Why yes... I am procrastinating writing my 7 page paper on Islam. Sue me.
But I realized that I haven't really said much on my blog here. I've been scurrying around trying to fit in everything I can while I'm here. So I thought I might give you some details of what has been going on.
I was proposed to... several times actually. The men here are VERY friendly. If you ever need a pick me up, just walk into the Old City. The other day a merchant said I could pay him in hugs (don't worry dad, I declined) and today a boy told me I was his love, Jess got some extra loving as well. So for all you wedding hungry women out there, Jerusalem is the place to find a willing husband! All kidding aside the people here are extremely nice, and they love Mormons, they tell us all the time.
My classes are going very well, sometimes its a bit hard for me to understand my Islam teacher, but luckily he just repeats everything in the reading so that should be fine. I love my Old Testament class, I learn something new every day in that class. The Old Testament is such a gem and I'm glad that I have been paying more attention to it. We also have a really great Near Eastern Studies class, its fun for me because I love art history and since our teacher is a world famous archeologist, we get a lot from the art history and architectural side of things.
I love my roommates. We love to sit in our room together and "bond" which usually consists of laughing until we cry. I feel so lucky to have such great girls as roommates. Not only great roommates, but a really great group here all together. Our leaders are constantly telling us that we get a long better then any group that they have had before. They said each semester has its own personality and this group of kids is the "fun & talkative" group. I'll take it.
We leave for Egypt in less then a week.
I get excited every time I begin to even think about packing, let alone visiting sites such as the Great Pyramids and Petra along with the museums in Cairo.
We have had a dozen orientations about what to expect in Egypt. I'm just praying I don't get sick. That would definitely ruin the fun.
Today when we went down to the money changer, Aladdin, I was looking at the wall of notes. Since Aladdin is where all the Mormon students go to change their money, he has a wall dedicated to Jerusalem Center students where you can leave notes of advice for future JC students. Most notes say something along the lines of "Don't worry about homework" or "Go out into the city as often as possible". My favorite one so far said "Always choose the crazier option", what a good motto. I also enjoyed "Don't worry about getting fat". The last two have become my motto here in Jerusalem. When the opportunity presents itself, I will always choose the crazier option, and I promise to not worry about getting fat (I'm not by the way mom, I eat my greens every day).
The last of my two mottos has inspired me. I am now keeping a food diary, not of recipes, but of pictures. My top right hand corner of my desktop is sporting a brand new blue folder entitled "Food" where I will keep my pictures of all my favorite treats here in the Holy Land. Today while wandering around West Jeru, we found a cute little bakery. I got two of the delicious pastries above for 3 shekels! That is about $1. Talk about a steal. Its funny to go into the cafeteria and they have this food that looks like american food (rice, pasta, hamburgers, ketchup, chicken) and then you taste it and its unlike anything you have ever had before. Its like a new adventure every day.
I bought a sweet camel leather backpack. I love it. I bartered for it, and I'm pretty proud of that fact.
This is Mallory, one of my favorite people ever and the happiest girl you will ever have the pleasure of meeting.
So to wrap this little post up, I just want to repeat my motto in a more general sense. Loosen up.
Its okay to skim the last 2 pages of your reading assignment because you know your teacher won't test you on it.
Its okay to try that tempting pastry and swear your diet starts tomorrow.
Its okay to want to buy a Hamsa necklace when you have no idea what it means.
Its okay to have a little fun as long as you know you can finish the other stuff later.
In the words of Dr. Chadwick "You don't come here to die in the library"
Take chances, make the crazier choice, because time is something you can't take back and memories will last you so much longer then that chapter about agriculture in the Jordan Valley.
(Don't worry Mom and Dad, I still get my homework done)