Thursday, May 20, 2004

May 20,2004 and May 21st

In the morning we woke up at got ready for our trip to petra. all our bags got to stay at the hotel storage and a van picked us up! The cross over Jorden was not bad. They just would let me take two waters across. At the other side, we met our tour guide and he helped us the rest of the way through. We took a two hour bus ride to the city and along the way, he gave usthe history of the area. Petra is an amazing city. The way they carved so many building out of rock is incredible. Many of them we found to be tombs. our tour guide gave us detais the whole way down. We got to look in many. On the way up I got to ride a camel. It is weird when they are getting up. You really have to balsnce or else you will fall off.
At the end of the tour he took us to the eat food and then to the border.
When we got to the hotel, it was off for our 4 hour trip to the airport. We madeit to the airport at 1AM and the most detailed search of my life. But, I guess it is better safe than sorry. My plane leaves in about and hour, so I must get going. I love you all and will see you soon. This concludes my trip to Israel!! And I have to say it has been an amazing opportunity!!! It is something I will never forget!!!

May 19, 2004
Today we went out to the water for some fun in the sun. We began by going to a tourist center to book our scuba diving, time at the underwater observatory, and trip to Petra. We went to the observatory first and got to see all the little fishes. Their were so many kinds. When we went scuba diving among the coral reefs I got to see all the fish up close. Especially this nat spiky one! I flicked my fingers in the water near some of the plant life and got tosee some close and open. It was an amazing sight to behold. I was scared at first to go underwater because it didn;t seem natural to breathe!! But when on my side, I was to breathe better. I would erase the experience at all. The evening ended with a walk on the main area and dinner at a nice restaurant.

We arrived in Eilat at about 9;30 PM and had to call the hotel 4 times. The drive in the mall parking lot was quite lovely {twice}. We got caught in it as we went around the round abouts.
The evening ended with a mini walk around the main strip and then to bed. I slept so well!!

May 18, 2004

So many things have happpened since i could last get to a computer. I am actually atthe airport now and using one of their computers, however, the keys are a little hard to use so forgive if I make mistakes.
On Tus we all hopped in th car at about 9am and went to see the Ancient boat that dates back to the time of jesus. We spent an hour their before venturing on to Bet Shean, crossing over the Jorden River. Bet Shean is one of the best preserved roman cities that still excist today. Our goal was to make it to Eilat by that night, so we did not stay more than a half hour at Bet SHean. When we first arrived in the area we were disappointed because all we could find was a ampitheater. But after asking many locals e finally figured out that we where in the wrong spot! Which is nothing new for us. the city was amazing to view. the road that goes down the middle of the city was so vast and breath taking. Columns lined the entire street.
As we made our way to Jeruseleum to see the Garden of Gethsemane before our trip to the bottom of Israel, we wanted to stopp at a place where we could see the Jorden river better, but the farther we went down the river became at border between Jorden and and Israel making it impossible to see it without having many soldiers surrounding us. So instead we took pictures of the Jorden valley as we tried to take one of our famous detours to Jeruseleum which place us evrywhere, but Jersueleum! So after an hour and half of driving in the wilderness we decided to go back the way we came. We are not sure where we ended up however, it was a little intimidated at times. Praise God in all things.
Because our trip to Jeruseleum took 5 hours instead of two we had to miss the Garden. It was good I got hose pictures of the view in our firt attempt at seeing it. I don;t know what the Garden looks like but at least I kow the view Jesus had while he prayed!!!!

Monday, May 17, 2004

Hello from Galilee!!
It was our second day in the Sea of Galilee. The day started out wonderful. We had planned to get up early to see the son rise however,that didn't happen. Derik and Ryan got up and saw that it was too cloudy, so they went to bed. I slept like a rock that I think that I wouldn't have woken up even if they did decided to do it. We have been going such long hours that every night I sleep the entire night through without even awaking! A nice suprise for the night was that Krista and I had little ant visitors who really wanted to sleep with us. We spent about 5 minutes defumigating our beds with our hands. Krista had it worse though, the ant kept coming back to here bed mine left after a couple of brushes. It is the memories like this.....
In the morning we decided to take is easy and enjoy the Sea. So, we got up for breakfast and then after that I went back to bed for a couple of hours and I am not sure what the others did. But, after that I took my Bible down to the water front and read some scripture as I let the water splash against my feet. I could see Tiberias across the water! I read from various passages about the Galiean area. The Bible takes on a whole new meaning when you can read it in the places it took place!! But, something that I really enjoyed reading from was from Hosea 6:6. And it says that man enjoys "sacrific more than mercy". I read this while I sat in the church, as different tour groups came through. I watched as they brought with themselves their different traditions. And it made me think about the amount of times we as humans choose to do outward things rather than just be with God. The chapter begins by saying that our faithfulness is like the morning dew that fades away. All God asks is for us to believe (have faith in Him) and love him and yet we as humans try to do so many outward things. There were so many different traditions each group of people brought in. And there are so many traditions that I even come before God with. But, I have to ask we really need to when all he asks for is Faith!! And Faith is merily believing in what is yet unseen. Faith seems so much more simpliar, but takes more trust. It is funny how we often choose the traditions. They for some reason seems more safe and easier. But it is not what God asks!
In the afternoon we took the car into Nazareth and saw the place that is supposedly were Gabriel came to Mary and told of Jesus! It was really neat, however, every site we go to see these things has a church built around it!! Even when we went up to Mt. Tabor, where Jesus met Elijah and Moses, there was a church built over the traditional site. I wish there would be one place didn't have a church on top of it! It would be neat to see it in its pure form.
In the evening we went back into Tiberius and had dinner on the water front again. That was beautiful, however, we had someone avertising american rap music really loud behind us. It made and interesting evening.
Well, that is it for tonight, I am on my way back to Tabgha were I will sleep long and well. love ya All!

