June 11, 2012
You guys!!! It’s me! Look! Here I am! I’m an Israeli now, you know.
Remember in the days of yesteryear when I used to be a blogger? Those were good days. I’m sorry for not blogging more while I was in Israel. The Internet connection was a bit slow, and pictures took about eighty years to load. That, combined with my impatience and my exhaustion each night after climbing every hill in Israel meant lonely times for the bloggy.
So, I’ve been back from Israel for a week now. I’m still not sure what happened or what time it is. I don’t even know how to organize my thoughts so that I can share all the awesomeness of Israel with you. It’s kind of overwhelming. So, I won’t try to do it all at once. If it’s OK with you, I’ll just share bit by bit as I remember and process.
Here are the main things I’ve been telling people when they ask about the trip:
1. Israel is so tiny. You can tell that it’s small when you look on the map, but seriously it is small. I think it’s about the size of New Jersey. From Jerusalem, you can look to the east and clearly see the hills of the country of Jordan. You can also see the valley that dips down and leads to the Dead Sea. Bethlehem is a 15-minute drive from Jerusalem. Jericho is 45 minutes east. Tel Aviv and the Mediterranean Sea — 50 minute drive from Jerusalem.
2. Although it is small, there is so much variety in the land. It is full of hills and valleys and mountains. Mount Hermon is in the north of Israel and we saw tons of snow on it when we were there. About three to four hours south of there is the Dead Sea — the lowest point on earth — and complete scorching desert. In some areas there’s tons of vegetation — rolling meadows, flowers, grape vines, almond and fig trees, wheat and olives. In other areas, there is desert — brown and red sands where nothing is growing. It is humid in the north and dry in the south. You can drive 45 minutes in any direction from Jerusalem and the topography of the land changes completely.
3. Cucumbers and tomatoes. Always. Every meal. Breakfast, lunch and dinner. I’m so over cucumbers. Jeff had warned me about this, but I didn’t believe him. He was right.
4. I have never been to a more international place. Jerusalem is filled with every language, every look, every nation. People want to visit the Holy Land — they want to see this ancient place that was promised so long ago.
5. Lots of hills. Lots of stairs. Up and down.
Anyway, there’s obviously more, but I have jet lag. (How long can I use that excuse? I’m thinking not much longer, but I will keep trying. Yes, I will. I will still be jet lagged in September.)
So now that I’m back, I’m trying to motivate myself to go to school to start studying for comps and working on my thesis. So far, I am still on the couch. For the next month I am here in Denver, working and “studying” and on the lookout for new freelance jobs (if you hear of anything let me know!). Also, if you want to come hang out, call me! Then in July, I will be heading to Guatemala for a two-week Old Testament class, and then a quick swing through Belize. (Isn’t my summer the worst?) Then when I get back, Sean, Andrew and I are going to have some awesome adventures.
Basically, I am blessed!
So, how are you? What’s going on? How’s your summer? Fill me in!
Glad to be friends again! Talk to you soon.
September 3, 2009
So yesterday was my birthday. I turned old. Let’s not talk about it.
But let’s do talk about my wonderful friends. They took me out to dinner and then we came back and had chocolate/peanut butter ice cream cake, which could not have been any tastier. And they all got me really wonderful gifts. I was given gift cards to The Gap, Banana Republic and White House Black Market. I am hoping to get this darling little dress with that sweet gift card action.
Also, I am quite prepared to be a world-class chef! I got a cute new red baking dish, a red serving platter (I like red), a promise of the new Pioneer Woman cookbook when it comes out next month, and a Jewish cookbook! I will be making cheese blintzes and challah bread galore.
Speaking of Jews, I also received a Jewish calendar and a darling retro children’s book about Israel. (Apparently my friends have just decided to accept my neurosis and go with it.)
I was also given a framed photo of Chip the Chipmunk so that he can live on in my heart. And I received some beautiful roses at work. And also, I got this spoon.
Isn’t it … neat? Guess what you can’t see? The fact that if you turn it around, it has a butt crack. I am very sorry for the graphic language, but I am also very sorry that I received such a graphic mixing spoon complete with arms, legs, a belly button and, oh, did I mention that it has a butt crack? I mean, what do you do? I thought you should share in my horror joy … for the great gift … thanks, Alecia!
Anyway, I have great friends and I so appreciated being able to spend my birthday with them.
My fantasy football draft is tonight. I’ve done it for quite a few years with my former co-workers at the Focus Leadership Institute. Every year I pretend like I’m going to research players and stats beforehand, and every year I arrive at the draft and end up asking something like, “Is Adrien Brody a good choice for a running forward this year?” Should be fun times.
In other news, I am embarrassed by my life yet again. I was in a doctor’s office recently, and I brought book six of the Harry Potter series to read while I was waiting. It is an excellent book and I know a bazillion adults who would say the same. So, overall, I’m pretty comfortable with my decision to love Harry Potter books because they are well-written and interesting and not just for children, OK?
So, anyhoo, I was busy traveling through the pensieve with Harry and Dumbledore when a boy and his mother walked into the doctor’s office. This boy was the tiniest of tiny boys — blond and darling and tiny. He and his mother sat down to wait for their appointment. Tiny boy, knowing he had to wait, grabbed the reading material he had brought with him. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire…
He opened the book with his tiny, little child hands and began reading with his tiny, little child eyes. I stared at him with my giant adult eyes, and with my giant adult hands desperately trying to hide the cover of my Harry Potter book. Tiny boy and I read on, both lost in the magic and mystery of Hogwarts.
Embarrassed. By. My. Life.
Well, I must be off, friends. I’ve got birthday thank-yous to write and tiny children to meet for book club. Have a fantabulous day!