Visit to Haifa from Jan 13 to Jan 16 was dominated by several themes. We arrived in Haifa on Saturday afternoon. Once we got into the hotel, Dan Gardens Haifa, we walked down to the gate at the top of the terrace. We could not get in as we had not registered yet.
When we went down to the Shrine of the Bab, we were directed to go to Pilgrim Reception Center. On our way, we meet our friend Jonathan Graves from Portland. After registering, we went by sherut to Bhaji and visited the Shrine of Baha’u’llah and later the mansion of Bhaji. This was a spcial treat as the mansion of Bhaji was only opwn that evening. We also had the opportunity to visit briefly with the only remaining Hand of the Cause, Mr. Varqa.
The next day, I was brave enough to climb down the steps from the top of the upper terrace to the Shrine of the Bab. There are about 850 steps, and because of my bad knees, I had to walk backwards as I got fown on the stairs. It was worth it even though this took almost 90 minutes. We did take a lot of breaks.
I am happy to report that while visiting the Shrines, we can ask for a chair and sit down on the chair to meditate and pray. This was a very important one for me as sitting on the floor was am impossible task. I’d have had a very difficult time to get up. We offered prayers for our cluster, prayers for those recently departed such as our precious daighter Patti, Sharon Cameron and Russel King, the husband of my long time friend Molly King of Southern California. We also offred prayers for the success of teaching in our cluster.
To our surprise, Mehran and Kim of Bend were also staying at the same hotel as us visiting their daughter who works at the world center. It was wonderful to get to know them, and we ended up having breakfast together for the next few days. They also had come back following a brief visit to India.
We heard a presentation from the member of the Universal House of Justice Farzam Arbab. I have some notes on his presentation and if you want my notes, contact me and I will share them with you.
The next day we ventured out to Akko and Bhaji again. We had some adventures in Akko, and finally found the prison and were able to offer prayers there. Later we went to Bhaji again to the most sacred threshold.
The last day of our stay started off with a tour of the buildings of the International Teaching Center, Universal House of Justice, and the Center for the Study of Sacred Texts. Later we heard from a member of the International Teaching Center.
When we arrived to register at the pilgrim reception center, there was a note that we had a message. I went to pick up the message, and it was a note from the secretary to UHJ member Peter Khan who wanted to meet us during our stay. We got an appointment and went to see him in his office at the offices of the Universal House of Justice building. We were escorted to his office and we had a wonderful chat for 30 minutes. It was a real honor for both Jeannie and me to visit the office of a member of the House of Justice. I will pull together my notes from that visit and share it if anyone wishes it.
We left Haifa late afternoon on Jan 16 and stayed overnight in Haifa.
We are now back home recovering and this concludes our blogging on our travels.