In the afternoon on October 9 we took the bus into the West Bank to the town of Bethlehem. Our guide, George, is a Christian of some sort of Syrian church; he took us to Shepherds' Field and also the Church of the Nativity. Bethlehem was a madhouse! It is not even high season yet, but every place was packed. It is still hot here, getting up in the 90s range, and there are tons of tourists. Exhausting day shuffling around through churches with casts of thousands, but interesting nonetheless. I can't imagine what it will be like in the "high season" with Christmas pilgrims and cooler weather bringing even larger crowds. Not much time or space for reflection.