Sunday, December 5, 2010

Little Bit of the Daily Life

Sometimes life is a little rough in class... you have to do what you can in class. Talia Finley, my friend, she enjoys taking videos of our crazy professors and the funny things that we do in class. Sometimes you have to do something different to keep you awake.
Once a week we have a service project where we put together hygiene kits. We always have a little service playlist and we sometimes  have the locals join us.
I will miss going into the city so much. Thank goodness we have an awesome teacher that gave us a big long list of the sites that we should visit, so we got to go out into the city all the time.
This is my favorite type of learning. We go to all kinds of museums and get to learn all the things hands on!
Also... there is always a dance party on the bus... no matter where we go, and you never know what goes on during a bus dance party.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Olive Press

We had the cool chance to get to do the Olive Presses at the center. The JC has a cool Biblical Garden that they have set up with all of the presses and the tress. We all got to go out and pick the olives from the trees and then they had to soak in these baths for about a week.
Then there is this huge stone wheel that crushes the olives into this mash. (Wow, I just looked at this photo and I thought it was Talon... creepy... I never thought that we looked alike)
This last picture shows the last step that is the actual press. It squeezes the juice out of the mash and it drains into the two holes where the oil separates. we each got a little bottle of the oil that we made ourselves. It was pretty cool.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Herodian/ Sheperds' Fields

These fields are near the separation wall between Jerusalem and Bethlehem. These would have been very similar to the fields that the angels appeared to the shepherds in. We had a little Christmas program in November. Not too early, is it?!
I thought that this place was so awesome! The Herodian is part of the huge building project that Herod the Great started in Judea. I had no clue that he was one of the greatest builders the world has ever seen. You can see above us these strangely shaped hill. Well, it existed before him, but he took part of the hill that was next to it and built this one even higher so he could have a fortress on top. He also had this huge palace at the base of the hill. We got to go up to the top of the fortress and explore up there.
The view was amazing from up there. You could see all around into the Judean wilderness. In the background you can the Dead Sea. SO BEAUTIFUL!!!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


There is this awesome place right on the border of Israel and Egypt called Eilat. It is right on the Red Sea. It is a paradise, so all the students picked a free day and we all took buses down to spend a day in heaven. We rented some snorkeling gear and had a great day
We also had a party bus on the way home. We had another classic bus dance party on the way that was a blast. The ratio doesn't get much better than this!
One of my favorite pictures EVER!!! Classic, getting the dog to carry his own toys to the beach.
Another one of my favorite pictures. We found this stuff in one of the stores. I am sure Perry would appreciate this one. It is called Nuts Protective Oil, we couldn't quite figure out what it meant.
Isn't it beautiful?! I could stay here a little longer. Is that an option?

Friday, November 26, 2010


Apparently we all got the memo that it was the right day to wear green. Did you?
This was a very interesting day. This was our field trip into Bethlehem. Unfortunately, Bethlehem is on the Palestinian side of the wall that separates the Israelis and the Palestinians. I really loved Bethlehem and wish that we could travel freely into the city, but this was our one chance to go there.
It was really neat, but the beginning part of the trip was a little shaky. We went to some little lecture that was super biased about how the Israelis were ruining the Palestinians' lives. It is sort of interesting to hear their perspectives, but I am sick of people playing the victim card in everything. I wish that they could get over their differences, forget the past, and work something out. We did get to go to the Bethlehem University afterwards and socialize with the locals. It was so fun, we actually played some ball with the kids. I think that we made their days, but I know that it was one of my favorite things to do, but it was a blast.

This is us outside of the church in Bethlehem where the traditional site of the birth of Christ is. The lines were ridiculously long. We waited for three hours in the church, but it was so much fun. We just chatted and waited. well worth the wait though. If nothing else, I love visiting other churches and seeing the bits and pieces of history that they have made and are preserving.

This is the traditional place where the manger may have been.

