Adventures at home, abroad, and online

In Ramallah

Got to Ramallah after 20 hours and 7 modes of transportation. It’s a busy town, but not quite as chaotic as I had expected. The traffic lights are respected, there is trash pickup, and there are internationals seemingly everywhere.

The lodging is great, sharing with a bunch of very friendly and helpful folks. We had excellent Indian food for the first night, and for several days of leftovers since. Spent the first day recovering from jetlag and walking around the neighborhood, and the last two volunteering with Nitin’s project, Voices Beyond Walls. It’s a two week camp where kids from Jerusalem and Shufat camp learn to make short films. We did a small mapping exercise to start, asking the kids to show us their neighborhoods and the places that make them unique. They had a surprisingly good spatial sense, and made pretty good maps.

Kids in the Hammam
Our tour guides
Anne getting them to explore the scene

Shufat kid enjoying popsicle
Shufat kid enjoying popsicle
Tired at the end of the day

Setting up meetings for later in the week with NGOs. I finished the upload of the west bank to OpenStreetMap, and now it’s merged it with the Israeli one. If only integration in the real world were so easy…

Dome of the Rock
The Wall at Qalandia
Wall between Shufat and Jerusalem


Heading Off




  1. josh,

    great photos! they really give a sense of where you are…Hannah’s excited about joining you for 2 weeks.
    love, mom

  2. Janet

    Having the kids engaged in the mapping exercise was a brilliant way to get started. Good luck with the networking – just keep talking, taking notes and reaching out. Dana and Eric both talked about all the hours of interviewing and transcribing they have done on their projects – great content but also difficult to not get lost in the forest of all those trees.

    The photo of the graffiti on the wall is pretty compelling – maybe that is a project in and of itself.

  3. Wow! Photos! The wall is very interesting. Can you explain the different parts more? Who is Vince Seven? Also, where are the maps? You know, the updates with today I mapped this? Jeff leaves for State of the Map today. Send him extra updates so he can talk about your work there.

    PS We’re going to see the flywheel without you.

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