Being back in Jerusalem with some of my friends from last summer is a lot of fun. Last year when I came, I entered the country alone. I didn't know if I would be working with a staff of 50 or 5. I also didn't know if they would be 50 or 5. They all turned out to be even better than I expected. I had an awesome summer and was excited to return this year. 5 of the long term staff that were here last year are still working at Shevet. It is great to catch up with them and work alongside them again.
It's also great to be back in this city. There is just something special about it. The past couple days we have gotten to experience part of Jerusalem life that most tourists are not aware of. It's called the Jerusalem Light Festival. Winding through different parts of the city are different displays of light. Some hang from trees, some are projected onto walls, and others are stand alone works of art. They also have acrobats stationed at different points doing tricks with light as part of their costume. It's really a fantastic event. I was able to go last year when I was here and was excited to go again this year. The biggest display is a huge dome outside of Jaffa gate. I took tons of photos but here are just a few for your enjoyment!
I also got to meet up with some friends from my university who are here for a month working on a project. It was great to see them! One of the girls was with me the first time I came to Israel as a student at Jerusalem University College during our J-Term. It was crazy to be back in this city with her.
This evening, we also took the Kurdish families and children down to the festival. At first, the kids were really overwhelmed and nervous because of all the color and people. The crowds were out in large numbers for the last night of the festival. But as well held them and showed them the different parts of the dome, they gradually grew more and more excited and comfortable in this crazy setting, but they never left their starry eyed look. It was adorable.