Sunday, May 16, 2004

Okay and now for today!!!
Today was a beautiful day. We made our way up to Akko (old city is Acre). It was a canaanite town that was well preserved from the Crusador period. We walked around and viewed the ruins. We even watch a video on the site that the museum had. But, it didn't take long before we were on our way to the Sea of Galilee. When you com into the area your breathe is just taken away. I think this is my favorite place in Israel. It is no wonder that Jesus, chose Caperneum as his place of rest. It was amazing. One of our first stops was at the top of the Mt of Beautitudes. I read the sermon on the Mount as was taken away as I saw the symbolism behind some of the word he said. As you look out your can see Tiberias across the way on a hill. " The part that say, as city on a hill cannot be hidden". It brought new meaning!!
WE also viewed the old city of Caperneum. It is nolonger exsistent, but the ruins remain. We were able to see Peters house and the synoggue that is next to it. I tried to imagine Jesus calling Peter and James and John from the Water there.
We are staying in a monastary that goes right to the lake. We sat there for a few minutes and meditated. I got to stick my feet in the water as the watere splashed up against the rocks. I think we are going to take some time in the morning just "be". I am excited because we have been going 12hour days!!!
In the evening, we went into Tiberius for some fish. We ate at a place that was next to the water. I had St. Peter's Fish Fried. Supposedly it was the type of fish that Peter caught all the time. The fish came whole! It was a new and fun experience. There are party boats that go up and down the Sea, so we sat and watched them. There music was so loud, but it looked like a lot of fun to go dancing on the boat. THe boys kept trying to take pictures of us all with the boats behind us however, the were never quit successful.
Tonite, I| think we are going to try and go swimming at the monastaries fresh water pool. But, I an not sure yet!! Well until next time! Love always!!!

Saturday, May 16, 2004
Today we got to see so many things. We began our day looking at the Bahai Temple. We could only get to the second gate before they stopped us because we were not Bahai members. So, we opted for a site of the city at the top of Mt. Carmel. Which we thought we enjoyed so much better!! It was beautiful at the top and the water was so blue!!! We visited a church at the top which is supposedly at the sight were Elijah battle the other pagans priests. After that we were able to go to Ceasarea to see the ruins of the city. The theator was amazing and we even got to view the site of where peter might have been tried. The remains of the area was magnificant even though they were partially gone. Ryan made a comment on how Herod thought he was such an amazing ruler and yet all the things that he built are deterorating however, everything that God creates still remains!! As beautiful as when he first created it. It put a lot into perspective doesn't it.
For the evening we went to a Droz community at the top of Mt. Carmel and did a little shopping. I enjoyed it, however, it is so hard to say no to these vendors!!! I am getting better though!!

May 14, 2004

Hello Every One!!I will give you an update on everything that has happened! IT has been difficult getting to the internet the last couple of days. But, anyway on Friday, we all went into Bethelehelm. It was so neat. We have a friend of mine from College who is teaching there and she took us in the town and a tour guide (a friend of hers) showed us all around Bethlhelm. I got to see the wilderness, the Church of Nativity which is built above the cave Jesus was born in. They used to build homes above caves. We even got to see what a house would have looked like then. AT the end of our tour they took us to Solomon's pools. It was a very great experience and the Palestian guards were not bad going into the check points!!!! The kids selling candy on the streets while we waited at the checkpoints were however,a different story!!! ;-) At about 5 we took off toward Haifa in our rental car. And we had the hardest time finding the area. AS the Nun, who was on the street looking for us said, "Two hours from Jeruseleum, 1 hour from Haifa". We laughed so hard because we were all up around the west side of Israel trying to get there. We kept stopping at gas stations talking to attendants who didn't speak English. It is trips like these and stories like these that make you laugh for years to come!!!

