Song of the week: Let That Be Enough by Switchfoot
Everything is great here. I'm currently sitting in a study room digesting the unhealthy amount of mash potato pastries I just ate for lunch. Yeah. They're a thing.
Every Sunday morning I go to Sunrise Yoga. It's really peaceful to look out at the city while folding your body in ways it's not meant to bend and flexing every single muscle possible... :) I seriously do love it.
The group in Amman right before we left Jordan. It was raining hard!
We got ice cream on Rainbow street in Amman. It was the best snickers ice cream I've ever had. I think all chocolate items are better around these parts than they are in America.
Last week we went on a field trip to the Shephelah (the Judaean foothills.) We went to a lot of pretty sites, but as usual, I can't completely remember their significance.
First we went to the place with lots of pretty wild flowers. I think it was called Beth Shemesh, and it had something to do with the story of Samson.
I love this picture of Kari with all my heart. I feel like she should have a bunch of drugs in her hand.
Next we went to the Elah Valley in Azekah where David killed Goliath (it's the valley on the upper right of this picture.)
This is a great picture for many reasons, but I want to point out how green and pretty it is here. Our teacher showed us pictures from others semesters at this same place (and others) and it's so dry and completely brown. I'm glad I got to come here for winter semester, because the weather is pretty much perfect and everything is so beautiful!
I want to take a selfy at every site. Here it is for Azekah.
We went this place underground that was used thousands of years ago to keep pigeons in.
Me and Mikkel
Ok... I really have no clue where we are in this picture, so I'm not even going to try to sound smart. I do remember looking at an olive press at some point...
After we took pictures in the green field, we went into these underground tunnels and walked all though them until we popped out half an hour later at the bottom of the hill. There was an ice cream shop and some tombs to look at. If you look closely, you can see that I ate my ice cream bar while in the tomb. You don't get to do that everyday.
I didn't take my camera off the bus at a lot of the sites, but we went to a lot of cool places that day. One of them was a bunch a caves people dug into these rocks and used to live in. I was picturing little tiny caves, but they were BIG. So big that they hold concerts inside of them because the acoustics are so good. We got to sing a few hymns and it was amazing.
This field trip made for a loooonng day. But it was a good one. I've never heard the bus be so quiet as it was on the way home that night.
Mikkel with the women.
Arab Culture Night! On Thursday, we all dressed up in our arabic attire and learned about the arab culture. We had two men come who do the call to prayer. They did it for us and it was very interesting. Then they showed us how they pray each day (5 times a day.) It baffles me how committed these people are to their religion. It's not just like a little prayer that they get down and say real quick. It's a process, and they do it wherever they may be. It's amazing! We had a big dinner and then went to the gym where we
were taught how to do some Arabic dances had a dance party :)
On friday we had midterms and the JC was full of stressed out students. After class was out and our tests were over, it felt like summer time! The weather was perfect and we didn't have a care in the world (kind of.) We all geared up and ran into the city where we promptly realized that we were too exhausted from studying the night before. We went home after probably half an hour of wandering aimlessly.
I was so excited to go crash on my bed. I walked in my apartment and immediately say my roommate, Camilla, dragging her mattress across the floor and onto our balcony. BEST IDEA EVER! I quickly joined her and Tori came over. Soon after that Meg and Emily joined as well. Camilla's great idea turned into a relaxing night of reading, enjoying the sunset, napping, and talking while lying on our backs and looking at the stars. That night, I realized for the hundredth time that I am surrounded by amazing people here at the Jerusalem Center.
Camilla and Tori
Reading What is the What... it doesn't get better than that.
So peaceful and cozy! I love these girls!
On Sunday, we went into the City. Our main destination point were the Pools of Bethesda, but we stopped for shwarma on the way.
The Pools of Bethesda were very pretty and picturesque. I have a hard time posting pictures because they never do the real thing justice. Everything here is so beautiful!
Me and Lindsay
Love this picture. This girl is hilarious!
And the camera man :) He was fantastic.
After we had walked around for a while, we went inside St. Anne's Church and sang with/for some people there. It was a fun experience. There was just a group of about 10 of us standing in a circle at the font of this gigantic church. The acoustics were crazy! People were walking in and taking pictures and sitting on the benches to listen. We sang I Believe in Christ and I Know That My Redeemer Lives as well as a few others. It's cool to see that even though we can't openly talk about the church, we can have small influences on people through the spirit of music. We always try to find opportunities to sing at all the places we go.
The door to St. Anne's Church at the Pools of Bethesda. Like I said, I have a thing for the doors here.
St. Anne's Church
Tori lookin' fine
Me and Jacob
On our way out, we passed these pretty doors, so I awkwardly stood in front of one of them and had someone snap a pic. I'm working on the stance.
On the way back to the center we stopped for a trip to the roof of the Austrian Hospice
From the rooftops you can see everything!
Like roosters on roofs
And the Dome of the Rock
I just liked this little window
After the hospice, we all went back to the center just in time to go to a conditioning class taught by one of the security guards here. The workouts he made us do were killer! I'm still sore, but at the same time it felt so good to run again! I'm going to another one tonight. I also signed up to run the Jerusalem
Marathon 10K in March. That should be a good time.
This is my teacher, Brother Judd. He is really good and I love his Old Testament class, even though he probably thinks I don't take it seriously because I'm not very good at it. Anyway, this is him teaching us earlier this week at the City of David. It was easy to imagine how David would have seen Bathsheba on her roof because the houses are on such a steep hill and so close together.
Tori and Emily walking through Hezekiah's Tunnel (an underground water system from the time of David.) At some points the water was up to the tops of our legs. I was super nervous because this tunnel was 1/3 of a mile long and you had to squeeze and crouch to get through it and I sometimes get claustrophobic, but it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be at all. It was cool.
After we got out of the tunnel.
I have a lot of really fun videos, but I can't upload them here :( Oh well.
Yesterday I got to teach English to four year olds at a local elementary school. I'll get to go again tomorrow. I enjoyed it.
We have a forum tonight where a 97 year old man who survived 9 concentration camps is going to speak to us. I cannot wait!
Thanks for reading (or looking.) Check back next week for another post!
Love you all.