Saturday, September 26, 2009

Thursday night at about 11:00 we made it home from our 8 day trip to Egypt. It was an amazing trip and each day was so packed with places and driving and walking. I feel so burned out. We started out our trip on Thursday morning at 6:00 am to start our long drive to the Egyptian border. We made a few stops on the way and saw some really amazing places. We went to a fortress built up on a hill with homes carved into the sides of the limestone mountains. We went to the tel where they believe Abraham lived for a time. We went to a look out which is probably the place that Lehi's family came down as they traveled out of Jerusalem. It looked like the grand canyon. It was breath taking. We stopped at a crater and watched a very outdated movie about the earth. I think at that point all 82 of us were asleep. Then we made our way to a Kibbutz. We got a tour of their date plantation and ate some summer ice cream. I had no idea ahead of time what a Kibbutz was or how it worked. I was amazed to see it all. In a way they are living a life similar to the law of consecration. We spent the night there in their hotel. So it took us all day with our many stops to get about 4 hours outside of Jerusalem. It was a very long day.

We started the next day out early and headed off for the border and our long process through customs. Since everyone in our group is too nice Egyptians just kept cutting us in line and we wouldn't say anything. So it ended up taking us a very long time to get through. Once we made it over that line we said good bye to vegetables, fruit and tap water. We had no idea our carb intake would go so high over the next few days. Once we made it over to the other side we picked up a new bus and our tour guide Islam. Islam made for much entertainment on our trip and was a wonderful addition to our bus. We then headed out for our 8 hour ride . We had to come up with lots of different things to keep us all occupied since sleeping was so uncomfortable. We found out a few things. One- about 50 percent of the boys on our bus knew how to french braid hair and were actually decent at it. Two- it is really hard to try and balance on a tour bus when you are competing with everyone for who can stay up the longest. Three- most people don't know the words to popular songs , so singing as a group turns into a solo for those of us who really do know the words. Overall the bus was very entertaining and I found out a lot more than I ever expected about the people on my bus. We pulled into the city late in the afternoon to see the pyramids blending in with the skyline of the city. At that point we were all freaking out that we were actually looking at the pyramids in real life. It honestly was so cool. We unloaded our stuff at the hotel and then headed out for a light show at the pyramids. A little bit of background: When they told us light show we were all expecting some sweet lasers and music. We were very mistaken. I felt like i was in an old documentary movie with old fashioned lights and pack man style graphics. Our favorite phrase of the evening was " The world fears time... but time fears... THE PYRAMIDS" you can imagine the chills after that statement. So even though the light sow was a little bit of a disappointment it was still really cool to be right there experiencing it. 

I still really need to recover sleep wise but i will finish my Egypt experience tomorrow!
          Love you all

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Pictures From The Holy Land

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

School in in full swing in Jerusalem. I have more reading then I have ever had in school. It has been so cool though. I feel like I was so stupid before I came here. I have learned so much in such a short time. There are so many things I have found out that I had never heard about and I have been a member of the church my whole life. It really is amazing. We went on our first field trip yesterday and went all around Jerusalem to different look out points at the Augusta Victoria church and the tomb of Samuel. It was so fun. We got to see everything from above the city and understand better where things happened and how the city has changed through the years.We got into FHE groups last night and one of the girls in my group can do the best imitation of a Raptor that I have ever heard. My roommate also informed us today that this past summer she put on a dog show for obese dogs because she felt bad for them, she is great! I had my first class of Hebrew today so "Shalom". It has been so fun. I am so tired everyday and I feel like I am always busy. We leave for Egypt next week and I can't wait. We take every oportunity that we can to go into the city but it is really hard to find your way around sometimes. We spent a few hours in the market and it made me never want to go back. One of the merchants might actually hate our group with a passion. When we didn't buy his scarf he told us to die and that we were stupid and a few other things. It has been interesting. We are surrounded by so many cultures and cool people. Sometimes I think they get a little annoyed with us because we don't know the language but it makes for some good stories. We laugh a lot and have a really good time. I actually think i have laughed harder in the past week then I have all year. I am so happy I am here. I do miss my family and friends and especially Mike but I know this is a once in a life time opportunity.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Holy Land

I made it to Jerusalem late yesterday afternoon. I had hardly any sleep at all but it has already been amazing. I am already known as the engaged girl. Word traveled very very fast and everyone seems to ask me about. It's been fun but most people are shocked that I am doing this and leaving my fiance for so long.
Last night we got to eat dinner and sit on our back porch watching the sun go down on Jerusalem. The call to prayer was going and we all just sat and watched the people going into the streets for Ramadan. Our teacher sat out with us telling us about the buildings and the different churches. It was amazing. My room is surrounded by pomagranet trees and olive trees. I can't believe that I am actually here. We had a long orientation last night and met our teachers and the staff. We got a tour of the building and an introduction to all of our classes. We walked out into the garden and saw the olive press that the school has and that we will get to use later in the year. I know I am going to have a lot of unique opportunities
I have awesome roommates and so many cool people in the program. We just got back from our tour of the old city. It was so amazing to be there and see everything in person. It was very different than what I had always pictured.We walked on stones from the Roman period, which means that Christ could have walked on those same stones. We walked by all the churches and through the streets getting oriented. We walked through Damascus gate and climbed up above the buildings to see the view. It is an amazing city. I have been a lot of places but I have never seen anything like this. We got to walk on the same street that Christ carried the cross and go by the church of the holy seplacur where they think christ was crucified and ressurected. Later in the year we will get to go in.
I am so greatful for this opportunity. I have already learned so much and I can't wait for classes to begin. I miss everyone so much but I am really excited to get to do this. I will update soon.