Friday, February 25, 2011

Dead People, Green Door Pizza, and Pink Sparkle Nails

So I've gotten to the busy point where I blog only about big things and field trips.
So I thought I'd do a little post about everyday things and little stories from the city.

The other day we went and visited the Tomb of the Kings. Its this tomb site that belonged to a Queen who was not originally born in Jerusalem and her family. It was more of a play site than a learning site. A big group of us met down there and all played in the tombs together. We had to enter through this small whole in a wall, which opened into a larger room with 3 more holes to other rooms, which had another hole in the floor for another room. It was just like it sounds, jungle gym for college students. Only a couple of us remembered to bring our flashlights so it was a real adventure feeling our way around. We took silly pictures in the tombs and then later realized that we laid in someone's grave, where dead bodies have been for a long long time. Gross. Thank goodness Jess brought hand sanitizer.

The courtyard in front of the tomb was a fun place to explore too. There was a giant stone wall with an archway in the middle, opening up to a smaller courtyard and a bunch of stairs. The grass was growing and flowers were starting to bloom, it was a really pretty day to be outside.

After that we traveled down to the post office where we waited about 15 min for stamps. We were hot, tired, and dirty, but we had fun just chatting and looking at cute babies. A favorite pastime of ours. We decided to wait on stamps so we could make it back to lunch on time. On our way out we met a sweet older man who offered to walk back with us because his house was on the way. I know what you are thinking, and no it wasn't sketchy at all. Its surprising how well you can read people here, our palestinian teachers always say "we don't hide anything, we are not fake, if we like you... you will know" and it is so true. Anyways, we started walking back and he told us all about his family and the people he knows in America, he told us about what the people are like here, and about the BYU student he met in the past. Cati and Michael, he has been waiting for your letter for about 5 moths now... get on that. He was very interesting to talk to, and was nice enough to invite us over for another day. Everyone here is like that, they all want to serve you or feed you or help you in some way. I absolutely love it.
Dead body juice. Gross.
More dead body juice.
The entrance into the tomb
Senior Pictures? Lame?
Ohh hey there big boy
Showing off the TOMS Paige painted for me
I heart Jessica Bassett
Cute Babies in yellow jumpers
Another day this week we ventured into the Old City to find this pizza place that Taylor was telling us about. He gave very clear directions "In Damascus gate, turn left at the fork, before the Armenian Hospice, close by where the Via Dolorosa meets.. its calls the Green Door". I could picture in my head exactly where he was talking about. When we had walked up and down that street a couple times, still not being able to find it, we asked for directions. No one knew where the Green Door was or that it even existed. We found about 3 other pizza places that wanted to charge 30 sheks for a pizza! We weren't having that... we wanted to find the 10 shek pizza that Taylor had been raving about. Finally, after about an hour (not even joking) a man who owned a small shop pointed it out to us. It was literally right around the corner. The door was not green, way to throw us off. But there was a sign. We went in and walked down into this small cave like room where we met and old man and his legit old style pizza oven.

He only makes two kinds of pizza, meet or just cheese. He had these little pan style pizzas that he filled with: beef, eggs, mystery cheese, sauce, and spices. It reminded me of quiche. We sat and laughed while he made the pizzas and I took lots of pictures. I love the days where you can just be in the city. You feel like you belong here. Today Dr. Chadwick said "no matter where else you live in your life, Jerusalem will always be your home" I feel that way already. I'm so sad knowing we are more than half way done. We have less days here than we have already had. It is going by way to quickly. My roommates and I were tearing up today just talking about it. Jerusalem really has become our home. I am making a promise to myself that I will come back, someday somehow... even if I am 99 years old and I just get one look of the temple mount.
Making some pizza

These are my friends
This little boy saw I had a camera and started striking poses, foot up in the wall and everything. Probably the cutest thing i've ever seen.

Josh carried ALL the girls purses up the hill to the center. What a gent.
Bassett Candy.
Our favorite candy shop. 3 Sheks for Bueno Bars!
On a lighter note, we have also been having a ton of fun in the center. Today I got to help out with Lisa Judd's birthday party! She just turned ten and had a bunch of friends from school and church come to the center to celebrate. About 13 of us girls signed up to help paint nails and do hair at the party and it was a blast. Emily and Amanda Judd offered to do my nails, and boy do they look lovely! Pink and peach with sparkles.
Happy Birthday Lisa!
Emily and Ami doing my nails. They are pro.
Why I should not adopt a black girl... I would have no idea how to do her hair.

Tonight we did Israeli Folk Dancing.
What a party.
Most of the students here LOVE to dance.
I think it has been some of our best bonding time.
We dance and sing and sweat like there is no tomorrow.
Its way fun learning big group dances that we can all do together, from holding hands, running in circles, under bridges, and even a jewish macarena. I love the people here.

