Tuesday, March 29, 2011

...Except It's Actually *Really* Blue

I speak, of course, of the alluring Red Sea.
Whoever called it red was obviously colorblind. Love that tropical azure.
On Sunday--which is our day off here at the JC, as we celebrate Sabbath on Saturday (like the Jews)--we traveled to Eilat, a beach resort town along the shore of the Red Sea. We've hit the Red & the Med in the last 10 days, now we're heading for the Dead next week. No complaints from this water baby.
My lovely Hawaiian friend Mallory said it was *almost* as good as the Islands.
It was glorious to plunge into that bright blue water and come face to face with fish like I usually only see in my dentist's aquarium. We even saw a jellyfish! With the sea, the salt, and the sun, I was a happy girl.

On our drive down to Eilat, Bro. Chadwick (aka Chadwickipedia) told us all about Lehi's journey from Jerusalem and along the very trail we were driving. It's incredible to see how all of the stories I've read so often weave in and out of each other here. 

And to make the day even bettah, I was blessed with the honor of wearing The JC Girls' Shirt. It is the height of Middle Eastern haute couture.
Did I mention that I love my life?

you might want to re-live summers gone by & listen to "Never Let You Go" by Third Eye Blind.

Running on Faith

In a moment of pure insanity and overestimation of my physical abilities, I signed up for Jerusalem's First 10k. But guess what?

awkward self portrait on a street that was part of the course

And it only took me about an hour and 15 minutes, despite Jerusalem being the Hilliest City in the Holy/Hilly Land. Since I've gone running...um... once since I've been here, I was rather pleased with this time.

It was a beautiful run on a sunny morning, taking us all over West Jerusalem and even through a bit of the Old City. Jewish families, Muslim men on their way to morning prayers, and tourists from around the world lined the streets to cheer the runners on as we passed by. Along the way, huge speaker towers blared Hebrew hip-hop; the excitement was infectious.

Unfortunately, walking the 3 miles to the starting line (all the roads were closed down, so we couldn't take a cab), running the race, and walking the three miles back, all on Jerusalem's lovely but slightly uneven limestone pavement, did some slight damage to some of the muscles in my left foot. Glory wound!
I may become a professional sport injury wrapper yet. Stylish, no?

But life is GOOD.

Because I got this super cool neon green/yellow adidas jersey shirt thing for my participation in the marathon. You'll never have to worry about losing me in a crowd again.
modeling my Jerusathon Jersey (tm) by the Herodian ashlars that would have formed the gateway to the Temple Mount at the time of Christ. typical.
AND...my hair is getting sun bleached and my face is getting tan

one of those rare occasions when my hair is behaving itself & I get to look like a girl
LISTEN UP: highlights from my 10k playlist: "Uncharted" by Sara Bareilles, "Parachute" by Train, "I Believe in You" by Vertical Horizon, "Time & Confusion" by Anberlin, & "You're All I Have" by Snow Patrol.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

love note

Dearest Galilee,

I miss you already.

Love Always,

ps- I'll post more pictures of you, because, truly, the world needs to know of your beauty. 

you should probably take a listen to "Seafarer" by Kate Nash. & go for the accoustic version.

Still Daddy's Girl

I remembered Caesarea Philippi. I remembered the water and the lush growth. I remembered how my Daddy coaxed me into sticking my face in for a drink while mom murmured about giardia and giggled at our sopping faces.

Daddy, be so proud.
Seventeen years later, I'm thrilled to report that the water still tastes fantastic, and there have been no signs of any giardiac symptoms.
Please note that the camera angle is different, but the location is exactly the same.
And while we're still playing with the seventeen year symmetry, there are these.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Things Are Always Brighter in the Morning

Last night was not one of my best. I finally crawled into my bed more than a little bit stressed about the pile of homework looming ahead of me, a bit discouraged by some situations back in the States, and emotionally and physically exhausted. But before crashing, I read a few scriptures and prayed that things would look a bit brighter in the morning.

I woke up early to talk these some fabulous people who love me lots.
It must be said: my mom is a babe.

I had this song stuck in my head all day.

And I wandered around a city that looks like this:
Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem

It's hard to stay down for long when you are so incredibly blessed. I am so grateful to know that God hears my prayers and gives me the comfort I need to see the sunshine and warmth beyond the clouds, even when I sometimes begin to question whether I deserve such love. I know that that same loving Father in Heaven cares for each and every one of His children, no matter where they are and regardless of what name they call Him. He gave us everything, not even withholding His only Son, Jesus Christ. God gave us His most Beloved Son as a Savior so that we might be comforted by One who understands our every pain and heartache. As I walked the same streets that my Savior once walked today, I felt the warmth of His love in the sun on my face.

Last night, I prayed for solace. My prayers were heard and answered, and this morning I awoke with a perfect brightness of hope. The world wasn't magically transfigured to give me a life of ease, but I know that with the love of my Savior and my Father in Heaven, I can face the curveballs that life throws. Things truly do look brighter in the morning.

(You should click on the links. They are all really good. I promise.)

Proof of Insanity

We're leaving tomorrow morning to spend ten days along the shore of the beautiful Sea of Galilee. We'll be going on 7 field trips during that time, 4 straight day-long adventures for the last 4 days.

& what do I decide to do the morning after we get back?

Okay, so I'm just running the 10k.

Yeah, this college business has definitely improved my thinking abilities. 
But I think that Jaynee, my most dedicated commenter (except perhaps my mother), will be proud of me. I'll take that first dose of Ibuprofen in your honor, dearest amazing runner woman.

