I didn’t write a post yesterday because I was too busy exploring Jerusalem. But I have a few minutes on the bus, so I’ll recap yesterday.
We started our day at the City of David, where we saw ruins of David’s palace. Seeing the ruins overlooking the city brought stories like David and Bathsheba to life.
We also had the opportunity to go through a (ancient) sewer system and see a temple built by Herod.
After the City of David and the temple, we went to the Western Wall, which was probably the most interesting part of our formal tour.
Where I really had the most fun, however, was after our tour ended for the day. The group was given some time to work on our stories, and a group of us headed into the city.
The story I am working on is actually a video and radio package accompanying another story, so I went out into old Jerusalem to profile a tattoo shop. This shop has been run by the same family for 700 years and specializes in pilgrimage tattoos.
My partner and I talked to the father of the man currently running the shop. Because he was unable to come into the shop, we met him outside in his car. And as I crouched outside the car with a camera and a microphone, listening to this man talk about the tradition of his family, I fell in love with journalism all over again.
Because this is what journalism does for you. It whisks you away to a country and gives you the opportunity to talk to people you normally would have never met. It lets you roam the streets with a camera and have a reason to shoot. It lets you tell stories no one else has heard.
Jerusalem may be an ancient city with ancient stories, but it is also young and vibrant and full of life. It is full of stories in a way that it seems cities in the USA are not. Walking the streets, it is easy to feel the richness of the culture.
I was already in love with journalism. Now I am also in love with Jerusalem.
For a lot of students on the Passages tour, Israel is primarily a part of their spiritual journey. They are drawn to the stories of the Bible. Although those stories make up a large part of my experience too, I am here for a different kind of story.
I am here for the man in the tattoo parlor. I am here for the woman selling scarves on the street. I am here for my own story.
But most importantly, I am here for the stories around me.
Time to write.