Tuesday, January 29, 2008

A Break From Jerusalem

I know I haven't been doing my Free on Friday segment lately. The last time I tried to find free stuff, there wasn't too much to choose from and I ran out of time.

I just came across this. Newsong is one of my favorite bands and just found out that they are giving away a free copy of their album.

Click here for details.

Stay tuned...more Jerusalem on the way, I promise!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Israel: Day 2, January 6, 2008

Day 2 began sometime on the plane, maybe over the ocean, maybe over land. We arrived in Tel Aviv at 9:15 AM Sunday morning, found all of our luggage (yeah!, it all made it!), and met our escort. That part was hilarious. Instead of our leaders correct name, our driver was holding a sign that stated Tom Spinks. So from now on our leader will be known as Tom.

We drove about an hour to get to Jerusalem, stopping along the way to exchange our American money to new Israeli shekels.

Once arriving at our house in Jerusalem (at about 12 PM), we took our belongings to our rooms and then 3 of us went grocery shopping. I was in charge of planning and making the meals while we were in Israel so I was elected to go to the store. I NEVER, EVER want to do that again!!!!! I was exhausted from not sleeping on the plane so I remember my experience as being worse than it really was. The meals for the week were mac & cheese, Mexican chicken bake, lasagna, meatloaf, and steak. In addition to buying food for my planned meals, I had to buy food for breakfasts and lunches. The store we went to was small and EVERYTHING was in Hebrew (Except Pringles and Oreos)! I was really lost since I forgot to brush up on my Hebrew reading and writing skills before leaving for Israel. By the time our shopping trip was over, I was feeling oh, so frustrated and ready to cry. I thought I got butter. But because I couldn't read the package, I actually got lard or shortening. GROSS! No shredded cheese. I think I got a chuck of cheddar but the deli person couldn't speak or understand English. On and on the story goes. One last thing about the store, the cashier said I owed 1700. I about fell over. And then I remembered it was in shekels, not dollars. It was really only $400. Well, we get home from the store at 2 PM (yes it took long at the store, but I justify it by saying that I couldn't read what I was buying). I had just enough time to put away the groceries and brush my teeth while the other team members made everyone sandwiches to eat between our sessions. Our first session started at 3PM.
Session 1 (3-5PM): Seat mate 1 led this session while the rest of us soaked. At least we were supposed to soak. I slept. Sleep/Soak kind of sounds the same! I tried not to sleep but I sat down, rested my elbows on my lap and was out. After this not long enough session (at least my nap wasn't long enough), we ate our sandwiches in the little break room.

Session 2 (6-8PM): Tom led this session and honestly I was so tired I had to keep moving & swaying, and jumping not to fall asleep. I caught myself a couple times almost dozing while I had my eyes closed.

Home by 8:30 PM. I took that time to unpack and change into my jammies. We decided that we were hungry so we ordered Domino's Pizza. That in itself was interesting. The menu was automated and spoken in Hebrew. The pizza took forever to arrive and then we get a phone call from the delivery guy. He couldn't find our address and we found out that we called the WRONG CITY. We ordered our pizza from Tel Aviv which was an hour away from where we were. The Tel Aviv Domino's called the Jerusalem Domino's and transferred our order there. After another 45 minutes our pizza finally arrived. Remind me never to order pepperoni in a pork free country again. It was really gross. The pepperoni tasted like beef hot dogs. Hot dogs are okay by themselves. On pizza, they are gross! I realized eating that pizza that I am a very spoiled American.
11:15 Bedtime. It was so cold in the house, that I slept in 3 pairs of socks, a tank top, another shirt, and my jammy shirt. I covered myself with 2 thick comforters and still fell asleep shivering. The house was made of stone and had marble floors. It just kept the cold in. I slept like a rock that night! I fell asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow and slept solid. I vaguely remember waking up sometime during the night to pee but I couldn't bear to get out of my warm bed and walk across the cold, cold floor, so I prayed that I would hold it in until morning and I did.

This is a picture of some city that was located between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. I have no clue what it was. I was just so excited to see some of the land of Israel, I couldn't help myself.

This is a picture of a bagel store that was across the street from where we exchanged our money. I couldn't resist taking a picture. How appropriate, us being in the "holy land" and all.

This is the Domino's pizza box. Again, don't put beef hot dogs on your pizza, it isn't worth it! Notice the 3 Jewish superheroes?

This is the gate that we had to go through in order to get to our house. The houses were more like apartment buildings. There were no free standing single dwelling in all of Jerusalem.

This is the outside of the girls room. Yes, it is a sun porch that was converted into a bedroom. No, there weren't any curtains but we did have the hedge that was by the gate to aid in privacy. No, I don't have a picture of the inside of our room. I just plum forgot.

The front door of our house.

The living room and dining room. The floor was so cold that I liked to plant myself on that throw rug.

The kitchen. It's from IKEA. Yes, they even have an Ikea in Jerusalem. The girl in the background is one of the Succatt Hallal interns that was staying in the house with us.

Stay tuned for more to come...

Israel: Day 1, January 5, 2008

Hi All,

On day one, Saturday, we left the church at 8:30 AM to go to the airport. Upon arriving in Newark, NJ, we waited in a LONG line for check in only to be told that we were in the WRONG LINE! So we changed lines and started over. When we got the the counter check in went very smoothly. We had lots of time on our hands before we could board the plane so we did what any good Christian folks would do, we ate.

We got on the plane and prepared ourselves for the 10 hour flight. We were on a 777 jet that has 3 seats at each window and 3 seats in the middle of the plane. We were in the middle section in rows 42, 43, & 44 out of 45 total rows. The plane was packed, there wasn't an empty spot to be found on it. The flight started out fun but then the novelty wore off and everyone tried to sleep. It was really hard and I think I slept for a total of maybe an hour. One thing I'll remember is that all they did on the plane was try to feed us. First it was a drink and snack. Then it was a meal. Then another drink. And another drink. And then another snack. And another drink. And another drink. Then the fed us breakfast and one more drink. No wonder I couldn't sleep. They kept waking us up to feed us!

Somewhere during the flight, it turned into Sunday, but more on that later. Enjoy the Day 1 pics!

The crew (minus the leader)

Experimenting with my camera

Seat mate 1 - Megan

Seat Mate 2 - Mark

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Thursday, January 3, 2008

My Vacation Starts Soon

Well guys, on Saturday I leave for Israel. Today I was busy tying up loose ends and making lists for my DSH. Tomorrow I'll pack. And pack. And pack.

I am a little nervous about the trip but my excitement is out-weighing my nervousness. I am ready to spend hours and hours worshiping my Daddy. How lucky can a girl get?

I'll try to post at least once while I am there.

New Blog

Has it really been a month since I last posted? Wow, where has the time gone?

I wanted to introduce you to a new blog in the area...

Check out Livin' Life