Soundtrack of my life today: 
"Pretty Things" by Tony Lucca
"She's Got You High" by Mumm-ra
"Open Your Eyes" by Snow Patrol
"Many the Miles" by Sara Bareilles

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Seventeen Year Symmetry

The prime purpose of being four is to enjoy being four - of secondary importance is to prepare for being five. 
-Jim Trelease, The Read-Aloud Handbook, 1985

BYU Jerusalem Center, April 1994
There are no seven wonders of the world in the eyes of a child. There are seven million.
-Walt Streightiff

BYU Jerusalem Center, March 2011 (thanks, Spence!)
 Unfortunately, I grew out of my love for giant, pink, polka-dotted bows. 

All the pathos and irony of leaving one’s youth behind is thus implicit in every joyous moment of travel: one knows that the first joy can never be recovered, and the wise traveler learns not to repeat successes but tries new places all the time.
-Paul Fussel

Friday, March 11, 2011

To Be an Eight-Cow Woman

We do a lot of rather creative things at the BYU Jerusalem Center. We take a lot of jumping pictures. We wander through the Old City. We learn to dance like Arabs and we learn to dance like Israelis. But tonight, we're taking world culture to a new level with...



My Hawaiian friend Jeanelle & me. We aspire to be eight-cow wives someday.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


There are now captions on the last few posts; I'm sure you have all been waiting with baited breath.

Furthermore, my favorite souvenir from Egypt are these incredible new kicks. I've yet to find anything like unto them on the Adidas website... so they may be knockoffs. But they weigh practically nothing, are beautiful, have a logo like an Aston Martin, are green, oh, & did I mention I bought them in Luxor? Yep. Made a bargain with a sweet shopkeeper. 20 bucks. score.

Me gustan.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Walk Through My City With Me

Yes, that's right, after centuries of conquests, Jerusalem belongs to me. Though I think perhaps it's me that's been won over. But how could you not fall in love with a city like this?

(captions on all of these photo blogs to come soon)

Lemon trees & natives.

Linds has a new cactus friend.

How do I love this city...let me count the ways...

1 - Almond trees in bloom

2 - Cool grafiti

3- Narrow alleys with cool architecture.

4- playgrounds on sunny days.

5- Crosswalk signs that feature a man in a Jewish hat.

6- Wandering quite aimlessly until we find sites that we're supposed to visit anyway. (6b - posing like artwork)

7- Sunsets like this over the city of Jerusalem every night.

All Shuk Up

Scratch my dream of a shiny Audi & sign me up for this ecomobile.

There are more than a baker's dozen reasons why I love Jerusalem's open market, aka The Shuk.


And more spices. (Anybody have an idea of what those cone things might be?)

The fresh fruit here is amazing.

This ceiling is nice when it rains, which is pretty often this time of year.

Linds was pretty excited about the step pyramid chocolates... can you blame her?

Two of my favorite things: strawberries & scarves.

mmm... bread.

And more and more spices... LOVE!

Life in Luxor

Our digs in Luxor were pretty nice...

Egypt gets pretty green along the Nile.

Oh, this? This is the Nile.

Definite highlight of the Egypt trip: watching the sunset from a falukah (sailboat) while floating down the Nile.

"See the pyramids along the Nile, watch the sunset from a tropic isle..." or maybe just stick with the Nile the whole time--it was lovely, although I wouldn't ever swim in it.

One of my favorite adventures: after getting lost in Luxor and accosted by a man who spoke every language we threw at him (we pretended not to speak English, but the guy spoke Arabic, Russian, and Spanish, too. ridiculous), Spencer & Taylor bought some killer new shades. Then we found the Shady Hotel... notice the d? classy.

Morning boat ride on the Nile to the Karnak Temple. Welcome to a typical day at the JC.

We were passengers on the last run of the night train from Luxor to Cairo; they shut it down because of the riots about 5 hours after we got off the train.

In the hypostyle hall of the Karnak Temple.

...And This is Just Day One

Egypt was pretty cool, despite things heating up politically whilst we were there (don't worry--they locked us in our hotel so we couldn't go join the protesters). But between the slooooooow internet at the center & a fallen (& woefully wounded) camera, I haven't had the chance to post many pictures. But thanks to the high speed wifi at Hebrew U & a brand new shiny camera from the States (thanks, Costco, for having an amazing return policy!), here is some long-awaited photographic evidence of my Egyptian adventures. (sorry about the sideways pics)

Taylor James Henderson III and I doing our very best Egyptian poses outside the Great Pyramid of Khufu. Do you believe this?

Climbing the Great Pyramid--best part of this picture? Easily Jeanelle's face. & the guy behind me.

Ready for a naming exercise? Here we go, left to right: Tay, Heidi, KHutch, Cory, Piers, JennyC, me!, Joshua, Bez, Stacey, Abibi, AJ, Linds, Megan, Britt, Jared, Lauren, KelsMc, Laurel, Abby, Addy, with a Spenster, Jeni, Mark, & Sadie on top. whew.

They even look cool sideways.

Chadwikipedia & me. (He's like Indian Jones, only...realer.)

This is what it looks like on the opposite side of the girl pictures.
Engagement pose in the temple near the Sphinx. So in love. So in Egypt.

I have friends who jump off of tall, ancient walls. Spester, Ally, & Piers.

Taylor gets excited about an archeological find.

Lauren & I could get used to life like this.