Friday, January 11, 2013

Never Touch a Middle Eastern Cat

This is it, the waiting is over! That applies to my loyal readers (hey, Mom!) and to myself.  Because I made it to the Holy Land!  We have yet to leave the Jerusalem Center, since our first field trip was postponed due to snow.  "It's a hot and dry desert," they told me.  "Don't bring any warm clothes," they said.  Don't worry, this diva (barely) survived the freezing temps.  Actually, my favorite moment thus far has been looking out at the snow-covered city as mosques broadcasted the Call to Prayer.   The Center is located on the top of a hill, the perfect vantage point of the city below.  
Seatmates from SLC to JFK- Janessa and Montana
Our first view of the Dome of the Rock from the bus
So far, it feels like all we have done is eat.  The cafeteria serves a variety of American and Arabic foods- is rice pudding for breakfast a thing?  Three different administrators told us to workout and eat less.  Where's the fun in that?  I was hoping after a few months we could all break through cutouts of our former skinny selves, like a reversed The Biggest Loser finale.  Another piece of advice we received is reflected in the title.  Wild cats here carry fleas, are mangy, may have rabies (okay I made that up for dramatic effect), and can be pretty gross.  It'll be hard for me not to pet them, but that is a sacrifice I am willing to make.  
You can't tell but it's snowing really hard!
All of us are going pretty stir-crazy since we have yet to leave the center.  Some people are resorting to things like playing volleyball. Weird... I've met a lot of cool people, but I am excited to get past the "major" and "hometown" questions.  Whenever I meet a (South)East Coaster, I know I've found a life-long friend.  I've met one so far, which means I've officially hit my friend quota!  My favorite interactions have been when people mistake my sarcasm for sincerity.  Seriously though, I'm pretty sure I miss my cat just as much as you miss your fiance!
Our view of the "armpit of Jerusalem"- aka no Dome in sight
The last thing I want to say is how grateful I am to everyone who helped me get ready for this trip on such short notice.  It was definitely not ideal timing, but thank you for supporting me without hesitation.  It was a stressful few days, but I'm here now! 

Tomorrow, we have church and then we're off to visit the Garden Tomb!

 ,כל טוב



  1. Yes - this loyal reader is so glad you finally updated - love the BL reference!

  2. Love the snow! You left freezing temperatures in UT for freezing temperatures in Jerusalem. I tried really hard to get you to take a few extra sweaters :)

    I do that BL in reverse thing every year. You really should try it...

    You're blog is great. I'm a fan. It's even on our weekly FHE agenda. Go Super Tess!

    1. I apologize to everyone who reads this blog that I cannot spell "your" correctly. If I could take it back, I wood :)

  3. Jerusalem looks awesome. Please make friends with some Hasidic Jews so Blair can be thoroughly awed by your awesomeness.