A Busy Week

 I swear things never slow down here! Last week was packed with classes and field trips and literally flew by. We spent most of the days in class all day and trying to catch up on all of our reading and assignments. On Wednesday we went on a field trip for half the day to Jericho, the oldest city on earth. We walked around the archeological sites and had class on the top of them for a few hours. The best thing we did was climb a mountain to a monastery that is literally built into the rock. As we walked through it, some of the walls were the actual rock. The monastery was designed to honor the rock of temptation that Satan used again Jesus in the wilderness while he was fasting for forty days and nights. 

Two days later we went on another field trip to a bunch of sites outside of Jerusalem. We started at the valley where Samson lived and burned the fields. From there we went to the fields where they think David and Golliath fought their battle. They had slings for us to try, so all 40 of us in my class tried to throw rocks for about an hour. It was pretty funny to watch as the rocks went in every direction. We spent the afternoon visiting old ruins of houses and life from before Christ's time. We got to walk through a cistern, an oil press, and an empty tomb. Late in the day we went to these caves that you had to crawl through almost the whole time. 

This week we had a few free days which was really nice to finally be able to relax and catch up on everything. We went out into the city on Sunday and walked around the Jewish Quarter of the Old City. I had never been there and loved it! We walked through a school yard where little Jewish boys were all playing soccer and running around. It's so funny because they love to stare and point at us and think the American boys we're with are so amazing. We went to Dormician Abby, a church built on the site that they think Mary lived until her death. It was a really pretty church which a huge mosaic on the ground of all the well known biblical prophets from Adam to Christ. 

Yesterday my roommates and I set out to find the Israel Museum, where the Dead Sea Scrolls are kept. We didn't really know where we were going, but after walking about 5 miles, we finally found it. We spent a few hours there and saw the huge model of the city during the 2nd Temple Period. It was cool to see how the city was back then and compare to what is going on here today. 

Mid terms are coming up and the weather hasn't been that good here, so most of us are going to spend a few days at the Center and try to keep up at school. Keep me updated on what's going on in everyone's lives! I miss you all!!

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