May 1, 2014

palm sunday, masada, and finals.

Sunday April 13:

Sunday was palm sunday, which is the beginning of the passover. For passover the jews don't eat leavened bread and don't eat certain foods. Lots of events went on this week. We started by doing the carillon bells. Each sunday students get to go with the claytons and play the bells. It is way fun! I can barely read music so it was a bit challenging but when we performed we did a perfect job. We played "When I am baptized".
King David Hotel - where famous people have stayed! Look Shakira!
We then all gathered together and walked to Bethphage on the Mt. of Olives. Along the way little boys were selling palm branches. I got mine for 2 shecks. It was huge so I cut it down haha. It was such a cool experience. So many people were there for the palm sunday walk. People from all over the world. There were people speaking at the beginning and lots of music. It was so fun to sing along and dance. We finally started walking and we were by some Philippinos and they were so cute. They loved us when we sang with them. The songs they sang were stuck in my head the rest of the week. It took us about 2.5 hours to walk to Lion's gate, which really could have taken 30 mins. It was painful walking so slow. The procession is to commemorate John 12:12-13 "On the next day much people that were come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord." We finally got to the church and there was so much dancing. Our jerucrew took over the dancing of course haha. It was a blast. 
We then just walked around and enjoyed the city. Look how dirty our feet got!
 Monday April 14:

Monday we had our Dead Sea field trip. Our first stop was Qumran which is where a Bedouin in 1947 discovered a cave containing the jars with ancient manuscripts which are the dead sea scrolls. Our professor Dr. Seely helped with the dead sea scrolls! A lot of the caves have collapsed but cave 4 is still up.
Next we went to Masada, a huge plateau mountain on the SW shore of the Dead Sea. Herod the Great built a huge fortress here. We had a work sheet to fill out and us girls filled it out and took a picture of each place with a picture of Michael Jackson because he has been to Masada.
We then stopped at ein gedi which is where I have been before. I love this place. We were only there for a little so I just sat and put my feet in the water cause it was hot outside.
Next was the dead sea! Time to get salty! We put mud all over ourselves of course!
Tuesday April 15:

Tuesday I just stayed in a studied for finals. Fun right? Anna and I matching in our genie pants.
Wednesday April 16:

Wednesday was pizza day! We love pizza day here! It's a little bit of america that we have even though it doesn't taste like america pizza at all haha. Many of you have asked me what kind of food we eat here in Israel. The oasis at the center has many varieties. I mainly eat at the center. It's free and good food so why not? They serve potatoes (lots of potatoes), varieties of rice, lots of meat (fish, pork, chicken, and beef), veggies, salad, cereal for breakfast, oatmeal or cream of wheat for breakfast, eggs for breakfast, and just a random food. It was always pretty good. We had lots of falafel and shawarma here. I like falafel better than shawarma. Shawarma is just meat with some sauce. I didn't eat anything too daring. I was really missing american food by the end of it! We got served dessert every night...hahhaha it was bad. Also they had pita every day and nutella and peanut butter. I defintely had a pita every day. I miss pita!
Thursday April 17:

Thursday (holy thursday) we had class but after we went to the church of all nations in the garden of gethsemane to watch the washing of the feet. It was in spanish so I couldn't really understand but it was still cool and a different experience. It was the same day as when Christ suffered in the Garden of Gethsemane. It was cool being there on the same day that it happened. I got to contemplate on the event and what Jesus Christ has done for me.
Friday April 18:

So finals are over! We had three finals this week. The ANE test was hard, but I learned a lot from Dr. Seely. He is such an awesome teacher and I love him. "this is actually really cool!" Belnap is also an awesome teacher. I have learned a lot from him. He has a different teaching style but I can always feel the spirit. He is also a great dad and I can see that in his kids. His wife is also the sweetest women. We then had Dr. Whitchurch's field trip was rough but I didn't care cause classes were over! I then just had a few days in the city to reflect on my time here and to really take it all in.

After finals we had our last humanitarian project. It was fun as always. We then went to West Jerusalem and walked around. We went to Mcdonald's for dinner and that where I left my wallet :(. As a class we then went to the western wall on shabbat for the last time. I really like the western wall on shabbat.

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