Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Exploring Israel

We have successfully completed our second week in Israel!!  Time is really flying by so quickly; it’s crazy.  I already feel like I've known these people for years.  I guess that's what happens when you spend all day everyday with  people..... okay anyway this was the first week when we started going on Tiyuls.  A tiyul is basically a trip, some are half days and some are full days.  On half day trips, we still have our general studies classes in the afternoon.

So, I'm sure everyone is curious about what I have done on these trips so far because you are
all living vicariously through me so I will begin to describe them now.  So, last Sunday we went to a Tel.  A tel is a civilization on top of civilization on top of civilization and so on.  It was super cool see some of the advanced structures that have lasted so long (like older than my parents long) (love you mom and dad).  That was a half day tiyul so we still had all of our classes afterward.

On to the next trip, we went to Sataf.  This was so cool and beautiful.  First, we had to walk like three miles to get there.  Totally ridiculous that they made us walk there in the morning, right?  Actually, that's what I thought going into it, but turns out the hike was one of the highlights of the trip.  During this tiyul we explored some of the irrigation systems that were used way-back-when to water the crops.  Now, this isn't your typical flat group farm.  It's more set up as shelves upon shelves of crops in a line.  So, we got super deep into the water streams and we ended up exploring caves, and some of them were so small you were literally (not figuratively) crawling on your hands and knees through them. 

Our next, and one of my favorite trips, was an archaeological dig.  For anyone that has heard me say the world archaeological, you know that my pronunciation is hilarious.  So, for now on every time I say archaeological, picture it in my voice.  We explored excavated tunnels from the ancient times that people used to live and hid from their enemies in.  It was crazy how small the spaces were.  I asked our tour guide if I could move into one for a day, and she told me they didn't have WIFI down there so I immediately rescinded my request. Along with the tunnels we did some digging and found a few bones and pieces of pottery.  Also, we had the chance to explore some ancient burial caves.  This trip was very fun and I also have to say, I learned a lot.

Friday, I had a chance to go off the Kibbutz.  I went to northern Israel to a place called En Hashofet.  One of the friends I made here on EIE invited me to go with her to her grandparents’ house.  They live on a rather large kibbutz and it was super nice.  This opportunity was really great for me because I got to test out my sub-par Hebrew skills.  But, this made me realize I know more than I think, and I can actually hold a short conversation.  I also made the effort to listen to others conversation (this is different than eavesdropping, it's for educational purposes) and try to figure out what they were saying.  My guessed turned out to not be too far off, and some were even completely correct. 

All and all everything is great (besides the food sometimes). I love my friends and everything we have done so far.  This week is looking to be hard and boring because we have full days of classes almost every day :-(.  But, next week we are going on a 10 day trip!  Stay tuned for more. 

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