Thursday, December 18, 2008

My last post

Well, the time has finally come. I am slowly packing my bags, and the feeling that I am really leaving is coming even slower. I can't believe a whole semester has already flown by. What a semester it was! I have 80 new best friends, 3 1/2 months of adventure, a good 5-10 lbs. more of me to love, and zero regrets! Half of the group has already left, and the rest of us don't leave until later tonight. It is funny how 40 feels empty. I am excited to go home (how I am exactly getting there is still a mystery). I will miss this place and I will miss having friends always at hand to laugh, cry, learn, and grow with. This city will always hold a little piece of my heart. Walking around the streets yesterday, I can honestly say I felt at home. Last night we had our final dinner and then an awards show with a slideshow. It is an amazing slideshow and I know I will want to pop it in the minute I get home. Be patient with me as I burst into tears every five minutes. I have come up with a solution. I need to join the millionaires club dating service so I can marry someone rich and they can fly me out here when ever I need a good falafle. So mom, what ever you and Brittani were searching for on the internet to get me for Christmas, it better be a plane ticket back out here or a rich husband. Just kidding. But some lypo and cute clothes would proabably help to catch one. Well, I better go back to packing so I can run out into the city one more time. Here goes the end of an adventure and the beginning of a new one. Here we go...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

8 Things

I am actually really excited Annie tagged me! Sorry, but I believe my list is going to top everyone elses. Just part of living in the Holy Land. Here are my 8 things:

8 t.v. shows I enjoy watching
-The Office
-John and Kate plus 8
-Americas Next Top Model
-What Not To Wear
-Little People Big World
-Project Runway

8 things that happened yesterday:
- I visited 3 of the holiest sights for the three major religions of the world...all before 10:30 am (Church of the Holy Selplecure, Temple Mount/Dome of the Rock, Western Wall)
-People watched in the Old City
-Ate my favorite bagel things on the steps of the Austrian Hospice
-Ate a waffle with Gelato on top
-Visited Lazuras' tomb
-Bought frankenscense and myrrh
-Shared a bag of pizza rings with little Palestinian boys
-Finished the book Pride and Prejudice ( I am now a woman)
-buckled a seat belt for the first time in over 3 months (it was a nice cab)

8 things I am looking forward to:
-Watching Pride and Prejudice to celebrate finishing the book
-Meeting my new little niece
-The festivities to celebrate our last night in Jerusalem
-Sleeping in my own bed in New Mexico
-Mexican Food
-Annoying eveyone with my millions of stories
-Giving Christmas presents
-my clothes at home

8thing I love about winter:
-Cute, cute coats
-Starbucks Hot Chocolate
-An excuse to pull out more blankets
-Christmas lights
-Mistletoe :)
-Christmas music

8 things on my wish list
-Peace in the Middle East
-The car industry to survive
-To feel like I look cute when I get back home
-Plenty of opportunities to share my experiences I have here
-An easy semester (I can wish, right?)
-A rich husband
-A life full of traveling
-To smuggle a Palestinian child home

Friday, December 12, 2008

Dead Sea

Sorry it has been so long since I posted. I have been trying to live up all of my last moments and the time is flying by. Finals are almost over and I am wondering how stepping back into the real world will go. I am getting excited to go home. I think having Christmas just arounf the corner is helpfull. Anyway, here are some picture of my float in the Dead Sea. This was definitely one of my favorite experiences of all time. I think it is my favorite body of water on Earth. There is no possible way for fish, or any other sea creature, to live in it. The water is clear and warm. The feeling of bobbing around was one of the oddest/coolest feelings. It was so much fun. Don't freak out, but I have now skinny dipped in the Galilee, Med. and Dead Sea. The Dead Sea was a little tricky. Ha!
Mom, you will like this story. As I got out of the dead sea and snapped pictures the water dried but I had salt all over me. As I walked up to the showers, I saw my professor Andrew Skinner. He commented on the salt all over my skin. With out thinking, I offered him a little taste. Right after I said that, the thought "Mom would kill me if she knew I just offered Andrew Skinner to lick the salt on me" flashed thought my head. Luckily Skinner is cool and he said, "I wish I had some french fries right now." If you don't know who Andrew Skinner is, Wikipedia or google him. The story will be a lot funnier.
Well, enjoy the pictures and don't count on hearing too much from me this next week!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Thanksgiving/ Fourth of July

