Saturday, May 08, 2010

Last Day

I guess there has been a few days missing, but due to the schedule and travel, posting has been difficult. I'm sitting outside, overlooking the Sea of Galilee on the Golan Heights. Today is our last full day, then we fly early tomorrow morning. We will visit some of the old Christian sites in the north, head down along the Syrian border, then back to Jerusalem. The landscape in the north is amazing, quite mountainous, the closest analogy would be the Fraser Valley in British Columbia I suppose.

We've seen many things in the last few days. Not to bore people with every detail, but the most recent highlight was visiting the Lebanese border. Our hilltop vantage was positioned beside a United Nations outpost on the Lebanese side, and we saw helicopters patrolling the border. The border is divided by a somewhat non descript fence, with a Lebanese village in the valley below. This village was quite eerie, the windows had no glass and activity seemed minimal. We were told by our Kibbutz member guide that Hezbollah were active in the village, but nobody wore overt military garb. We were also told that there was a high probability that we were being filmed where we stood, because of the strategic significance- which in and of itself was quite impacting- much different feeling than a security camera at The Gap.

Getting a first hand view of the Golan Heights, you can see why Israel believes it has a huge strategic significance. The high hills provide easy access to the Jewish towns on the other side of the Sea, towns which were attacked during previous conflicts. Right now, I sit in what is considered occupied terrority by the Syrians.

We've had many fantastic conversations, with people across the spectrum, leaving much to process. I think I'll wait until I return to see how this trip has altered my perspective, if any, but clearly my view is richer from the experience.

See you when I return :)

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