!
Grace and Peace
Monday, October 13, 2008
Who is this guy and why is he trying to horn in on my picture of a giant incense bowl?
An indelible impression was left in our minds as RVL further revealed the cruelty of the Romans in this place that commemorates the martyrdom of Philip. Sadly, no plaque nor visitors. We wondered if the edginess of the Revelation was informed by John's grief at the death of his friend.
This one is for my Paul - a Turkish Dune.
Moonlight over Laodecia. Goodbye, Asia.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
We are staying in the very nice Richmond Pamukkale Thermal Spa. The rooms aren't as nice as the Annemon in Manisa (goodness, it had leather and panel and very modern), but the buffet is good and the pool looks great (like I will have a chance for a dip - hah!).
So I wasn't surprised, but was delighted, to see a barber. Five Euros for a haircut, and an extra Euro for washing my hair. A very modest and very pretty young Turkish woman was minding the store, and through signs and babel I discovered that I had about a half hour to eat and return.
When I did (with my dirt-caked hair and sweat-streaked clothes), I was graciously seated with my head in the wash basin. That girl's kind ministrations to my baked noggin were delightful, bringing a huge smile to my face. I think they call it grinning like a loon.
The barber (who may have been her older brother or uncle) came in, and through more signs and less babel (he knew some English), let me know that although he needed cash, he would take US dollars and could wait until after the haircut.
I started to make more signs about how I wanted it cut (I am, after all, an American), but he waved me off, with a bemused look that seemed to convey "Sir, I think I know what I am doing."
Meanwhile, his assitant was now playing solitaire on a laptop. I said "Internet?" and she nodded affirmatively. I showed them both my lanyard with my "In the Footsteps of the Disciples" identity card, and pointed to the computer, and said "Internet." She pushed the laptop over.
Let me tell you - it is quite an experience to be in a foreign country and show what you have been doing to the local population. I pulled up this blog and although they couldn't read much of the words, the pictures showed them our interest, respect, and appreciation for their country. He asked "Archeology" and I nodded. A far sight better reaction than the schoolteacher in Philadelphia, who when he heard we were from Texas, made signs and sounds imitating a rifle being fired.
Anyway, the haircut is perfect. Randy and Brian came by, laughing at my indulgence, and to my exclamation "I feel like royalty," they replied, "You look like royalty!" I still have a smile as I write this.
So after all was done and I approved the work, I sprinted back to my room. Now 6 Euros is right at 8 bucks, and I would have paid ten times that for how good I felt. I handed him a twenty. He asked "Change?" and when I shook my head, he grabbed my hand, kind of around the thumb, like what we called in my youth a soul handshake.
Then he pulled me closer to him, and pressed his right temple to my right temple, pulled back, and pressed his left temple to my left temple, all the while grasping my hand. He smiled broadly and said, "This is Turkish Hello!"
We are safe and happy.
Grace and Peace
Close quarters on the streets of Turkey – the bus driver is amazing, and everyone is so gracious to one another – a completely different concept of personal space. Personally, (no pun intended), I think we need to work on this if we are going to usher in the Kingdom:
Grapes are everywhere. Here they use the concrete slabs in the middle of the fields to dry raisins: