One reason I really like speaking on cruise ships is the exposure you can get to parts of the world you may have only read about. On a cruise last year, my wife and I toured Israel. The stops included Bethlehem. This current Christmas season reminded me of our time there. It was almost surreal to travel by bus and arrive at the Palestinian controlled Bethlehem. As we approached the town, our bus was boarded by an Israeli army person. Passports checked. The whole town is surrounded by a 30 ft high steel wall. Really.
We were told that the Israeli’s got tired of dealing with the covert bombings that originated from within, so they built the wall. It was no problem once we were inside. All of the religious buildings and artifacts from the birth of Christ were all open to us and there was no uneasiness. The guides presented a clear picture of what we were seeing and the events that occurred there over 2,000 years ago.
This trip was special and we really enjoyed the education and learning of the realities of today’s world. As a cruise ship speaker, this was all opened up to me.