I keep waffling back and forth on my project between utter despair and failure to actually feeling like I'm making a difference.
For instance, this morning I awoke to a feeling of abject failure. I went to bed a little after midnight and popped awake at 03:30 with the worst upset stomach and restlessness. I kept thinking of everything I was missing in my report and how on earth I could possibly finish it all. The only solution: turn the computer back on and work work work before heading out to the cemetery at 06:00. I arrived at the cemetery in a rapid 15 minutes (it usually takes 30 minutes to walk it!) and immediately set to work. I said good morning to Selem (the surly old man working in the cemetery whose toes I accidentally stepped on in the process of this project. Whoops!) and told him in choppy Hebrew what I was planning to do that morning and how long I would stay. I managed to accomplish more in an hour and a half than I have ever while being there. I had a conversation about personal philosophies in broken Hebrew with Selem, still sour about my work, but overall leaving with a sense of connection, even if it is bruised.
I worked all morning with high school students from all over Akko in the Center teaching about joint fillings and helping them mix their own mortar. I felt really good about it. So good that when I heard Michael talking about how nice a cold beer would be, I suggested splurging on Kakushka's, a local craft beer snack food joint in the new Turkish Bazar. It was awesome.
So now I'm really cracking down on my report, which I'm submitting tomorrow afternoon to the priests, directors, and advisors. Oh my! I'm feeling quite good, though we'll see how it goes after I hear back from results from my advisor! Eek!!! Nzar's brother, whom we've only just met yesterday for the first time, saw me working.
He stopped me in my work and asked, "So you're the famous archaeologist??" I was confused.
"I'm an archaeologist but of course not famous."
"No, you are famous in all of Akko! The priest, he keeps talking about you and the cemetery! He tells us you are working all week there."
Boy, did that make me feel good! For now. We'll see what happens by midnight...