Intern Journal: Enjoy the view, be in the moment!

For a girl who has climbed Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya, I didn’t quite expect the intern “leisure” hike in the Wadi Qelt near Jericho to be any big feat. I especially didn’t expect having to end the hike with a donkey-ride due to my inability to control my legs. When our taxi first pulled up to the entrance of the Wadi Qelt, I was in awe of the scene before my eyes; sprawling canyons, rugged hilltops, and bedouins herding their goats. I was in a magical place; truly biblical. As our group descended into the desert, it felt as if we were the only people for miles. That initial high soon gave way to complete and utter exhaustion. Whether it was dehydration, the heat, or those extra 20 lbs that I’ve packed on since my time in East Africa, the hike was anything but leisurely for a certain intern. As our group began to splinter off between those of us in shape and those of us who enjoy a little too much hummus and pita, it became increasingly clear that I might in fact pass out at any moment, roll down the massive cliffs, and endure a fate worse than James Franco in 127 hours.

Somewhere after my second fall, however, I finally saw them; the four stately crosses that signify the entrance into Saint George’s monastery. As I made my way to a rock overlooking the beautiful Greek-Orthodox church, I was once again filled with that sense of peace that had somehow eluded me throughout my journey. I was in a spectacular place.

In the midst of our journey here at TYO, I know that I am feeling the same things the other interns are feeling; a jumbled mixture of excitement and enthusiasm as well as a little anxiety. Nonetheless, my experience on the rough terrain of the Wadi Qelt taught me more than the importance of  proper hydration; it taught me to stop, breath, and take in the moment. I'm thrilled I was able to learn such a lesson so early on here in Palestine. There is so much to marvel at each and every day.

- Cate

Cate is a summer intern at TYO Nablus.