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Today Continued again.....
We found many salt encrusted rock while we floated. That was neat, but wierd to think that there was so much salt in the water that it actually formed Crystals in the water! We finished off the evening by soaking in a Sulfa Bath. It was a wonderful end to a perfect day. The only recommendation I have is that if you go, shave a couple of days before and try not to cut yourself before because it hurts incredibly when your in the water for the first 15 minutes!!
We arrived back into Jerseleum at about 8:00PM and ate dinner. I actually sold out for Chineses food tonight instead of being cultural. I really had a graving for it!! It was Kosher Chinese if that says anything though!!
I am currenltly typing this at an internet Cafe in the central bus station in Jeruseleum. They are actually playing a very familiar Spanish Musician, I just can't put my finger on their name. Owell!!
Well, it is time for me to say Good Bye to you all for the evening. I love you all dearly!! See you soon!!

Today Continued......
It is like giving yourself a body facial. I covered my entire body, head, and bathing Suit in Mudd. As I dryed, I found it hard to move, but it was really neat to refresh my body afterwards. I got plenty of pictures of me in the mudd, so I will show you all went I come back!!. The Water that came out of the showers was Sulfer water. It felt really good, but was a real shock when I tasted it. NASTY!!! I used the Sulfa Water to wash the Mudd off of me. We layed out for a little bit and then made our way to the DEAD SEA. Which might I as tast Nasty as well. Floating in the Dead Sea was an amazing experience. There was no effort involved at all. In fact it was harder to put my feet on the ground that it was to let them float on the water!!!! We must have floated for an hour or so. There were lifeguards at the site and we could for the life of us understand why. It is one of the few places in the world that I think you could float across and down and around and not get tired. All your have to do is stopping swimming and float!! But we got a kick out of it.

Okay now for today!!!!!
Today was a great day of relaxation and exercise. Today we went to Masada and the Dead Sea. We got on a bus at 8:45 to Masada. We thought we would make the hike in the morning. I was planning on just taking the Gondola up and down because of the heat, however, when I got there, I realized that I would really regret it if I didn't at least walk up the thing. So, I did it and it felt great to get to the top. There were parts that I wanted to die, but I persevered and it is really neat to say that I did it. When at the top, I viewed the different ruins. It was like my Bible Archeology Class came alive as I viewed the area. It really was neat to see the sight.
At about 2PM we head down the moutain on the Gondala (large Cable Car) and headed for the Dead Sea. We went to a spa that is right on the Dead Sea. That was the best time ever. When you get in, you rubb Dead Sea Mudd all over your body and lay out in the sun until it drys.

It was after this that we visited the Tower of David. We were able to see the citadel of the city through its many periods. I always love looking at archeological digs!! After lunch (Falifal), we went into the schook to do some serious shopping. I got a lot of deals, however, I am done souvenour shopping for the trip. I shopped enought to last me awhile!!
We took a break in the afternoon because of fatigue and at about 6:30 went to see the Garden of Gethsemane. Somehow, we went the wrong direction and ended up walk across the mount of Olives! It was very funny. After about an hour of walking we finally came to the area only to find it Closed!! It was quite the moment! When we started to walk back a taxi cabe driver stopped us and offered to take us to the top for free and bring us back to our area. We did pay him something and we were thankful for the ride. That night we ate American at Big Apple Pizza and had the most wonderful coffee and chocolate Croissant from a local coffee shop!

MAY 12, 2004--
Because I didn't get to write yesterday, I wanted to write a little now on what happened.
Yesterday was fun day. We were out the door by 7:20AM and into Jeruseleum at 7:30. We met up with the kids that acted as our tour guides. The first place they took us was the Rock of the Dome. Normally, Tourist aren't allowed in their however, the kids were with were muslim and helped us get past he guards. So, I was able to stand up on the floor of the temple Mount. It was a very interesting experience. I will give details later. But, after that we took the Via Dolorosa which ended at the Holy Seplica Church (one of the traditional sites for Jesus' grave). There are two possible site for the grave. This one and the Garden Tomb. I have a tendency to believe the garden tomb was a more likely spot however, I still have to read more on the subject.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

From above the Wailing wall, there is a beautiful view of the Mount of Olives. The above ground tombs lie all down the tomb. Tomorrow we are planning to climb the Mount of Olives and view more of the city. There is so much to see in Jeruseleum. I hope that we will be able to view it well. On thursday we are planning on going to Massada and go swimming in the Dead Sea. We are going to try to do a Spa there!! That should be a neat experience!
I hope you are all doing well....but until I see you again...God Bless!!

