Saturday, May 7, 2011

don't blink

one of my teachers said on the first day of class: you better pay attention every second, because if you blink you'll miss a century! and how true it is!
a week has gone by and i don't know where it went. 

for a side note: i decided something today... it always strikes me as odd that we go to far-off places and spend tons and tons of money (myself included) to see "the sites" and get a cultural experience. we take for granted all of the things that we have sitting out our back door. now, i'm not saying that idaho is really that spectacular as far as the tourism industry is concerned... but i don't think that i am as well acquainted with my home state as i ought to be. there are so many fun things to do! and i haven't taken advantage of them... not yet. 

now back to jerusalem! (we are living in the here and how! but i like to get off on tangents sometimes, so bear with me...) 
for those of you that know me, i am not a fashionist. and this trip has definitely not done much to change that... a word to the wise: do not wear jeans when it is hot, humid, and you will be walking your feet off. i really don't know why i even bothered to bring them. so the jeans have officially been shelved and i am now a firm believer in cotton.
the nice thing about my current wardrobe (as well as its greatest drawback) is the lack of variety. no more standing in front of the closet wondering what outfit i am going to wear today... the biggest dilemma is: should i wear the v-neck white t-shirt or the scoop neck? or, if i feel particularly daring, maybe (just mayyyyybe) i'll wear the blue t-shirt. oh wait, that one is dirty. sad day.
we were given a list of sites that we are "required" to see by the end of the summer. honestly, i don't really see this as homework. come to think of it, this is what i was trying to do before the semester even started! i kept asking people what they thought were the best things to see, and i wasn't really getting anywhere. so this list has given me a list of "must see" places throughout the city. [above] michelle, kymberly and i at the saint james armenian church. this is a picture in the courtyard... we actually snuck some service that they were holding with a group of french tourists. actually, i have no idea if they were french... all i know is that i had no idea what they were saying, and all these older tourists were looking at the crazy tall white chick like she was an alien or something like that. (i didn't get the exact translation for that one...) 
this church was somethin else. i wish i could have gotten a picture, but if you would imagine a medieval church  lit only by candles and a little light from some windows way up above you, you can see why i didn't. i was having problems seeing what the pictures on the walls were all about it was so dark. but we went in there and sat and listened to them sing hymns for about a half hour, and then left to continue our scavenger hunt of the city. the next place that we went to was the tomb of king david, which isn't actually a real tomb, but rather a cenotaph. a cenotaph is a memorial to a person, rather than an actual grave. we saw another cenotaph to the prophet samuel when we visited nabi samuel on monday. [nabi samuel is an old crusader church that was converted into a muslim mosque, and now serves as a jewish synogogue... i thought it was kinda funny.]
the next place we went was the church of the dormition, which is supposedly where the virgin mary died. (the word dormition actually translates to mean eternal sleep.)
today was a pretty good day too.
shabbat shalom!
here is a quick lesson in hebrew 101:
shalom: hello, goodbye, peace
shabbat shalom: a traditional greeting used on the sabbath (essentially happy sabbath!)
ma nishma: basically means "what's up?"
be seder: everything is in order (said in response to ma nishma... kinda like okey dokey, fine, etc...)
yofi: great!
boker tov: good morning
tzohora'im tovim: good afternoon (tzoh-hoh-rye-eem toh-veem)
erev tov: good evening
laila tov: good night
     (tov means good)

now you are fluent! :)

today we went back to the garden of gethsemane. the flowers were gorgeous, and i just walked around the garden for a bit and tried to manipulate the shot so that you don't get all of the dorky tourists in the background. the poppies were my favorite.

these last two weren't actually taken in the garden... they were taken in a private garden across the street. pretty much everyone here knows about "the mormons" and they really do like us. the guy in charge of this garden unlocked the door for us and shut it behind us, so we were the only ones in this garden for about a half hour. it was so peaceful and beautiful. today was one of the best days that we've had here so far. (perfectly warm with a nice cool breeze... hmmm... i just needed a hammock to fall asleep on when i got back to the jc...) 

i am grateful for the sabbath.
for the calm,
the strengthening,
the love,
and the cleansing that i feel on this day.

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