Song of the week: Diplomat's Son by Vampire Weekend (I sat by the diplomat's little daughter at lunch the other day and this song has been running through my mind ever since.)
Brace yourself, because once again this week has been jam packed with fun. Get ready for lots of pictures. LOTS of pictures. That is if the internet here can get its act together and download them successfully.
Here we go. Into the thoughts of Courtney.
I am in love with the assortment of doors in the Old City.
The wall by Jaffa Gate
This past week has been great for so many reasons:
First on the list: I seem to have dodged the nasty case of pink eye that has been sweeping the JC. Probably because I wash my hands 19 times a day, NBD. Looking at the people who have been unlucky enough to get it reminds me of my childhood when I would regularly wake up and not be able to open my eyes due to all the nasty gunk that was caked onto them. Pretty picture, right? I'm praying I don't get it.
Second: We left on Monday for our four day field trip to Jordan. I sat next to Tess on the bus and successfully french braided her hair. I felt pretty good about it.
Third: I crossed the border without any problems. One guy did question if the girl in my passport picture was really me, but I think he did it mostly for his own entertainment. That job seems pretty boring.
Fourth: I went to Petra! There are so many cool things to see there that blew my mind. I don't really know what else to say about it because my words can't do it justice. But I will tell you this-- I rode a camel... I say that, but in reality I sat on it for thirty seconds while the camel stood still. I got some pictures snapped and then I got off. I'm glad I booked it down 789 steps so I could have that experience for "only three dolla just for me." How nice. (I'm seriously not complaining. I had a dream fulfilled as I sat on that camel.)
This path is the only way into Petra. It reminded me of Zion's.
Me in front one of the tombs.
I thought this as super cool. They suspect that they carved this elephant into the rock. Do you see it?
My first glance of the Treasury in Petra
Tess in front of the Treasury. This girl is fuuunnny.
India, Tori, Saywer, Jacob, and Camilla
Me and Tess
Tori workin the fanny pack,
The view about half way up.
Me and Hunter
Ann and Tess
At the top. Yay!!
One of the Royal Tombs. This one was called the Garden Tomb...
That's a good look for me, no?
After lunch, we hiked up 789 steps to get to this gigantic monastery.
Sadly, I'm not in this picture, but it's still pretty cool... They are still working on their timing.
Instead of being in the super cool jumping picture above, I got my very own solo pic. (That's how it goes sometimes... someone has to take the super cool jumping pictures.)
The outlook. Shortly after this was taken I booked it down the mountain so I could sit on the camel.
Ladies and gents, here I be on the camel.
One the way out of Petra, we stopped at the rock that Moses smote to bring forth water. It was so exciting... kind of. Not.
When we first got there, our teacher was telling about the site and this cute little boy wove in between all the students asking if we would like to buy anything. ("One dinar?") Poor guy. He got turned down 82 times in a matter of minutes.
This place was absolutely beautiful
Hunter and Chaille
There was a really cool amphitheater in Jerash. First some guys played the bagpipes for us, and then they invited some of us down to sing a hymn. It was pretty cool.
The amphitheater from the top
Me and Lindsay from the top
Don't ask me exactly what we were doing in these pictures. Acting out some sort of scene... It made for a good time.
Once again... I don't know.
I loved Jerash
This child's father was suspiciously watching as I took this picture. I felt like a big creep, but I couldn't resist.
On the way back to the hotel, we randomly stopped at some car museum where all the cars belonged to the King. I was pretty worn out by this point, so I took some pictures to entertain myself. Awesome.
Seventh: The bus ride home from Jordan was great. At the border crossing, we were stuck on the bus for a while, so of course, I whipped out my famous dime trick. It totally took me back to sixth grade when I would do the same thing on the bus rides home from middle school to charm people and make them want to be my friend. You know I was doing the exact same thing in this situation. It seemed to work for the most part.
Eighth: Even after not showering, walking around in the rain, wearing dirty clothes, and traveling for extended amounts of time while sitting a little too close for comfort, people seem to be relatively accepting of my grossness. You get close fast here.
Ninth: We had four mission calls come yesterday (in addition to the two we have already had)! So far we have had people called to Minneapolis, Japan, Taiwan, Romania, The Baltics, and Fiji! Go missionaries! When people open their calls the spirit here is so strong. The feeling of unity as we sing together (there's lots of singing here) and cheer each other on after each mission call is read is amazing. I'm excited for everyone who has gotten their call so far, and can't wait for the others who are still anxiously awaiting. They will all be fantastic missionaries.
Tenth: Tonight was ice cream night. And we all know how much I love friday night ice cream. However, I feel the need to clarify a rumor that I have started. It spread like wild fire since the second it came out of my mouth on our first Friday night here. "This is homemade ice cream..." I said. And of course, everyone believed me because I'm a together person and I know what I'm talking about (to clarify, i really did think I knew was I was talking about.) It went from one table to the next until eventually people were telling me as if I didn't already know. Things were great. Except then I learned that the ice cream was not homemade at all, rather it was Ben and Jerry's. Whoops! Have you ever heard that unspreading a rumor is like unspreading butter? True statement right there. True statement. (In my opinion, the maker of the ice cream is still up in the air. There is no way that it's Ben and Jerry's. Many others agree.)
Overall this week has been great. I have tried to keep this post light hearted and quick to read, but just so it's clear-- the places I am seeing are beautiful, the people I am growing close to are amazing, and the experiences I am having are life changing.
Until next time,
(Apparently that means goodbye in Arabic... Good thing my study guide is right next to me so I can cheat off of it.)
Love you all.