Saturday, July 30, 2011

Galilee: Day 8

July 18

This was the start of a four-day field trip extravaganza. And the final stretch for being in Galilee. We went around the Jezreel Valley, starting at Mt. Tabor, which is one of the possible sites for the Mount of Transfiguration. Getting to the top of the mountain (or very large hill?) was an adventure. The buses would not have made it to the top, so we had to get into vans that would take us up to the top. We soon figured out why the buses couldn’t go. Switchbacks the whole way up. I had seen a weird knob on the steering wheel, and its purpose soon became apparent. Rather than using both hands to turn the steering wheel, the driver just grabbed the knob and used that to turn the wheel when we went careening around the corners. I’m really glad that I don’t get carsick… because that was hard on even me.

Up at the top, we got to go into the church, and all 40 of us crammed into a small chapel off to the side of the main chapel. There was a mural of Moses on the ceiling, and we got to hear the history of the site, and then sang a couple of hymns, all the while dying because the door was shut and 40 kids use up a lot of air really quick. Then they cut us loose, and we got to see the rest of the church and the grounds before we got back on the crazy vans for another exhilarating ride down to the buses.

this was just a photo op that i couldn't pass up.

this is my typical field-trip uniform.
i try so hard to look cute... but practicality has prevailed over looks...

Jael killing Sisera... the first temple worker. (Read Judges 4)
Ha ha ha.

Our next stop was a complete miracle. The pictures I got don’t do it justice, but the fact that we got to go and even see the church at Nain was amazing. They used to be able to go and see it, but the monk that they used to go through passed away, and they never knew what happened to the key. So our amazing director Brother Huntington did some fantastic detective work and managed to find out who had the key! They haven’t opened the church for a while, and one of the windows was broken, so there had been birds inside, but there were some simply beautiful paintings of the Savior raising the young boy in Nain from the dead. The church was very simple, and it may or may not have been the actual city of Nain (that seems to be the consensus here… it may or may not be the right place…) but there definitely was a very sweet spirit there.

On to Megiddo! And six-chambered Solomonic gates!

Megiddo was a very crucial city in history. According to Tutmose III, “the taking of Megiddo was as the taking of a thousand cities.” According to the legend, he wanted to attack the city, but he knew that Megiddo’s army would be waiting for them at either of the large passes leading to the city. However, there was a smaller pass that let out right onto the city, but only one person could go through at a time, and in order to get through, they had to dismantle their chariots and carry them through. The story tells of Tutmose dismantling his own chariot and carrying it on his back, and leading the rest of his army through. They came out, and paraded in front of the city gates, and eventually took the whole city.

Megan and Hollie are Tutmose... 
pickin on poor little Me-giddo.

Archeologically (and bibilically) speaking, we are able to link the city of Megiddo to King Solomon, and the fortifications that he made to the city. In the Bible, it talks about Solomon refortifying the cities of Megiddo, Hazor and Gezer. We got to see 2 of the 3 on this trip. Solomon had a very distinctive style – his gates had 6 chambers, when most others only have 2 or 4. We even got to sing a song about it.
After Megiddo, we went to a kibbutz that has an amazing mosaic “carpet” (tile floor), with a big zodiac in the middle. We then went to Gan Hashelosha, where we got to spend the next few hours swimming in a natural spring. 

They had fish that would eat the calluses off your feet. I decided that I wasn’t a fan. And I stayed away from the shady water after that point. (It wasn’t that bad, but I don’t really like the idea of things nibbling at my feet… especially when I can’t see them.) And I’m barely getting over my fear of sharks in swimming pools.
Back at Ein Gev, we got back with enough time to make one last finale of playing in the water… we learned a new game. It’s kinda like Simon says, only it’s called “Harry says” (In honor of the movie that came out while we were in Galilee). You could apparate cast spells on other people, and each had an action… so much fun! (I think I sense a new pool tradition coming on…)
So we were supposed to go to Tiberias on the 14th, but we got back so late from our hike that it didn’t make sense for us to go. We went for home evening tonight instead. We didn’t get to spend a whole lot of time there, but we got to see a light show, eat ice cream and walk up and down the boardwalk for a bit before getting back on the bus and heading back. 

i love my roommate.

i know you are jealous about how awesome we are.
(this is kayla, nutmeg and me at megiddo)

dan and i in the water system underneath megiddo

meg, me, brittni, jeehee and dq (dallin)

scary toilet at swimming hole gan hashelosha...

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