We have learnt so much about religion, racial division and segregation, and war, since we left home. And each time we are humbled and reminded how much there is that we don’t know, and will never fully comprehend.
But how do you explain that to a six year old?
We bought tickets for the Arab Bus just outside Damascus Gate. It felt initially just like any other public bus, but wow; there is no mistaking the wall when you first see it. It absolutely dwarfs the road and bus, and the valleys that lead back down towards Jerusalem. Even seeing the wall from the bus made us sit tighter to the boys. It’s intimidating without doubt.
We jumped off at the last bus stop and found a taxi to take us back up to the wall, and walked along reading the graffiti and stories of children of Palestine.
Our taxi driver was a young Palestinian man, who showed us his green passport and explained the different zoning of Israel and Palestine, and how green meant he could never enter Israel.
We felt like we learnt more in the first three minutes of talking to him than we had even realised we didn’t know, and felt lucky once again to have met a local that took the time to share with us.
He drove us into Bethlehem to show us where to find “the best falafels in town”. And they were!
We wandered around trying to take it all in for a day, before it was time to head back to the bus stop, and exit back out to the other side of the wall.
The bus back is stopped at the border checkpoint; locals have to get off, and are lined up to be checked and have their pass verified. Heavily armed border patrols board the bus, checking passports and ensuring no one is from Palestine.
It is hard to describe the almost greedy feeling of freedom as we eventually stepped back off the bus…