|Anthea and Scott sharing a very brief quiet moment|
|A couchsurfer from France with Anthea and Scott|
|Dan on the left, Shahar in the back, on the right, and Shahar's mother, Klara, and girlfriend, Petra. Petra is from Hungary.|
|Shahar signs a petition|
As a younger man in Israel, Dan served in the IDF as an officer for a while (everybody in Israel serves in the IDF at some point), but he didn't much like it. Like so many Israelis, Dan is sympathetic to the grievances of those Palestinians who are forced off their land by settlers, and he isn't at all sympathetic to the government that endorses settlement expansion. Dan and his friend Shahar, also from Israel, have been important to me on my walk, as they have offered an Israeli perspective for peace in the Middle East. Both Dan and Shahar (who also disliked, and tried to avoid service in the IDF) have thoughtfully considered and signed both of the petitions for peace in the Middle East, and filled me in on details I need to know about for my future walk into Israel.
And of course, Dan has also made me feel at home, treating me to dinner and being a very good friend.
And he's been my tour guide too!
|Dan with a friend, Honey, who is the vocalist with 'The Minus Two' (Facebook.com/theminustwo). Honey is from Sweden, but is partly of Palestinian descent.|
|Dan and his other Couchsurfing guest, Valeria, from Argentina. Before I left, Valeria treated us to a delicious cup of mate tea, which is shared around the table through a metal straw. What a great way to form a social bond!|
|Gerry with his city mode of transport. Follow his example, folks!|
While Gerry is not officially a Quaker, he has long attended the Barcelona Monthly Meeting, and we had the opportunity to talk a bit when he invited me to lunch.
Like so many Quaker meetings in continental Europe, Barcelona Monthly Meeting struggles with attendance, and they meet now only once a month. One of the reasons for Barcelona's fluctuating attendance is the transitory nature of the city; people come and go all the time.
As a young man, Gerry studied at a seminary to be a Catholic priest, but lost his faith. He now teaches English as a second language, and has done so for a very long time. Except for a few years teaching in Casablanca, he has spent his career as a teacher in Barcelona. Like more than a few Quakers, he considers himself an agnostic; perhaps a bit of a seeker; but he finds peace and a measure of spirituality in the silence of a Quaker meeting, and, of course, the peace that he finds there radiates outward. If you are interested in contacting the Barcelona Friend's Meeting, you can e-mail Caroline Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org.