Life in the City

I've been here a week! We all finally feel like we're getting the rhythm down, which is a really nice feeling. Our classes are mostly in the morning so I get up at 6 every morning to shower and make it to breakfast on time at around 6:45 am. Classes usually start at about 7:30 and last until around noon. We are taking Religion, starting with the Old Testament, Ancient History, a class about the geography of the land and the different ancient tribes and civilizations that lived around here, Modern history of the land given by a Palestinian, modern history of the land given by a Jew, and Arabic. They are all really interesting, but all reading intense, so we're all learning how to find the perfect balance between school and play. 

Two days ago we walked on top of the walls of the Old City. The views were so amazing! It took us almost two hours and we didn't even go all the way around. Some of the stones were the ones the Romans built the wall with, thousands of years ago. It's so crazy that it is still in tact and we can walk on it. 

Yesterday a group of us went up the hill about 1/2 a mile to the Hebrew University. It is one of, if not the, oldest Universities in Israel. Some Palestinians don't like that a Jewish institution is on their side of town, but it has been there for about a hundred years so most people don't have a problem. They built it in a large compound like structure that is a large circle with almost every building connecting in some way. I'm not sure how many students they have, but there are at least a few thousand. We met a guy from Idaho who was here studying Hebrew alone and had been here for a year or so already. He says he loves it and isn't sure if he wants to go back! The view from the campus is probably the only one in the city better than ours. It sits right above us, so they have views of mountains that we can't see and it is really breath taking. After we went into the city to change money from a man the Center recommends because of his honesty in dealing with Americans. Aladdin, was a bald older man with a large toothy smile and he LOVES the Mormon students. He has a Utah Jazz sticker in his store and he kept pointing at it and telling us how much he wants to go to Utah! 

Yesterday was the grand opening of the Holy City Hot Spot, a student snack bar in the student lounge of the Center. Since I'm on the committee, we spent a lot of time last night trying to make a sign, making schedules and trying to be little entrepreneurs! I work one or two nights a week and it's really fun to be part of the action! 

Today we have a later class in the afternoon, so today I'm trying to stay around the Center and get things done. It's nice to not have a schedule once in a while. Tomorrow we only have Arabic so I think some of the girls are going to take a taxi a part of the city we haven't really been in and spend the whole day out shopping and walking around. Thursday is our first all day field trip!! 

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