We spend a lot of our nights watching movies, doing homework, playing games.... the usual. I feel like I've known them all my whole lives. We were laughing joking that we were going to get all the JC crew to do Israeli folk dancing at each others weddings. We also did a funny "Karaoke Night" where we took turns putting our ipods in and turning it up as load as possible and singing as loud as we can. So. Funny. If you came to watch you HAD to sing.
We got caught in a rain/wind storm!

We had the amazing opportunity to have a Seder dinner the other night with our Jewish teacher Ophir... but that deserves its own post so I'm going to make you wait on that...

Thats All Folks!
I want to know what you want to hear about? What have been some of your favorite posts? Do you like the friend focus idea? Is there anything you are curious about? I'm thinking about doing a Q & A post... so if you have questions feel free to e-mail me at kaitlinmariephotography(at)gmail(dot)com

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Field Studies - Hezekiah's Tunnel & The City of David

I have been so excited to blog about our last field trip.
On monday we had the amazing opportunity to go to
The City of David & and under the city in
Hezekiah's Tunnel!

I loved having a field trip so close to home. Normally we take a buss out of Jerusalem and get to experience other cities. As much as I really do LOVE that, it was an even cooler experience to learn more about what is in my own backyard. I mean literally, I can see it from my balcony.

There is so much information about the City of David and Hezekiah's tunnel. I had no idea where to begin... so I looked it up on Wiki to better aid by blogging abilities. Here are some exerts from the website.

The City of David, biblical Jerusalem, is the oldest settled neighborhood of Jerusalem and a major archaeological site. It is a narrow ridge running south from the Temple Mount. It was a walled city in the Bronze Age and, according to tradition, it is the place where King David built his palace and established his capital. The City of David was naturally defended by the Tyropoeon Valley to its west, the Hinnom valley to the south, and the Kidron Valley on the east; although over time the once-steep valley to the west has been largely filled in. During the reign of Hezekiah, the walls of the city were expanded westward, enclosing a previously unwalled suburb in the area now known as the Old City of Jerusalem, west of the Temple Mount.

There is so much more to know about the city, but I thought that this was a good basic explanation. We learned about King David's temple, and walked over its remains. We overlooked where the three beautiful valleys meet. We read scriptures about the amazing city and thought about what it must have been like to be living there at the time of King David and King Solomon. We watched a cool 3-D movie about the first temple period and the history of the city. The most amazing thing is knowing that the City of David is what Jerusalem was when Christ was here.

Looking over the Kidron Valley. It would have been much lower in the time of King David. The Gihon Spring is right there at the base of the hill.
This wall is one of the remains of what most people believe is King David's palace.

This is a shot of where the three valleys meet

Hezekiah's Tunnel

Hezekiah's Tunnel, or the Siloam Tunnel is a tunnel that was dug underneath the City of David in Jerusalem before 701 BC during the reign of Hezekiah. The tunnel is mentioned in 2 Kings 20:20 in the Bible. The Bible also tells us that King Hezekiah prepared Jerusalem for an impending siege by the Assyrians, by "blocking the source of the waters of the upper Gihon and leading them straight down on the west to the City of David. The tunnel has been securely dated both by the written inscription found on its wall, and by dating organic matter contained in the original plastering.

The tunnel, leading from the Gihon Spring to the Pool of Siloam, was designed as an aqueduct to provide Jerusalem with water during an impending siege by the Assyrians, led by Sennacherib. The curving tunnel is 533 m long, and by using a 30 cm (0.6%) gradient altitude difference between each end, conveyed water along its length from the spring to the pool.

According to the Siloam inscription, the tunnel was excavated by two teams, one starting at each end of the tunnel and then meeting in the middle. The inscription is partly unreadable at present, and may originally have conveyed more information than this. It is clear from the tunnel itself that several directional errors were made during its construction.

The difficult feat of making two teams digging from opposite ends meet far underground is now understood to have been accomplished by directing the two teams from above using sounds generated by hammering on the solid karst through which the tunnelers were digging.

Some Bible Verses that mention the tunnel...

