Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Hello. Goodbye. Peace: Shalom!

There are about a million other things I could be/should be doing right now 
...playing volleyball with my roommies)
but instead, I am blogging. 
It's actually pretty fun!
...when I'm not feeling overwhelmed with all of the things I have to remember to tell!

Today was our first day of 3 new classes.
 But before I talk to you about today..
I'll give you a real quick rundown of yesterday.

I'm still trying to get a hang of the schedule here
(from what I can tell it's pretty much all over the place)
but from what I can gather..typically mondays are our "fieldtrip" days.

Sometimes they are 1/2 day, 3/4 day or the whole day.
Yesterday's was 3/4 day fieldtrip.

We were to be ON the bus at 8:00 a.m. SHARP.
(....I literally had to run up 4 flights of (steep!) stairs to get there on time.
I'm definitely going to plan ahead next time...)

Then we went around to different sights.
I'll be honest... I can't really remember the names of all of them
and I'm much too lazy to get out my fieldtrips manual to look them up. 
The first one was called Nabi Samwil (Arabic for Prophet Samuel I believe).
It was a holy place for both Muslims and Jews
and has a really cool overview of the surrounding lands.

We went around to different places
and we would read scriptures about events that happened 
somewhere in the land that we could see
right in front of our eyes.

Pretty cool, huh?
Yes. Really cool.

Don't worry. 
I took lots of pictures!

Taken from the top of the Augusta Victoria bell tower.
Singing Christmas Carols at Bethlehem overlook. 

Me and Makara (our only BYU Hawaii student) at Bethlehem overlook. 
Waiting in line for the restroom...
the guy's line is ALWAYS shorter!!
it's just not fair!

After the fieldtrip we came back and relaxed for a bit before dinner.
Then had FHE....excuse me.
We are under strict instruction that it is to be called 
"Home evening"
(rather than Family Home Evening)
that made me a little bit sad, actually.

I am always so tired here!
After "HE" my roommates and I were determined to watch a movie.
We started it (No Reservations..a classic!) at about 10:30 p.m.
and the three of us were OUT within the first 15 minutes!
I literally have been asleep before 11 p.m. every night!
I guess I'm turning over a new leaf :)

Okay so that was yesterday....
now for today....

Breakfast was from 7-8 (....why do they do this to us?! haha) 
Then we had Old Testament class from 8-9.
Then we started a new class, called
 "Judaism, Zionism and the State of Israel" 
taught here in the center by a man named Ophir Yarden
an actual Jewish man!
Complete with Kippa-covered head!
It was sweet. 
I think that class is going to be really interesting. 
Today we just talked about what the term "Jewish" means
and how it's ridiculously hard to define. 

The biggest question I had during the whole lecture?
How he keeps his kippa stationary on his incredibly bald head. 
The best theory I could come up with was double sided tape.
Would it be totally offensive if I asked him?
Hmm...I'll keep you posted on that..

After class we had a few "housekeeping items"
then lunch.
Then Hebrew! 
It was my first Hebrew class for the semester! 
(We were given the choice between taking a 1 credit Hebrew or Arabic class..I chose Hebrew)

That class, 
taught by an American Jewish lady 
(who is married to an Israeli) 
is going to be really fun as well!
And hopefully not too hard :)

She (I can't remember her name...oops!) loves incorporating Hebrew songs into the lesson plan
and she said she would always have Hebrew music playing as we enter and leave the classroom.

Guess what song was playing as I left?! 

Havenu Shalom Aleichem!!
(in case you forgot about that family favorite--check out my post here.)
I sang along as I was leaving and one girl heard me and was totally blown away ;) 

 After Hebrew I had another short break until my final class of the day:

This class is also taught by a local professor.
Dr. Bashir Bashir.
(sweet name, no?!)
Although much of what he said went over my head..
...I am really excited for that class as well! 

As we were all scrambling up the stairs before class started
I thought about how cool it is that we all
live here together
and how we take classes together
and eat together
and go to church together
and wander around the city together....
I think it's awesome.
At least right now....
hopefully I'll still feel this way 3 1/2 months from now :)

Well, I suppose I ought to stop procrastinating homework
and get reading! 
I thiiink I'm mostly caught up now, so hopefully I won't get behind again
(because trying to catch up is really overwhelming!)
Until tomorrow?


1 comment:

  1. You gotta love the song Havenu Shalom Aleichem!! I definitely would have sung along :)