Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Stairs, stones, and schools

ABC Wednesday is already on letter S.
So many times I have entered the Old City at Jaffa Gate and walked right past the old Petra Hostel.
A few days ago I gathered courage and entered this dilapidated old building, refuge of backpackers and other penniless types.
Slowly, so as not to slip on the well-worn stairs, I climbed to the 3rd floor and then up onto the flat roof.
New west Jerusalem and old east Jerusalem!
The Old City and Temple Mount and beyond, to the Mount of Olives and the desert!
But my favorite photo from the roof was not off into the distance but rather straight down.
Enlarge it, please.
The Arab girl was bending over, opening a grate, cleaning it as the final step in her big work of hosing down the courtyard and scrubbing the stones.
Shining stones, still wet!
Aren't they beautiful?
It's like in archaeology when we pour water over an ancient mosaic and all its colors come to life!
I wish the young lady could see her work from above and be proud.
Not sure, but I think, judging from a basketball hoop, that the enclosed area is part of St. Dimitri's School.
It is a private school sponsored by the Patriarchate of the Greek Orthodox Church.
I see in a 2008 news item that St. Dimitri's was then celebrating the renovation and revitalization of its building.
Apparently the EU has a Comprehensive School Upgrading Program for a few selected Palestinian schools in east Jerusalem which "revamps the schools and upgrades the electricity networks, sanitation facilities, sewage systems, carpentry and mechanical works and general classroom conditions (paint, floors, and ceilings). It also funds new school equipment like computers, fax, and copy machines, as well as school management software."
Along with two partner organizations, the EU provides "extensive teacher training around teaching methods, interfaith education, inclusion and appropriate methods of maintaining discipline and openness in the classroom."
The need is great and I wish them success.


Barbara said...

Those stones are beautiful, they shine like mother of pearl. Lovely images for S day...

Sylvia K said...

Terrific post for the S Day, Dina! I, too, love the stones! Really beautiful! Hope your week is going well! Enjoy!


Unknown said...

The stones are beautiful indeed. As always, I've enjoyed this glimpse of your beautiful city.

Roger Owen Green said...

ROG, ABC Wednesday team.

VP said...

You posted a really great picture, that floor is amazing!
I glad that while our local schools are falling aparts for lack of funds, our EU friends are able to spend (our) money revamping schools in another continent.
This makes me really proud...

EG CameraGirl said...

I think you were very brave to go inside that building alone. OK, you were not really alone - you had your camera. LOL Really though, I do hope you are careful.

Having said that, your photo of the Arab girl and tiles is wonderful.

Gigi Ann said...

The pictures are beautiful. Always nice to be able to visit another corner of the world through pictures. Thanks for sharing.

Leif Hagen said...

Sounds like a fun exploring adventure, Dina!

Hels said...

I was one of those penniless types for ages and ages, staying in grungy student hostels and caravan parks. Can anyone stay at the old Petra Hostel?

Kay said...

So beautiful, Dina. This is such an interesting, intriguing place. That is an amazing view.

Sara at Come Away With Me said...

That is indeed a beautiful view! Thank you for sharing it with us, and for gathering up your courage to enter the old Petra Hostel.

Unknown said...

Love the roof shot!