Merry Christmas from Bethlehem!

Merry Christmas from the little town of Bethlehem, you know, where the place where Jesus was born. 🙂


Give Peace a Chance

Trump just announced that the American embassy will be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Arabs all over the world are not happy. Protesting riots are not an uncommon occurrence near the Bethlehem checkpoint, about a mile from our place. You can probably guess that the locals are not exactly thrilled about the new development, so yes, there were some ‘activities’ yesterday and today – probably tomorrow as well.

This is a shot of Beit Jala main street about an hour ago. It’s approximately halfway between our apartment and the checkpoint. Smoke and tear gas still linger in the air, but life goes on.
It’s just another day here in Bethlehem / Beit Jala.

Perhaps it would be a good time to blast John Lennon through the loudspeakers —

“All we are saying – give peace a chance” ..


Yearbook Class

These are the kids in my Yearbook/Photography class.
It has been a challenge, working with limited resources and ‘colorful’ attitudes.
Since I’ve been pretty strict, they will probably never know how much I care for them, but that’s okay, as long as they walk away at the end of the semester knowing that beauty lies everywhere and that everyone is uniquely special; that life isn’t necessarily all about the finish, but every step, often times grueling, enabling us to spring forward, crossing together.


Lighting Kindle

We live across a street from an apartment building occupied by 20+ Muslim families. Naturally, there are kids. The most visible ones spend lots of time outside. I guess that’s a good thing, not staring at video games all day. They remind me of how I was in Korea when I was their age, always surrounded by friends, just hanging out, sometimes getting in trouble, in the name of ‘entertainment.’ Regardless of how many times they set the dumpster on fire, I see the kindle within. They just need a little spark to burn bright, possibly forever.




Everest Restaurant, Beit Jala

Artistic shot of the weekend..
All 70+ teachers from our school gathered for a monthly luncheon at the restaurant at the highest peak of the town, appropriately named Everest.
Jordan is about 30 miles away, but it seemed much closer. Perhaps it’s the sun, playing with light, spilling pink on the horizon.
The “cross” on the left, points at Bethlehem. It was not intentional. It is just a part of a broken fence. It seemed to transform itself while editing in the Lightroom.


16:8 Intermittent Fasting

I am a grazer. Whenever there is food around, I eat it, hungry or not. I really should weigh 300+ pounds, but thanks to frequent workouts, I don’t. It’s not enough, however. I always tend to consume more calories than what I burn.
I then read about 16:8 fasting. It sounded gimmicky, but it fit my schedule pretty well, so I decided to give it a shot. That was almost 2 months ago.
So far..
1. I consume fewer calories overall. I can eat only so much in 8 hours per day instead of 16.
2. Fat is melting away; very slowly, but it is definitely going away.
3. I crave weird foods when coming off fast, but not junk foods. Today, I craved peanut butter and banana sandwich, drizzled with cinnamon honey sauce, with a side of avocado sprinkled with soy sauce.


Sun poke by mosque

A view with the Beit Jala security wall behind me.
Notice the sun being poked by the mosque of Aida (Arabic: مخيم عايده‎‎) Refugee Camp.
I just happen to be at the right place at the right time!