The summer was eventful in other ways. Sadly we lost one of our really good staff members, Nesreen, who passed away at a relatively young age after a heart operation. Nesreen was an Arab Christian from Nazareth and had worked for many years at the Hotel, and for her, it was more than a job. She was so much part of the place, that I would never have imagined her leaving of her own choice. She was very much a woman of faith, and that makes such a difference. I found her incredibly supportive, and we are all quite devastated by her death.
On a happier note, I moved house during the summer. I had lived in a very nice, modern, open-plan apartment with lots of space. Many would have loved to live there, but it wasn’t ‘me’, and I never really felt at home there. I think I have been too used to living in manses with their ‘decaying grandeur’. Anyway, the Church owns a building nearer to the church and hotel, which has now been renovated, and I have moved into the flat on the upper floor, which has ‘character’, views and a wonderful balcony – what more could one ask for. I had happy memories of Yakfie (the name of the house) from my time as a volunteer, so am absolutely thrilled to be living there. My previous flat had been in a commercial area, surrounded by roads and alarms (which rang continually through the night). Here, I have neighbours and also peace and quiet (apart from the occasional noise of a party on the beach) and even a large garden. I had better discover some green fingers soon! Though there is a scheme in Tiberias where ex-prisoners learn gardening, and we are hoping to employ them.
I am in Scotland (from the end of October) for just under six weeks. However, the Moderator will be visiting Israel and Palestine later in December, so I will need to be back in time to prepare for that!