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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

Reach Out & Touch Vacations

thI guess you could say, in many ways, our family is out of touch.  We are not the usual American family that takes a vacation to lie on the beach and vegetate, or even get into high-adventure ski or snowboarding trips.  Engaging in sports is a regular activity of ours.  When we go on vacation, we enjoy different experiences, generally of the educational sort, even if it’s tangential.

Today the kids had a number of fun, learning activities.  Sure, they could be running around with Mickey or Minnie in a warm clime, but instead, they hung out with shepherds, sheep and goats.

A mini-stampede started nearby when a goat was spooked by a rule-the-roost rooster who imagined himself to be the alpha male of 4204040191_7968ac4dd6_zthe herd.  The small goat started running, causing the sheep to spook and begin moving quickly in our direction-!

The children were able to reach out and touch the goat fur and the sheep fur as each animal made its way past us, totally unafraid of each other (us and them).  Apart from a cleaned-up petting zoo, when else would this be possible?

They saw the ancient way of corraling the animals, a pen made out of local thorn branches.  By night, the shepherd would lay across the break in the thorns, making himself the door of the sheepfold, laying his life on the line for his flock.

nazareth-villageIf any predators dared to approach, they would need to deal with the shepherd himself.  The Scripture of Psalm 23 came alive, “The Lord is my shepherd.”  Any evil calamity would have to deal with Him before it could ever try to attack His sheep.

We watched women taking the washed sheep’s wool and separating it by hand, then loosely twisting and spinning it into yarn that could be woven.  Some batches were died using boiled fruit peels or crushed shells.  Each step took time and effort, even the rolling into balls of yarn would ensure that after the spinning, the yarn straightened enough over the course of three weeks or so, in order to be used in the weaving.

Walking down the hillside terraces of stone, dotted with flocks and Biblical industries, the point was not lost on us that, sometimes, we needed to be straightened out, in order to be of use to our Great Shepherd.  But He would take care of us and we could be confident of that.

Better than the Mouse House any day.

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