Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I am going to see the Pyramids!

After visiting the Western Wall, by the Dome of the Rock. First time being out at night in the Old City.
Friends and I being silly at the caves of Zediciaha.

So I have been pretty busy lately. ( And I think I will continue to be busy ha) But unfortunately I haven't been busy with anything super fun. Oh except that we went as a class to Jericho and the Judean Wilderness. It is so interesting to be at the sites that are in the Bible. Who would have ever thought that I could be here right now. We also stopped by this monastery that is supposedly where Christ was tempted by Satan with hunger. Hopefully I am getting the story right, but yeah we were there at this monastery that is built into this mountain, it was a little scary to be way up there on such a close edge but was cool to look over the Judean wilderness. Oh and we could also see these caves that hermit guys live in, the caves were on the neighboring hill/mountain. So, lately I have just been doing lots of school work, reading, etc, all in preparation for Egypt. It all gets us so excited to learn about the things that we will be seeing in Egypt. Also these past few days have been funny because the staff here has been asking us to prepare to be really careful as to what we eat there because the water is bad and anything that could come close to the water is bad and will make you SICK! All the water comes from the Nile which is filthy and is filled with bacteria. ha! Everybody is all worried about getting sick and we have been told that it is very likely that more than half of us with have diahhera while we are there. Kind of humorous to think about but probably wont be so funny when are stomachs are cramping up into a knot. This makes me think of the songs my Dad would sing to us when we were kids. "When your sittin' on a log and you feel something clog. Diahhera Diahhera! When your going down a slide and you feel something glide... Diahhera Diahhera." And there were many great versus to come but I can't remember ha! So everybody keep your figures crossed that I won't get sick! But no matter what everybody says that you will have the best time at Egypt and you really shouldn't worry about getting sick. I really don't think I would actually be here if it wasn't for this trip that I am about to go on. And when I was sitting in the meeting with Dr. Kearl, who was trying to freak all of us out about the program, i just kept thinking..."I get to see the pyramids, I get to see the pyramids!" Can't wait to report on my trip.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Quick Recap.

Alright so a lot has happened lately and I will have to recap quickly. I am trying to email, write a journal, classes and do this blog, it will be great to look back on. Also I hope to go to the Hebrew University soon so I can put up pictures, apparently too complicated for our internet here ha. So, Sunday was our first free day and I was able to do lots of things with some of my new friends. We took a little walk (first part 1.5 hr and second part 45 min) ha on the city ways around most of the city. We went from Jaffa gate to Lions gate which took us from about the Christian quarter of town /west side to the Muslim quarter/east side. I enjoyed this walk a lot because you could see all that was in the city and all that was outside of the city. It also helped me to get a little more oriented as to where everything is in town and outside of the Old City. We even made a stop along the way to the money changer at Demascus gate. The money changer loves us Mormon kids and is very nice to give us a good exchange rate. Yeah so then we went on the second half of the gate from Jaffa to Dung gate which takes you right to the Walling Wall. Oh I forgot earlier that day we went to the Walling Wall and the Dome of the Rock, they are right next to each other, its so weird how these major religions major sites are right next to each other ha. We tried to go through like five different gates before we got to the right gate that would let us into the area for the Dome of the Rock apparently tourist visiting the DoftheR can only go through the gate by the Walling Wall (good mental note). So back to the walking along the city wall the second part was cool because we went to parts of town we hadn't been before and got to see them from a ariel perspective. We walked past the Armainian quarter and the Jewish quarter, it is interesting to see such a change in people, cultural, buildings etc in such close quarters. It was great to talk to everybody in our group along this wall and also fun to take some cool pictures.
The next day we visited I believe four sites that gave us different views of the Old City also giving us some more Biblical insight as to all the great and many wonderful things that happened in this very place. It is great to have things from the Old Testament put into the places that we are looking at everyday. Love learning more about the Bible, so many great, funny, bizarre, interesting stories that happened and all in close proximity to each other. The today was great because I literally got to read scriptures from Nehemiah in the place that they happen. Literally visited the city water gate that they are talking about in the Bible. I really can't believe I am here sometimes. I do wish I could be sharing this experience with my family and friends so I guess blogging will just have to do. I love it here, I miss you all!

Sunday, January 10, 2010


So I don't know if you seen the movie Blood Diamond but in that movie they referred to this one saying "TIA" meaning "This is Africa." So, I have decided to make my own saying for Jerusalem which I hope I will continue to say throughout the program and in this blog.
TIJ everyone!!
(This is Jerusalem)

Holy **Crap** I'm in the Holy Land

I meant to put this post up a couple of days ago..

So it took me four plane rides one bus ride and a total of… many many hours of traveling but I am here in Jerusalem. First I have to say is that the BYU Jerusalem Center and the over look of the city are beautiful. The Old City is a little interesting I thought it was going to be this orderly simple town that still had sheep running through. Well, it is very different, I have a feeling that I am going to have getting lost in the Old City stories to come. So the place is just crazy… tons of people coming in and out, millions of shops selling the same thing, bumpity whindy roads, yes tons and tons of little streets everywhere that you just have no idea where it is taking you. I mean I could totally be going to a bad part of town and have no way of getting out because there are suddenly no extra side streets. I am just trying to stay on roads with lots of people and shops even though I rather prefer less crowded streets. Now the Old City has many spectacular things to it, I am currently wanting to walk around the city’s walls, but it might take me a few streets, turns and a couple of tries to actually get there. It makes things a little difficult when we have to travel in three’s and everybody has a different idea as to where to go, at the same time they are great to have around to laugh with about how lost you got and ask “Now how did we get here to the Jaffa gate?” Also our traveling time is cut pretty short, we have to be in the center gates before it gets dark out and right now it is a little hard to judge how long it will take because of all the hills we have to take to get around. So today we had a little bit of free time and a few of us wanted to go walk along the city walls unfortunately by the time we got there the tourist office was closed and the access to the rampart was closed. So we decided to wander a little bit and try to figure out the Old City a bit more. I think we were about to get lost but luckily an old man came and talked to us and asked if he could show us around. Some of us were hesitant because we were afraid he maybe would lead us astray or take us to one of his friend’s shops to sell us things but he really did just want to walk around with us and talk with us. He was a very cute, friendly old man that was so kind to show us around. He spoke English very well and gave us some helpful hints for later. I am grateful that many of the people in town are so friendly. Oh and one more interesting thing is that our center is on the East side of Jerusalem where many of the Palestinians live and the West side is where many of the Jews live, as well there are, for the most part, certain gates that lead into the city have only certain people (religions or heritage) walking in it.