Street scene. Probably wouldn't win the Christmas decoration contest.
Neither would this one.
Olive wood carving workshop at the Salesian Artistic Center.
Also at the Salesian Centre is a mother of pearl workshop. In practically every shop are olive wood and mother of pearl objects to buy from elaborate nativity sets to ornaments, keychains and necklaces.
At the centre students are brought in to learn the trade so that they can be self sustaining. After a two year trade program they go to work in the olive wood or mother of pearl factories.
Franciscan Monks walking up one of the streets to the Milk Grotto Church. The church is where they say Mary spilled a drop of her breast milk. Since thousands of women have come and offered prayers for fertility.
On top of the Milk Grotto is a modern chapel with this amazing stained glass window. The trees are actually on the outside of the windows.
As I was leaving a priest wanted to show me a room where he had hundreds of letters and pictures from women all around the world. Each one of them had infertility problems and, after visiting the grotto have conceived and had children.
Another wood workshop on Milk Grotto Street.
But, before I went into the olive wood store the owner invited me up on the rooftop for some amazing views of Bethlehem and the surrounding countryside.
You can see that the sky was getting a little funky.
And I turned around and saw this incredible cloud formation with sun behind it. It was around 3:30 in the afternoon.
These are completely untouched!!!
Why yes, I AM obsessed with candlelight.
Why do you ask??
An angel from an Armenian altar from inside of the Church of the Nativity.