tedjanemarelias (1 of 1)-2This blog is written by Ted and Jane Settle (residents of New Jersey) who have served as volunteers at the Mar Elias Educational Institutions in Ibillin, Israel (about 15 miles East and a little bit north of Haifa) several different times.  We first volunteered for three months, November 2011 thru January 2012.  Blogs and photos from that odyssey can be viewed at http://photographicodyssey.wordpress.com.  We next returned in late August of 2012 on a tourist visa, but through the offices of Archbishop Chacour were able to obtain volunteer visas that enabled us to spend the school year, 2012 — 2013 at the Mar Elias Schools.  We next returned in the summer of 2014, late June to the middle of September.  We have returned for another three months beginning early in January 2016 and returning home just before Easter, March 26, 2016.

Our volunteer work is facilitated through the Pilgrims of Ibillin, a nonprofit organization in the United States (see http://www.pilgrimsofibillin.org).  As volunteers we help to  host visitors to Mar Elias, whether for a single meeting or overnight stays, work with the high school English teachers in many different ways with their classes, work with blind students, and any other task we are asked to undertake.