Day Twelve: July 4, 2004

Doreen’s Diary: July 4, 2004

Today we were retuning to Jerusalem. Our trip was nearing its end and we were hoping that today we would hear that Ann’s hearing would be taking place tomorrow. So Jerusalem was where we wanted to be, close enough to get to the hearing at a moment’s notice. We all slept in, trying to make it a leisurely Sunday, hoping to stretch out the day, not wanting to leave Ramallah. We lolled around the hotel for most of the morning, Eileen getting in a swim, some of the women sleeping rather late, packing up and preparing to say goodbye.

We all checked out and, while waiting for our taxis, we donned our WCA hats and took a few group photos on the steps of the Retno. We even convinced Huwaida to join in our picture. As we loaded our bags into the taxis, we were all sad to leave Ramallah. I was doubly sad, for I was leaving Huwaida, as well.We all put on our WCA hats and posed for a final group shot before leaving the Retno Hotel in Ramallah.

 

We all put on our WCA hats and posed for a final group shot in front of the Retno Hotel in Ramallah before getting into the vans to go back through the horrid Qalandia checkpoint to Jerusalem.

 

On the ride back to Jerusalem, I called Patricia, the Spanish reporter we’d met on our taxi ride from the airport. We made plans to meet her for dinner in East Jerusalem. We arrived at the Knights’ Palace and picked up the keys to our rooms. One room was hotter than the next. We each went through our luggage and took out the things that we wanted to send home. Stacey and Jan went to the front desk to find out where we could find a shipping office. When they returned and told us that we needed to get the things to the American Hotel, I suggested that we all go to find out the costs of shipping with DHL, as the hotel is quite beautiful and I thought the women would enjoy seeing it. I called Patricia and told her to meet us there.

After meeting Patricia, we began following her to a restaurant that she thought was very good. She accidentally gave us the wrong name, and what she called a short walk turned into an uphill hike. Carol, Anni and Jenny walked behind and Gail, Stacey, Joya and I walked ahead with Patricia. On the walk through East Jerusalem, Patricia pointed out how many of the Palestinians living there were being forced out as new Israeli immigrants were moving into their homes. She predicted that soon there would be no Palestinians in East Jerusalem.

We got to the restaurant first and Patricia realized that the place where she had meant for us to eat was next door to the one she’d named. We’d been walking and talking and hadn’t noticed that Carol, Jenny and Anni were not directly behind us. They weren’t even on the block yet. Unaware, we entered the correct restaurant, the one next door to the one we’d thought we were going to. We expected the other three women to walk in right behind us.

We were seated, and after a few minutes, realized that the other three women were missing. Stacey went out to look for them. She found them in the restaurant next door looking for us. Needless to say, when they finally joined us, they were a bit miffed. Had they known it was such a hike, they’d have taken a cab. Patricia apologized but was not quite sorry enough for the confusion to ease the ladies’ annoyance. It might have been a better evening had we not been nearing the end. Fatigue was taking hold of nerves. Eventually, all calmed down. Patricia was sweet, just a little ditzy. And for sure, WCA women were anything but ditzy. The food was wonderful, however, and we all tried to make the best of what began as a tense repast. We returned to the hotel and tried to get a good night’s sleep in spite of the heat.