My first reaction to seeing the wall that separates Israel and Palestine was the enormity of it. This isn’t any little chain-link fence that marks a property line. It’s an enormous eight-metre-tall concrete wall that has a security tower every kilometre or so. There are gates in the wall, but these are few and far between, and use of these gates is extremely restricted to those who are not tourists like we were.
Decorating sides of the wall are beautiful and meaningful murals/messages. They are done by graffiti artists, both foreigners and local citizens. The theme that runs throughout every picture is the desire for peace in Israel/Palestine. I thought it was really interesting how something as awful and painful as this wall can be, can, at the same time, be so beautiful and tell so much truth.
This was only one of the many surprises that I encountered along the trip.
Another thing that I got from my Yella adventure was a new understanding of the Bible and Jesus’ life. During our four-day trek along the Jesus’ Trail, the parable of the Good Samaritan really came alive for us when we hiked from Jerusalem to Jericho through the desert, where we saw how harsh the land really is and how helpless you would be if stranded.
I’ll admit to not knowing a lot about the situation in Israel/Palestine before my Yella trip, but now I am so much more interested in learning more and keeping in touch with the people we talked to and stayed with. After going, you can’t help but be passionate about the country and all of its problems.