"And when Hezekiah saw that Sennacherib was come, and that he was purposed to fight against Jerusalem, He took counsel with his princes and his mighty men to stop the waters of the fountains which were without the city: and they did help him. So there was gathered much people together, who stopped all the fountains, and the brook that ran through the midst of the land, saying, Why should the kings of Assyria come, and find much water?" 2 Chronicles 32:2-4

"This same Hezekiah also stopped the upper watercourse of Gihon, and brought it straight down to the west side of the city of David. And Hezekiah prospered in all his works." 2 Chronicles 32:30

Our "Chaco" Picture. Proof I wore them at least once.
We had to get creative. We weren't allowed to wear shorts out and we didn't want to trudge through the water in jeans, so this is how we adapted.
Malory and I under the City of David! Notice the water level on my leggings and the small space.
Aiming pictures in the dark is tough.
The magical water from the Gihon Spring.
The bottom half of the picture got cut off, but we are standing in the pool where the tunnel ends in the city.

Brock likes to splash.

Walking through Hezekiah's tunnel was a BLAST.

The walls were very tight, less than the width of a door frame. The ceilings were low at some points, to the point where we had to duck, and very tall at other times. The water reached about mid calf most of the time, but it got up to the top of my thigh at some points. We had so much fun walking through as a class, we spent the whole time singing and splashing each other. We would go some of the way turning off our flashlights so it was pitch dark. The boys even decided to go swimming for part of the way.

Painting of the Pool of the Silaom, what it would have looked like in Christ's era.
Kevin and I at the Pool of Siloam.
We have cool shoes.
Spencer went for a swim

Austin and I by the pool.

After we came out to the Pool of Siloam, the sun felt wonderful as we gathered together as a class for one of the last times. You see we switch from Old Testament to New Testament about half way through the semester, and our first block is almost done. Brother Muhlestein gave another amazing lesson, teaching us the story about when Jesus healed the man who had been blind his whole life, anointing his eyes, and sending him to the Pool of Siloam to wash and be made whole.

John 9:6-11

6When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay,

7And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.

8The neighbours therefore, and they which before had seen him that he was blind, said, Is not this he that sat and begged?

9Some said, This is he: others said, He is like him: but he said, I am he.

10Therefore said they unto him, How were thine eyes opened?

11He answered and said, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed mine eyes, and said unto me, Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash: and I went and washed, and I received sight.

We sat and pondered thinking about the miracles that Christ performed, looking over this ancient pool, knowing that he was here at some point. I am sad to be leaving Brother Muhlestein's class, he has been such an amazing teacher and such a good friend. I know that he honestly cares for and loves each one of us, and I am so grateful to have gotten the chance to have him as my teacher this semester. Thank you Brother Muhlestein.

It was an amazing day.

I love Jerusalem more and more as I explore the city and learn about its past.

There is a certain spirit here that can't be felt anywhere else in the world.

You can look over this land and you just know that the Lord loves and watches over this city.

I'm so grateful that I get to be here and love it too.

This piece shows a map of the world, with Jerusalem in the center.

Friend Focus

Today marks the day of my first
Friend Focus!

Jessica Bassett had a wonderful idea to start blogging about her friends and people here at the Jerusalem Center so all you followers can get to know the JC clan. So like every good blogger does, I'm going to steal her idea.

So the honor of my first friend focus goes to...
Joshua Benson Steele

Here are some things I love about Joshua

He likes the color blue
because it matches his eyes

He takes funny videos

He is kind of a creep

He gets my jokes

We both like Ghirardelli Chocolate Chips straight from the bag

He always says nice things about everyone

He is so much fun to be around because he knows how to lighten the mood

He knows how to take a verbal beating from us girls

He is very entertaining

He looks like a lion?

He has funny polar bear pajamas

Memorable Quotes by Joshua

"I'm making a parkour video, slide down that railing"

"I was going to G-chat you to say thank you but you weren't online"

"Your eyes look like dirty water"

"Worst. Video. Ever."

Your the best Joshua!


I ususally only like to post my favorite pictures on my photo blog because I can upload them in big sizes and they look so much better.
So by posting these, I'm just giong to have to trust that you will click on them to see them in a bigger more beautiful size.
I just love these shots so much, I couldn't wait to go to Hebrew University to upload them to my other blog.

These edits were inspired by a photo my mom sent me a while ago from when she was here.
I love the look of the vintage style photographs so I thought I would play around with some I had taken of the Dome of the Rock and the Western Wall. What do you think?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

done done done

I literally spent ALL DAY
doing homework.
I feel so studious.
I think I have done more homework here
than in all of high school.

Luckily I had Donovan to keep me sane.
I affectionately call him dad
(as mentioned before)
but my other little nickname is
little brother
because I am so much more mature than him.
As made obvious by the following pictures.

This is me and Donovan fighting in the Library
thanks Donny for allotting me my "play time" today.
& thanks to the wonderful and talented Emily Iroz
for sneakily capturing this on your macbook.

Sorry my posts have been SO boring.
But so am I.

P.S. I totally won the fight
thanks to intensive training from
Paige and Marielle