False Spring

A false spring is a warm period in late winter or early spring, deceiving plants and animals to awaken early from dormancy.
It’s not even in the middle of February and this is what I see all over Bethlehem and Beit Jala. Is the winter finally over, or is it a sign of another false spring?



He died exactly 27 years ago, along with four other friends, in a mid-air plane collision.
He wasn’t old enough to be my father, but a mentor, a role model.
He showed me how to believe in others, to be selfless, to love, to cry.
Thank you, JQ.


This is one of my favorite photos from the past, with JQ (in white) and me instructing a first-time skydiving student. Photo by Bob, I think – not sure.

Father and Son

“Hey Mr. Bill, can take a picture with your camera?” asked one of my photography students during a school field trip.
I guess he knew what he was doing, applying proper settings for a tricky lighting situation. He must have a good instructor! 🙂
The picture pairs well with a shot of Joseph I took an hour before.

Jordan Valley Farm

Jordan Valley is the deepest valley in the world, ranging 700-1300ft BELOW the sea level. It is very fertile and is often mentioned in the Old Testament.
The seniors at the school took a day trip to one of the small farms in the valley, close to Nablus, to observe, to learn, and to help uncover micro-greenhouses. It was refreshing to take off our winter coats for a change! 

Millions of colors

Saw this rainbow over Bethlehem this afternoon – a first one in a very long time,
Did you know that there are over a million colors in the rainbow? We just can’t see them all with our limited eyes. It just shows us that as soon as we think we understand everything, we see nothing.

Things That Matter

Sonnie and I explored Bethany yesterday – you know, the place mentioned in the Bible, where Jesus visited Martha and Mary.
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered. “You are worried and upset about many things. But few things are needed. Really, only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better. And it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41-42)
Powerful words..

Being There

The Church of Saint Catherine of Alexandria is a church adjoining the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.
We’ve been in this country for five years, and I have not set my foot in it until today.
It’s just like when we lived in the San Francisco Bay Area. We didn’t go across the Golden Gate Bridge until a couple years after we moved there!
Yup, we don’t tend to appreciate seeing famous places that are practically right in our backyards, but want to visit far-away places we can’t afford! 🙂