Diary Excerpt


Tuesday, August 16th 1977

Hostel Acosta, Iquitos, Peru, S.A.

I have been here for four days.  I am in another world.  I feel like no one else lives in the world.  We are so far away, so isolated.  I’ve never felt like this before when visiting a foreign country.  The jungle is immense, colossal, and stretches away forever.  The rivers wind muddily through the never ending, even, dark carpet of tree tops.  The glitter and gaudiness of America are gone; also the efficient, the slick and shiny perfectness of quick effort-saving devices.  My world is now among the safe, secluded cement mazes of an ancient Peruvian city, sprouted upon a cliff in a bend of one of the most mighty rivers in the world, the Amazon.  I am closed in on patch-worked cement streets, on holey, broken, pitted-out excuses for sidewalks, by the checkered bright pink, green and blue, and brick coloured fronts of continued house-fronts…one after the other; interspersed with tiny shops with windows and doors wide open, children and dogs on the steps, iron grill fencing off door stoops and car ports, and patches of green.  People hang out their window sills and sit on chairs tending their stores with their eyes on the street, watching their world go by them. Their faces are carmel-coloured, smooth skinned, wide, open, sparkle-eyed and friendly…curious, of my white skin and “American” features, and “fashionable” clothes.

–  –  –  –  –

It must have been our second evening here in Iquitos that Dad took us for the first time to the Plaza at 6 o’clock to see the birds.  It happens every evening on the hour, just as the church clock strikes. At about ten minutes to the hour the sky above the Plaza begins to fill with thousands of whirling birds.  They fly in from the jungle in huge swarms, hundreds in number.  As they gather, they fly in formations as fluid as fusing gasses, or oil paint on water.  It is one of the most beautiful sights in Iquitos.  Then as if on silent cue, they all swoop in descent to rest in the trees of the Plaza – jostling each other, ruffling their wings, bedding down for the night as darkness swiftly engulfs them.

Today in ‘Akká

Today was a most gorgeous spring-like day…

Through a portal brightly

Took my new camera out to ‘Akká

Mediterranean Sea through a portal in the ‘Akká sea wall

Mediterranean Sea through a portal in the ‘Akká sea wall


The Citadel or Prison of ‘Akká as seen from the top of the British Fort.

The Citadel or Prison of ‘Akká as seen from the top of the British Fort.


The British Fort at the north of the seawall of ‘Akká.

The British Fort at the north of the seawall of ‘Akká.


In the small square behind the House of Abbúd, Akká

In the small square behind the House of Abbúd, Akká


At the side of the House of Abbúd, Akká

At the side of the House of Abbúd, Akká


Next door to the House of Abbúd, Akká

Next door to the House of Abbúd, Akká


Green door near the prison, Akká

Green door near the prison, Akká


The Daher El Omar Wall, Akká

The Daher El Omar Wall, Akká



My First Visitors

Payam and I at dinner at the Crowne Plaza overlooking Haifa.

It’s been a long while since my last post here because I’ve been entertaining visitors at my place in Haifa since 24 January when my brother-in-law arrived from southern California.  Then on 1 February my father arrived from northern California – their visits overlapped a tiny bit, and I’ve been going non-stop ever since!

On the pier at Nahariya

Spent one day up in Nahariyyah with Payam and some friends walking the beach, the piers and the town, enjoying schnitzel at the Penguin Restaurant.  The weather was blowy but nice and we stood on the pier looking towards the north, and to the south back to Mt. Carmel above the city of Haifa.  The distances are so small here when compared with driving in California.

Counting waves at Nahariyih

Walked around with my brother-in-law while he took photos with his super fancy camera….

My photographer brother-in-law in his element!

Walking the gardens at Bahjí at sunset when the lights were turned on.

Bahjí near sunset

On a walking tour with my father in the area of Haifa downtown named the Hadar….lots of interesting shops and restaurants.  Note an international landmark behind him…..

Dad in the Hadar near the McDonalds and two street musicians

My Dad will be here in Israel for a few more days…….more blogs to come.



Exploring Nazareth

We headed out on the highway east to Nazareth this morning with patches of sunniness and cloud.  Through the forest along the ridge of Mt. Carmel with vistas stretching out on either side for miles west down to the Beit Netofa Valley and north to Akka.  Then climbed the hills up to Nazareth….

In the Har Ha Carmel Reserve

Olive oil stand

Selling olive oil made from their trees in the background.

It’s been too many years since I’ve been to Nazareth….no years here in print…just that I was only 17, so I don’t remember what to expect.  But it’s grown….and the traffic is incredible and the roads tinier even than what I recall.

Arriving near the old city of Nazareth

We are here and so is everyone else!  The streets are clogged with cars.

Can our car really fit in there??!!!

So we drive right in there and it’s a TWO WAY road!!!  AND we find a parking place….miracle beyond miracles!

We are parked below the Al-Mutran Guest House

Now we set off walking through the tiny “streets” sized more like sidewalks……

Walking towards the market

Inside a lovely gift shop…….read: danger zone!

Inside a 1700's building with 14 foot vaulted ceilings and its own well....but shopping!.

True, but beautiful, danger!

Antique silver pieces repaired for wearing.

Reconditioned coin silver jewelry

Exquisite pieces of coin silver jewelry.

Interior of gift shop near Al-Mutran Guest House at Bishop Square, Old City Nazareth

Fabric embroidered by local women in geometric patterns…predominantly in reds.

Peeking into courtyard of a hostel

Lovely little street in Nazareth

One of my favourite photos from today – a quiet little street with cyprus trees.

Closeup view at a copper - brassware shop

Close up view of old and new copper and brass-ware.

Fahoum Coffee & Spices shop - Nazareth Old City Market

Wonderful coffee where we tried it out first!!

Coffee shopper

Another coffee shopper

Historical photo of Mary's Well, Nazareth, taken in 1920

Cool historical photo found in the Al-Mutran.  It doesn’t look like this any more……
To be continued…..