After the stops at the different places, we went and ate at this place called the tent. It tasted so good. The sent out these huge platters of food with meat, french fries, etc. We ate like sultans.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Imitation is the most sincere form of Flattery!

 After one of the worst days of my life, namely finals day for Judaism and Islam, everything was completely redeemed. You know it is a good day when someone dresses up as YOU for Halloween. My two friends, Amy and Lizzy, decided that me and my friend James would be great costumes. So they borrowed what we are best known for. James has this shirt that he made that says, "Don't interrupt, RUDE!" I am known for my jerseys and walking around my blanket wrapped around my shoulders. If that doesn't make you feel good about yourself, I don't know what will.

I do have to admit, this Halloween has changed my life. I absolutely hated my last Halloween. I thought it was ridiculous that I had to hide in my own house having to hide from the busloads of kids that are shipped in for trick-or-treating. If it takes an hour to drive one block it is time to re-evaluate the holiday. Really... I don't think that is the way it is supposed to be. But this Halloween... this one was great!!! Like I said, it had been one of the worst days EVER with finals, but as soon as they were over, it was party time. James and I couldn't think of what we could be, but then we had the idea of being zombie missionary companions. Kinda lame, right? WRONG, it actually turned out pretty good with the help of some professional make-up artists. We looked pretty creepy. We started out with good ol' fashion trick-or-treating. All the students got of our professors kids candy so they could come around to the door. We stuck an orange plastic bag to cover the light and put on thriller playing at the door. We definitely had the coolest door at the center. Then we had all kinds of Halloween festivities like fishing pond, face painting, apple bobbing, etc. And to top it all off, we ended with a Halloween dance party and watching Hocus Pocus. Classic Halloween, hopefully next year will be as good... it'll be hard to top!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

October 4th... Catch up time

Sorry I have been so bad at keeping up on all this stuff. Life has been crazy with all the homework we have had the past couple of weeks, but I finally see the light at the end of the tunnel!!!! Hurrah! So, I am going to try to catch you all up on the AWESOME things that we have gotten to do. So, our field trip on the 4th was called the Shphelah Field Trip. One might ask himself, "What in the world is a Shphelah?!" Don't worry, I still ask that question sometimes! And by sometimes, I mean usually always. To the best of my knowledge it is the name for one of the geographical areas of Israel. I can tell you what is in it though. There are 5 hills and cities that were built in order to protect the way up to Jerusalem. If I am wrong, don't correct me, let me be happy in my ignorance. So anyway, we went and visited a bunch of ancient cities and saw a lot of the excavations of the cities, for example Gath. That is the place from which Goliath hales. It was really interesting to see all of them, but sometimes it got really long. Good thing there are 80 of us to keep each other company. I'm not gonna lie, the most interesting part of the trip was watching all the helicopters and jets going. Apparently there were all kinds of military bases around us because all kinds of helicopters were doing touch and goes and there were some jets way up there dog fighting!!!! It was so cool to watch them practicing. I have decided that real life is a little more interesting than trying to guess what the past was like.

It was pretty awesome getting to stand in the places where all these stories happened. As a member of the official reenactment committee for the Judd class, I was drafted and cast as the upper half of Goliath in the 5 minute rendition of David and Goliath. It was truly Oscar worthy! We got to play around with some slings and had a 80 person firing line. I am just glad we weren't in real battle because there probably would have been more friendly fire than anything else.

We also got to go sing in these really cool caves were they mined limestone back in the day that way good acoustics. They are called the bell shaped caves.

We also visited other cities that had tombs, dove cotes (I guess that is the name for the place where they raise doves?), oil presses, wine presses, etc.

Probably my favorite place was Lachish. It is one of the cities and we got to see a lot of the walls and stuff from the city, but there were a lot of the stories that we got to hear. It was taken by the Assyrians right before they tried to come to Jerusalem, so we heard the Biblical account as well as the Assyrians and the local story that was written by those being defeated. It was neat. I tried to keep it short because I am sure the longer they are, the less they get read.