Kirsten Williams in Palestine
SU Alum Kirsten Williams (first teacher of Kendrina, recently earned her Masters in Community Music from Ulster University in Northern Ireland), is participating in Music Without Borders, teaching in Palestine. Here's her most recent email about her experience:
"I am writing to update you all on my adventure so far in Palestine! Each of you has supported and encouraged this journey, for which I am so incredibly grateful. I am truly blessed to have such wonderful family and friends. I hope you all enjoy this email and small collection of pictures as a small vision into what life is like for me here, so far :)
I arrived Tuesday afternoon, and a friend picked me up from the Tel Aviv airport. She brought me to meet Fabienne Van Eck, who is the director of Sounds of Palestine. From there I went to the apartment I will be living in for the next month - I am sharing it with Natalie (another volunteer from Holland who has already been here for one month).
I am based in Beit Sahour - a small city in Bethlehem district (very near to Bethlehem city) which is also where the Sounds of Palestine music classes happen.
My first day here started bright and early! Fabienne, Ahmad, and I drove to Ramallah to visit Halimeh, who works for Musicians without Borders. She runs workshops for children with special needs. This was a really wonderful day for me because I had become good friends with Halimeh in October when we were roommates at the Musicians without Borders Training of Trainers in the Netherlands!
On Thursday, again, we traveled to a different part of Palestine, to a southern village called Dura where Musicians without Borders did a fun workshop for 555 school children! This was in celebration of the Palestinian Day of the Child. (You can see pictures of the children on Musicians without Borders facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/MusicianswithoutBorders/)
We drove back to Beit Sahour in time for the afternoon lessons at Sounds of Palestine. Even though it was a long day, working with the kids at Sounds of Palestine renewed my energy! Even age group gets small group lessons on their instrument and then orchestra rehearsal. It is a vibrant program and the children treasure their music time.
Friday was a day off and I took a trip to the beautiful desert with our landlord Jiries and Natalie to hike and watch the sunset (see the attached pictures!). We also got to hear traditional Bedouin music and eat the traditional Mahglubeh dish (meaning "upside-down").
Saturday was the holiday Sabt an nour - In which a pilgrimage carries the light from Jerusalem through Ramallah and Bethlehem and finally to Beit Sahour.
Today is back to teaching at Sounds of Palestine!
The last 4 days were packed with people and places! But from here on out, it seems that life here will settle into a more steady routine."