Below is a letter Deb wrote about her recent trip to make a mural in Palestine:
In deep gratitude to all the people who facilitated my safe journey to and from the Palestine Museum of Natural History (PMNH) in Bethlehem, I returned to the US one week ago! While in the West Bank I had a wonderful time making a large mural at the PMNH, just in time for the museum’s grand opening!
The mural includes animals and plants native to Palestine. Three birds are featured, the common names of which follow: the eagle owl, the bee-eater and the hoopoe. The Palestinian red fox appears at the entrance of a cave, behind native wildflowers, including the anemone, yellow and white stars of Bethlehem and the iris. The mural is about 55 feet long and 12 feet high and appears on a wall at the eastern end of the museum’s property, facing the museum’s two greenhouses.
I will share a little bit about what my time was like on this trip to Palestine. First, as in my previous experience (two months in ’16) volunteering at the PMNH is an adventure in endurance! Most volunteers stay at Mazin Qumseyeh’s house in a guest bedroom or in the guesthouse next door apartment. Mazin, the museum director, leaves his home promptly at 8 am, taking in his car three or four volunteers who are ready to go. His wife Jessie leaves shortly after with any other volunteers. The volunteers work each day from 8:30 am until between 7 and 9 pm, when Mazin and Jessie drive us back to our residencies. Daily I ended my painting at dark, around 7pm.Throughout the 12 days that I was there I felt energized. I attribute that largely to the friendly community of people, the wonderful Mediterranean climate, and the empty wall waiting for me to fill it with images of amazing animals and plants. I was happy to have the long days of work, this enabled me to get a lot of surface area covered and make the largest painting of my life!