After a day of speakers and a trip to Hebron where we witnessed occupation first-hand and visited the Cave of the Patriarchs with bullet holes in the wall from the 1994 massacre, we were in need of a light hearted evening. We all met up at the Grotto Restaurant in Bayt Sahur (near Bethlehem) for a delicious dinner where everyone lined up for the drink cart and we filled up on delicious pita, hummus, veggies, chicken, lamb, and FRIES! I had no idea french fries were such a popular food in Palestine, but we had fries at several of our meals and they were great!
Because I'm a camel or some other desert animal and any time you put a glass of water in front of me an keep filling it I will drink it all, I had to run to the restroom by the end of the meal. I noticed the hispanic music playing in the restrooms that someone else had commented on earlier in the evening, and as I left to head back to the table, I heard the US National Anthem playing. I figured it was either a quirk to restaurant or their homage to a group of American eating there, but I soon noticed a crowd gathered around one half of the building. Soon I saw two members of our group dressed up in head scarves and robes holding hands walking around and was thoroughly confused.
It turns out two members of the group had volunteered to dress as Mary and Joseph, and wander around the restaurant when the Star Spangled Banner began to play! We still don't know why or how that song came on, but it sure made a great end to a tough day!