Goody Two Shoes Wants a Bloggers Holiday!
Oh what fun it would be if we 8 bloggers and our immediate families could go away on holiday together. Nothing fancy, just one night sitting around the campfire getting to know one another better.
Well it is not going to work. We would be 26 people (without the big kids), ranging in age from 0 - 80 years old. Camping wouldn't suit either end of the age range, between bad backs and oodles of equipment.
Maybe and probably some of the husbands wouldn't get along and the older children would not want to babysit the little ones unless they were getting paid!
Even if we lured everybody to agree to an overseas holiday, we would have to fly from different countries, get separate and complicated visas for the Palestinian passport holders who would have to spend an extra day and lots of extra money crossing Allenby Bridge to get to the Amman airport in Jordan .
So let’s forget the husbands and the kids, except for the newborn who will accompany his/her Mother .
Right then, let’s fix a good time. We do not have much choice, actually, as the Palestinian bloggers living in Palestine can only get permission to enter Israel at Easter and Christmas. These times of the year are fraught with family and church events.
Maybe the Israeli ones can go to Palestine instead? Not supposed to so it wouldn't work. No through road. Back to Easter and Christmas then. Let’s hope Passover dates will not clash with Easter dates, or do we want that so all the children will have holidays from school (less driving them about for the fathers left behind to look after them?) Even if the Palestinians living in Palestine have permission to enter Israel, the said permission is cancelled when it is the ' religious ' day of the Jewish holidays ...umm but there must be a day and a night we can throw caution to the wind, up sticks and meet, leaving family and regulations behind?
Presuming we have found a date to meet, where shall we go? We can squeeze 3 to a room or even get a Hostel dorm room to ourselves, putting the older bloggers on the bottom bunks to save their backs and necks and shoulders.
Problem is, for the non Hebrew speakers, they wouldn't be able to understand the signs in Hebrew or what was being said around them. That is not fair or equal really, putting them at a disadvantage. They would feel like tourists. That is not a good idea at all. A neighbouring country would have the same effect for the Israelis.
How about a weekend in Europe then? Apart from the cost, which nobody can afford, the Palestinian passport holders have to apply months in advance for a visa, often not getting it till the day before, and it is all very stressful when the ticket has already been bought, that and the lengthy and costly trips to Ramallah to the Embassy. The Palestinians flying from Ben Gurion, the Israeli airport, would be separated from their friends for extra security searches which can involve removing clothes. That wouldn't promote much good feeling and equality between us.
Ok, so back to a do-it-yourself catering cabin somewhere in Israel, as far away from people as possible to protect the non Hebrew speakers from insults. We have plenty of translators for all the main languages .
It is settled then. I can go into Palestine to get the ladies there and bring their luggage out in my car. What will happen is, I will drop the said ladies off by the checkpoint 300 to walk through, as that is the only one they can use, and I will drive through with their luggage whilst they go through a cage like turnstile system of security checks, including a conveyor belt.
At the other side, I will wait for them and chat to their luggage or listen to the radio till they arrive. Then, hey ho and off we go! Same system going back.
People with Palestinian passports are not allowed to drive in Israel and several of the vehicles will have to be left with the husbands to cart the children to and from their busy activity programmes. Anyways, we can squash in 2-3 cars, so that knocks camping out. Hope the newborn won't have much equipment .....He/she will already be taking a car space up with the car seat! (law in Israel .......not really in Palestine).
Writing this and thinking of the logistics is giving me a headache. A group Skype call is much easier. It was nothing short of a miracle that we all met up in December, some for the first time, if only for a few hours. It was a taste of heaven on earth. Unfortunately, we might have to wait another year to do it again...That is, unless there is peace first and all our governments make friends, like we have.
Point : If we can do it why can't others?