Last Day in the J-Ru :)

Trip Start Jan 03, 2011
Trip End Mar 26, 2011

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Thursday, February 17, 2011

We’re more than halfway done with our trip!! Only 5 weeks left until we’re back in the good ol’ US of A. Wow. Of course 5 weeks is still a substantial amount of time, but really when you think back on the past 5 weeks, it seems like it went by pretty darn fast. We go back to Bethlehem today, and after about 4 or 5 days we then head to Auja near the Dead Sea, then Arava in Negev Desert, then back to Bethlehem for our last 3 days or so in the city, then to Tel Aviv for 3 or 4 days, then up to Nazareth in the Galilee for a few days, then we leave Israel/Palestinian Territories for good and we’re off to Jordan for our last 2 weeks!! CRAZY!! It doesn’t seem like we’re winding down at all, and in reality we’re really not, but the fact that we only have about 3 weeks left before we go to Jordan is INSANE. Oh and for those of you following the news over here, Jordan IS one of the Arab countries that has been affected by the Egyptian revolution. So I don’t know if our time in Jordan will be changed or not, but if there is any sense of danger we will probably just leave early or something. I know that at the first signs of protests in Jordan, King Hussein fired his whole cabinet and brought in new people so try and create change. I think this has made the protests much smaller and less intense, but since they haven’t been covered as much in the news I don’t really know. But like I said, if there’s any problem we’ll just leave, no worries :)
So our time in Jerusalem has been totally phenomenal. It has absolutely lived up to my expectations and I have loved every minute of it. It’s definitely been my favorite place that we have visited thus far, and I’m a little sad to leave today. But I’m also excited about the rest of our trip and all the places we will be going. I’m especially excited to go down to the Arava Kibbutz in the Negev desert (IT WILL BE WARM!:)) and then to Nazareth up in the Galilee area. We took a day trip a few days ago down to Sderot, which is an Israeli town right on the border with Gaza, for a conference about bringing peace to the relationship between Israel and Gaza. The conference was ok, but man oh man, the countryside on the drive down was BEAUTIFUL! It was mostly farmland, but there were trees and greenery, and I just couldn’t stop staring out the window! So I hope that the Arava Kibbutz looks similar, plus the weather down there was beautiful!! So I’m excited about that.
So our last few days here in Jerusalem have been great, and I even made it back to the Temple Mount and the Western Wall one more time just to soak it all in again. I just love it over there, the Muslim buildings are beautiful, and the people watching at the Western Wall is amazing! I put up some pictures of some of the people walking around near the wall, so awesome! We’ve also had meetings with an organization that works with victims of terrorist attacks, a class on Judaism at a rabbinical school, a meeting with the founder of Breaking the Silence (an organization that speaks out on some of the more extreme problems with the Israeli Army), and a variety of other organizations. We’ve heard all kinds of different perspectives on the situation here, and it’s been so fascinating. All in all, I just love this city and I really hope to come back someday!
Only 5 weeks left, gotta keep soaking it up!
Click Here for my pictures in Jerusalem!!! Enjoy!
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