Friday, March 14, 2008

Crossing the border...

Day Two:
The second day of our Egypt trip we woke up early to try to make it to the border first. With 80 people, if there are any problems at the border it can take a very long time. Luckily we got through with relative ease. We took this picture right after leaving Israel and right before we went through the Egyptian border. We were so happy to have finally made it to Egypt!

Molly, Me, and Steph

Crossing the border was really exciting, but after we crossed we had a long drive ahead of us until we got to Cairo. We had been driving for a couple of hours through the middle of the African Desert, when all of a sudden our bus driver pulled over to the side of the road. We weren't really paying attention to what was going on until we realized that our bus driver was on the opposite side of the freeway (if you can call if a freeway) hitchhiking! At first we thought he was just asking for directions and then when a car stopped he got in and drove away. We were half really amused and half very confused. None of the teachers knew where he was going, and our guard (we had to have an armed guard at all times on our bus in Egypt) had no idea either. We were in the middle of the desert in a bus in Egypt and our bus driver had just booked it.

We decided to take advantage of the situation and took our first steps in the Egyptian desert (and on the African continent) outside of border control. Teachers were sitting on the bus guessing how far kids were going to run off into the desert. After a little while our driver finally came back. He had to get oil or water or something for the engine. We weren't abandoned after all.

Molly and I running out into the desert in Egypt.

When we got to the first rest stop in Egypt we were very shocked to see the bathrooms. Luckily this was the only "toilet" of this sort that we came across. One of the things that I am excited to come back to america for: clean, sit-on-able toilets.

After a long all day drive we finally pulled into Cairo around sunset. The city was huge and dirty. Probably the dirtiest city I've ever been in. There was trash and dirt everywhere, even a dead horse on the side of the road. This was our first view of the pyramids as we drove into Cairo. It was so amazing to see them. Its was crazy to see these huge ancient monuments in the middle of a modern city. It was amazing to me to think that these people just go about their every day lives, probably not thinking twice that the pyramids are right there.

Guess what??

I'm back!

So I am officially the worst blogger ever, but I am going to try very hard to be consistent for the rest of my trip, which I know isn't very long, but it's better than nothing, right?

I guess I'll start with Egypt (so long ago!)

Day One:

The first day of our Egypt trip we spent mostly driving. We stopped at a couple of sites along the way and then spent the night at a kibbutz. The first stop we made was at Tel Beersheba. This was an archeological site that has existed since probably around the time of Abraham. They said it was very possible that Abraham would've spent some time here and very well may have been the area that they were in when Sarah sent Hagar and Ishmael away. The most fun part about the site was wearing hard hats!

Us standing infront of Tel Beersheba (from left to right: Shea, Molly, Steph, me)

Steph and I hiding behind a tree. We think were funny.

At the tel there was a very large water cistern where they held all the water for the town. Underground in the tell there were lights shining against the wall so we decided to take fun pictures!

After we went to the burial place of David Ben Gurion who was the first prime minister of the new state of Israel. From his memorial you could see the Wilderness of Zin (background of the picture) where the Israelites spent a lot of their time in the wilderness.

That night we stayed at a kibbutz near the border of Egypt. At dinner there was live music playing and we sang and danced for over an hour. All 80 of us singing and dancing around the tables. It was so much fun! I'm trying to find pictures of it so as soon as I do I will post them.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


Well, when I uploaded these pictures they came up in a different order than I selected them. Oh well. These are all pictures from a few days ago. The last few days we haven't really done much. Yesterday we went and changed money to get ready for Egypt. They told us to bring ones and fives so I have about $125 in ones. I hope I dont need more. Monday we weren't allowed to go into East Jerusalem or into the Old City because of tension regarding events in Gaza. Sometimes it's nice to just stay inside and relax. We leave for Egypt on Sunday! Crazy. These pictures are all from when we went to visit David's Citadel. It was really interesting to see but the guided tour was 2 hours and we were all hungry so we didn't stay very long.
Us inside the Citadel. You can't see it very well but there was a ton of modern art on the inside. Kind of interesting/weird.

I'm not exactly sure what this building is (I'll find out) but I think it's some sort of government building. Anyway, you can see bullet holes all over the face of the building if you look closely.

Steph and me sitting on some steps inside the Citadel. This was a very warm day. We were happy to be able to take off our jackets.

This was the story of my life the first week or so of the trip. I got betta!

Sunset over the Old City taken from the Center.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Field Trip!

This last Thursday was our first real field trip. We went around to a few different sights in the area to get a feel for the geography of Jerusalem and of the surrounding area. The day we went was probably the coldest and windiest day since we've been here so we spent a lot of the time talking about each area on the bus. It is really fun to start to understand where things are and to really get a feel for the area. One of the places we went to was where Abraham came on his way to Mount Moriah and where he would have first been able to see the place where he would sacrifice Isaac. Ill label the pictures later...

Okay. Here I go. The first few posts might be kind of weird because I have a lot of days that I have pictures from that I want to add to the blog but I might just start from now and forget about the days that have already passed.
One day we went to West Jerusalem to eat lunch and we ended up going out to an open air market which was really fun! We liked it so much we ended up going back a couple days later and eating falafels in the market and walking around for awhile.

bags of spices in the market.

The market! Sorry it's sideways. I'll figure it out.


Steph and me in the market.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Early Beginings

Hello friends and family!

After many, many requests I have decided to start up a blog. This is to keep you all updated with the goings-on here in Israel and to let you know that I am safe and having fun. Also to keep you slightly jealous :o)

I am just starting to figure this stuff out so please bear with me for the time being.