I am not going to lie. I woke up grumpy Thankgiving day. I didn't realize it until much later, but this was my first Thanksgiving away from home and I was feeling a little bit homesick. I was not looking froward to the long day of field trip travel ahead, but I was excited to see the Thanksgiving feast that the people at the kibbutz we were staying at put together. When I got on the bus for the field trip, our teacher let us come up and say something we were thankful for. As people began saying everything they were thankful for, it helped snap me out of my funk and get me thinking about all the things I was thankful for. I began a little list in my journal, and I really took my time and tryed to write down things I was really thankful for and not just things I love or miss. Here is the list:
Music-People who make me laugh- Friends- Compliments- How Unique God made us all- People who help me see situations differently- Having a Passion in life- Having friendships in my family- Sunsets- Sun on my skin- Hot Showers- Forgiveness- Having things to look forward to- The thankful game I am playing Justin, Marissa, Miranda, Dave, Christine, and Adam- My mom and how she laughs at me when she shouldn't- Pretty things- Cozy blankets- The sound of luaghter- Truth- The way children are the same all over the worlds- Confident and kind people- Beauty- The feeling of creativity- The opportunities and adventures I have been able to have- Holidays- Friendly Strangers- Journals- People who do little kind acts and never expect recognition- My friends who listen to me whine- People who know how to say thank you- A dad that still calls me Sugar- Change- Being part of a continually growing family
After the fields trip, we had some time to clean up and get ready for the festivities. We all met in the hall outside the dinig room and they opened up the doors and revealed the dinning hall decorated in red white and blue. It ooked like the 4th of July and Thanksgiving decided they wanted to be celebrated on the same day. We could tell they were trying very hard to give us our usual Thanksgiving food, but everything had a little Mediterranean twist. Instead of gravy, they gave us their equivalent of bbq sauce. The potatoes weren't mashed, but at least we had potatoes. When they brought out the turkeys, it was quite the dramatic scene. They turned off all of the lights, and each of the turkeys has fountain fireworks stabbed into it! Definitely a new Thanksgiving tradition I want to carry on. It was so much fun! We all clapped and cheered. After dinner, I called home and was able to talk to Talon and Annie and hear the great news. I am so excited for new Webb baby number...14 is it? Thanksgiving turned out to be even greater than I could have ever asked. And the day after shopping, stricktly singing Christmas songs.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Too lazy to report

Well, I am so far behind and I really don't want to take the time to sit down and try and catch up on two weeks worth of adventures, so I am posting a bunch of Galilee pictures. Enjoy!
Becca and me in Galilee.

Chelsey and me coming out of some ancient coffins in the tombs

Story Time! It was Nathan's birthday while we were in Galilee, and there really was no way to do anything nice for him becasue we were traveling all day, so I told everyone to look for wierd things throughout the day and give them to him. I found a half empty bottle of Vodka. I kind of felt bad packing it around all the churches we were visiting, but I confessed my sin in a confessional at one of the Catholic churches we visited, and then gave it to Nathan that night. This is me getting ready to give it to him. Needless to say, Vodka can make any birthday better!

My roommate Lauren and me picking up seashells on the shore of Galilee

Inside of a Mosque. I just loved that there were bookshelves inside.

Inside the tunnels of a castle in Acre

Rachel, me, and Miranda at the Bahai Gradens. Bahai is a odd religion that accepts all religions or anything that makes people good. They also believe in beauty so they have GORGEOUS gardens. I am reading Pride and Prejudice right now so This is what I imagine Pemberly to look like

The BEST apple I have ever had. We drove to a hill so we could see Syria. It was all farm country and we found a little stand selling apples for 2 sheckles (less than 60 cents)

Sign at Nimrod's castle. I guess anyone who lived at a castle named Nimrod would need one of these signs

Some of us got lost in Dan. The Hebrew signs didn't help. Niether did the deaf people we were following. I'm not joking either.

The Chapel ontop of Mt. Tabor. It is one of the most beautiful chapels I have ever been in.

Inside the church ontop of Mt. Tabor (Mt. of Transfiguration)

Me walking on water.

I lost a coin, so I swept the house until I found my coin. Once I found it, I invited all of the neighbors over so celebrate. Does the story sound familiar?

We were very close to the Golan Heights. This is the spot were Christ cast out the legion of devils

The Sea of Galilee

Beautiful alibaster window inside the chapel commemorating the miracle of the feeding of the 5,000

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Loving Life

I realize this post isn't about Galilee, But I wanted to post some random pictures I have of different things I have loved about being here that don't really fit into other posts. Enjoy the photos!

Oh the ugly outfits I wear! I love these girls with me. What did I do to deserve such short friends?
One word. Schwarma

A carriage ride in Egypt

Obsessed? Yes! You would be surprised just how many Special Education talks I have had with everyone here
I let Nathan borrow some of my (okay I stole them from Johnathon...sorry JD!) shorts. So I stole his pants and sported them. As you can see, boys jeans are NOT flattering on girls like me with junk in the trunk

The reason people don't like to take pictures with me

Fallen Rocks from the Second Temple Destruction. I love what I nerd I am about all this stuff now

I just got these pictures and I absolutely love them! These are some of the boys that helped us clean up the neighborhood

Notice the doll head stuck on the stick. One of the many reasons I love these boys!

A very typical photo. I love playing around with these boys!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Nov. 18... Galilee day #1

The Chirch of the Annunciation

I love these field trips that we go on. They are like mini vacations throughout the semester. Every University really should adopt this policy. On our way to Galilee, we stopped at several locations first. Our first stop was the Ceasarea. To tell you the truth, I can't remember why it was important, but I do remember playing in the Mediteranean. Next, we went to Megiddo. This is where the battle of Armageddon is supposed to happen. It pretty much looked like every other ruins I have seen, but they were up on a hill and you could see the fields where the battle is supposed to happen. The last place we stopped before going to Galilee was Nazareth. Nazareth is a small little town. It was so fun to see where Jesus grew up. They have several beautiful churches commemorating where Mary was told she would be the mother of Christ. My favorite location we went to was the synangogue they believe Jesus got up an read in when he started his ministry and told his hometown exactly who he was. It was really neat to walk around the Church of the Annunciation and see the different representations of Mary that different countries had given to the church. I think what was most memorable about this day was the reality of Mary. She was not a Child Development major with loads of experience raising children. She wasn't much older than my niece Decota. She was young and brave. She must have been scared to death but her faith got her through the criticism of the people in the small town she was from. Things were not easy for her and Joseph. They were the definition of great, humble people. The Christmas story will have so much more meaning and feelings tied to it now that I have a better understanding of the reality of Mary.