Thursday, January 24, 2013

Jerusalem woohoo!

Hello folks.  I really should be posting something every night, but our days here are so long that by the time I get the opportunity to write I am so tired all I want to do is sleep.  I have not woken up past 6 a.m. since I have been here, and the days have been so completely packed with experiences that my mind feels like it can't possibly fit one more thing.  So this will be a short post.  My experiences here are so much more than just visiting Holy sites and archaeological digs.  While the course is called "The Palestine of Jesus" we are learning so much more than that.  We have had Jewish and Islamic lecturers come in from the surrounding Universities to talk about their respective religions and that has been really helpful in getting a better understanding of the people we are seeing when we are out in the city.  And we have met some interesting people.  This week is Christian Unity week which means that every evening a service is held in a different church around the city and all the Christian leaders show up and worship together.  A few of us have taken the opportunity to go to some of these services and it has been so amazing.  I got to meet the Abbot of the Dominicans who run the Church of the Dormition on Mt Zion.  He is from Northern Ireland and is just as awesome as can be.  Yesterday I sat in a Syrian Orthodox church and listened to a nun talk about all the miracles she has witnessed in that place.  Yesterday a group of us stood in a shop for an hour drinking tea and looking at expensive and one of a kind jewelry, while we joked with the shop owner and he worked very hard trying to sell us stuff. 

This place has been truly amazing in so many ways, and I wish I could spill out all of my experiences on to this page, but I must go to sleep, tomorrow we go to Jericho and Bethany, and we are renewing our Baptismal vows at the Jordan river.

I'm not saying all my experiences have been wonderful, because they haven't, and actually I have been surprised by my reaction to some things, but even the bad experiences have given me something to think about.

Sorry there are no pictures, the wireless Internet here is spotty at best, and without wifi I can't get the pictures off of my phone.

I'm going to bed, for reasons that I don't want to disclose yet, tomorrow is going to be my longest day yet.

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