Today was our first day in Jeruseleum. Last night Krista and I both went to bed tired however at about 2AM we both woke up. Funny as it was....I couldn't go back to sleep until 7AM which would have been about 9PM in LA. Can you tell that I am still on LA time. Tonight, I am hoping it is different. But, this morning we met up with Derek and Ryan and had breakfast in the hotel in Tel Aviv. They came in at 2AM last night. After breakfast we packed up our stuff and took a bus to Jeruseleum. By the time we took the bus and taxi to our place it was about 3PM. We are staying in St Andrews Church and Guest house. It is a hospice and it over looks the old city! It is very nice.
After taking everything inside we headed out for a journey of the town. We entered the town through Jaffa Gate and made our first stop at the "Schook". This is an underground market where they sell a variety of things. IT was there that we met two young men asked to sell us some items. After getting to know them a little, we invited them to give us a tour of the city. It was nice have some people to show us Jeruseleum from their point of view as well as it helped us find things much faster. They took us to the Wailing Wall, the Holy Seplica, and we were able to walk on Solomon's Wall that was build to hold the Arc of the Covenant. We walked on what was remaining.

Monday, May 10, 2004

Sorry about that!! The first part of my blog did print, so I let you know what that part says. So read this one first then read the next.

I am finally in Israel. We arrived here at 1AM, but didn't get to the Hotel until 3AM. IT would have been 5pm on Sunday in CA. It was a tiring trip but good. I am safe and doing well. The people here are really nice, but I can't read any of the signs. So we ask alot of people what it says. The plane trips were long and my legs hurt alot by the time I arrived in Amsterdam. When I got to Amsterdam, I waited for Krista to fly in (about 20 mins). When she got there, we left the airport and visited the city. The buildings were beautiful and the canals that ran through the city were neat to look at. We ate food and had coffe at a cafe in town. It was neat to see how much people use bikes there. They had bike parking area as large at car parking areas in the states. Some were 3 level high. It was crazy!!! I alway love coming back to Europe. It is one of my favorite place to visit. Amsteredam is 9 hours ahead of CA. So that should give you a little insite as to the times!!!

later than CA. Israel is actually 10 later than CA time. So, when I finally made it to the hotel in Tel Aviv it was about 5PM in LA (Church time). I slept most of the way to Israel. The first two flight traveled while I would have been awake at home, so my sleep deprevation didn't hit me until I got on the plane to go to Israel.
We slept in until 12PM and it felt so good! At about 2PM, we decided to got out and see Tel Aviv and Jaffa. It really is a beautiful city. We walked along the beach for a while and then took a taxi-like bus to the Carmel Market. It reminded me of the Swap Meets we have in LA. There were tons of venders all around selling all sorts of things. I bought a tee-shirt and some spices there. Krista bought some clothes from there to wear for the next couple of days because here luggage never made it on the plane.
After that we took a bus to Jaffa, which is the place that Jonah took a boat to escape going to Ninevah to carry God's word to the people. At the top of a hill sits St. Peter Church and a square called Kikar Kedumin. We sat in the square and had coffee and Creme Carmel. Before it was too late, we stopped at some shops and I we looked at jewelery made from Roman Class.

Friday, May 07, 2004

It is a day before I leave. I have been working fulltime a fulltime job the last few weeks, however, today I had off so that I could finish packing before I leave. It has been crazy over here, but good. My plane leaves at 12PM PST tomorrow. It is funny because it has not hit me that I am leaving yet. I suppose when I get on the plane it will be a different story, but for now I am pretty busy getting everything ready. I fly to Detroit first and then on to Amsterdam. I arrive at 11:30 in the morning there time and don't fly out to Tel Aviv until 8PM that night. So, Krista and I are going to do site seeing there. We arrive in Tel Aviv at 1AM and are going to get a Hotel until the boys come in at 12PM the next morning.
This trip to Israel is a scholarship that I was granted when I graduated from college. Every year North Central gives away two scholarships to two graduating Seniors and one Professor, to go to Israel. I had to apply by writing an essay. After reveiwing my application, I was selected to be given the trip. Krista Sederwall is the Professor that was chosen, Ryan Bachman was the other student chosen, and Derek is another student that one the scholarship the previous year and was not able to go until now. We are all taking the trip together. We are not taking a tour, but site-seeing on our own! It is going to be a wonderful trip!
My goal is to write something everyday at this site. However, if I don't get the chance, I am sorry!! That is why I call it a goal and not a promise!!! Thanks for all your support and I hope you get the chance to "travel" with me in my writings!

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Hello! Everyone
In four days, I will be traveling to Isreal. I am so excited. The reason I got this blog was so that you all could experience the trip with me. So, while I am there, you will have to check this site to see what I have been up to. I love ya a lot! Thanks for being a part in your own way!