- my closet. my clothes. (i have nothing against wearing white tshirts every day... well... actually i do. i wore a bright yellow shirt today just to rebel.)
- costco trail mix
- driving my favorite baby beast around town. (yes, that is the name of my car.)
- being able to talk to my mom, my sisters and my best friends any time i want...
- laundry. (that actually cleans my clothes and i'm not afraid will eat them and i'll never see them again after i put them in and close the lid! whew... i know how little kevin on home alone felt when he used to go down into the basement. ancient appliances can be scary!)
things i don't miss from home:
- makeup. (don't judge... i haven't worn makeup since the first week we got here.)
- being cooped up inside and not having anywhere to go (say hello rexburg during the winter?!)
- having school in a classroom
- not having a room full of crap to have to keep organized and clean. i mean, seriously... how can you really get that messy with 8 shirts, 4 pairs of pants and 2 pairs of shoes??? ok, that might be a little bit of an understatement, but it's close...
the things that make every day in jerusalem AWESOME!
(since we can't just make this about things i miss...)
- field trips to places that i used to skim over in the scriptures because i had no idea what they meant... instead of thinking of them as an "imaginary fairytale land" i get to see them with my very own eyes!
- some of the most AMAZING people EVA!!!
- teachers that do their best to make it feel like home here :)
- the best view in the entire world.
- having friends that make this place a home away from home!
- the fooooooood! (even though i don't get to cook - there is always something good to eat!)
- sunshine! and the awesome tan i'm getting. be very jealous. especially you brooke. >:D
- feeling like indiana jones.
- and fulfilling lifelong dreams of riding camels, discovering ancient civilizations, world peace, etc... (ok fine... i didn't discover any new civilizations, but i did blaze a few trails... that's for you brooke. and still workin on the world peace bit. which is a little bit difficult in this part of the world...)
- developing some mad bartering skillz. oh yes. you said you want 6 dollars? no way. so i walk away. and guess who yells after me that he'll give it to me for 5? (bahahaha...)
so i was going to put this off til later, but it's the sabbath, everything is closed, and i know that i probably won't want to sit down and blog later... so her goes!
leaving isreal was easy. in fact, i've just determined that it isn't the leaving the country that is hard for me... it's coming back in!
first stop: mt. nebo! they even have a giant statue of a snake on a staff. we didn't look. (teehee...)
next stop: madaba. this is the site of a byzantine church that has a mosaic map on the floor of ancient palestine.
then macherus - anyone know why that is special biblically? pop quiz! that's the fortress of herod antipus where john the baptist was held and then later killed. we even miiiiight have seen a possible place where they might have held prisoners there.
king herod obviously had a pool...
we got to the hotel fairly late... we didn't get to eat dinner until like 8 that night. i'm pretty sure that i was ready to eat my foot. but i needed it for the next day at petra, so i resisted. (pros to the la maison hotel: it is close to petra... cons: no AC, cold shower, no water pressure... it was an interesting night.)
you know those days when it feels like the earth's core just exploded and all of the heat is seeping out through the rocks beneath your feet? it felt like that. and there were rocks everywhere.
but petra was INCREDIBLE!
my first look at the treasury in petra!
we saw the treasury (which is actually just a tomb, but some misguided archeologists thought that it held the treasure of an egyptian king. and other people think that it is the site of the holy grail. nope. it's basically just a square room. sorry indy!)
we spent the whole day there, which is saying a lot, because most sites that we see we are only there for a couple of hours. but they just let us loose and we were able to go wherever we wanted!
so we basically ran up to the monastery (which looks pretty much exactly like the treasury), ran down, and then ran up to a crusader fortress. we would have tried to go to the holy place too, but we ran out of time...
the "fast-walkers" group at the monastery
we wait for no one!
me gettin' my zen on.
at the top of the crusader fortress...
see the little hole at the top there?
yeah, i was just there.
(take a looksie at the other picture.)
best. camel ride. everrrrrrrr!
i think i need to practice a little more before i can officially try out for the new indiana jones movie...
and if we didn't think that we were tired enough after all of that running around, we went to shobak castle on our way to amman! we started by storming the castle... brother mulestein even gave a speech that i could have sworn i had heard before. (it was right out of lord of the rings!) they had a few tunnels that we got to explore, and we just had a lot of fun being burned to little crisps.
best part of my day? having the coolest hotel room ever! (well, not as good as some... some people in the group had these amazing suites. but i had to settle for a sitting room in my hotel room... :P) and i bet you want to know where where i got the best view of amman? my bathroom. i have to admit, it was kind of disconcerting.
the view from my bathroom.
and yes, the window was taller and wider than me.
ready for another full day of field-tripping? you better be - because the philosophy here is you can sleep when you're dead!
if we thought petra was hot, nature decided to turn up the heat. we went to the citadel of amman (biblically the city of rabbath-amman, which was conquered by king david.) we even found the water system that is similar to the one that joab conquered in order to take over the city.
we had a combined devotional at the jabbok river - which is the place where jacob wrestled with the angel before he met his brother esau. it is so cool to see how historians decide where these events probably occured! they say that the spot we visited would be a very likely candidate because it is one of the shallowest slopes of the hills on the sides of the river.
lastly we went to jerash (possibly jershon in the bible). this was a roman city with a hippodrome (a stadium where they would hold horse races), 2 theaters, a huge forum (what we would think of as a city center... it kind of reminded me of an ancient round-about), a temple to zeus and athena, and a giant public water fountain.
pretty much awesome!
bugs eye view of the cardo
it was the final stretch!
we got up and they bused us to the big roman theater that we had seen from the citadel of amman the day before. we played around with the acoustics, and then walked around in downtown amman before getting kfc for lunch.
kfc in other countries = not the same. i should just give up. (first they had no mashed potatoes, now they have no biscuits!!!)
our final stop before heading back to isreal was at the jordan river. this was an awesome site, and even though it was not what i was expecting (usually the sites we visit are nothing like what i would envision) it just fit.
you can see the israeli-controlled side of the jordan river on the other side.
for some reason, whenever i try and get back into the country, the people at the desk give me a hard time. do i really look that dangerous???
life in general is just awesome.