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This year in Jerusalem

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Setting up my rug frame, and working outside in the open air for the best part of 2 weeks is a joy for a girl from the North of England!  It certainly also compensated for the early start at 8 o’clock every morning.

I have to say that I was overwhelmed by the enthusiastic response from the patients, parents and staff at the DVI clinic, and have to admit to a certain amount of previous trepidation about the project.

The fact that a large area of the wall hanging was already visible clearly whet peoples’ appetites, and they seemed to be inspired by what could actually be created with old clothes.Of course children, particularly, responded very positively to the bright zingy colours and rich textures.

The project proved to be so much of an ice breaker, facilitating communication between families in the waiting area, which might definitely have not otherwise taken place.As hoped there were certainly occasions when arab worked alongside orthodox jew.

The project also provided a welcome distraction from both any anxiety prior to a child’s treatment, or their discomfort afterwards. And as is so often the case, it served as an agent in helping people talk about themselves, including myself!

Linguistically, I was very much thrown in at the deep end and had to try and access as much of the Hebrew that I thought that I had forgotten from 40 years ago! But for me, being able to enjoy conversation with people was a real joy.

The culmination was the ‘hanging’ of the completed work, which measures 4 feet by 3 feet. This took place even whilst some patients were still being treated by volunteer dentists.

The wall hanging has really brightened up an area of the very busy clinic, and is admired and commented on in a very positive way by all. Next year I plan to return to complete a further piece to brighten up another part of the treatment room.

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