25 July 2018

Pilgrims’ Mass and Meet & Greet

Fr. Emilio, National Director of Radio Maria USA
This evening the Radio Maria/Holy Land 2018 pilgrims from the local area got together for the first time, at the Radio Maria station and national headquarters in Alexandria. Fr. Emilio said Mass for us at 17:00, then presided over a long meeting. There were a total of eight of our thirteen pilgrims present – the two from New York; one from New Iberia, Louisiana; one from Kansas (my wife’s sister-in-law); and a religious brother from Costa Rica – were not.

22 July 2018

Holy Land 2018 – Preparatory Reading and Movies

One thing I try to do before I go on a big trip or pilgrimage is learn something about my destination. Of course, for the two trips to the UK that was easy – in a sense my entire professional life as a historian, including my training at LSU, was prep for that! Sort of the same thing was true for Italy, since I teach World Civ as well as Ancient History and a course specific to Ancient Rome. In the case of Mexico I had much less background, so I did read several books specifically on the object of that pilgrimage, the apparitions of Our Lady of Guadalupe – but once I was there I wished I had read more broadly, especially on more recent Mexican history.

In the case of the Holy Land, both my religious background and my historical training give me a pretty firm grounding in the Biblical History (I even teach a course on that, specifically), but frankly I know little to nothing about the later history except insofar as it was peripherally significant to Roman and European history – that only up through the Crusades. Even though I have lived through most of the history of the modern state of Israel, moreover, I have had only a reasonably aware layman’s knowledge of that history as well. Yes, I read James Michener’s The Source thirty-odd years ago, but I remember almost nothing from it specifically.

So I decided to rectify that lacuna in my knowledge. My reading and movie-watching hasn’t really been systematic, but here’s what I have read and watched so far – and I may supplement this with dated updates over the next few weeks:

13 July 2018

Using electronics in the Holy Land

An assortment of travel plug adapters
This post was inspired by a conversation I had earlier today with one of my fellow pilgrims. Since burning up your cell-phone or camera -- or worse, a piece of essential medical equipment -- is something that can potentially ruin an entire trip, I decided I would go back and reread up on it, make sure of what I "knew," and put it all together into a blog post with proper sourcing of where I got the information. So, here is what I have gleaned regarding electrical power and plugs for Israel and the Palestinian Territories.

Before I go any further though, I’m mounting a disclaimer: Use what I say below at your own risk. I disclaim any liability whatsoever if you burn out your phone, computer, or whatever based on what I have written here.

Continue at your own risk....