Thursday, April 30, 2009


Ok, so this blog has been a work in progress for awhile, but I decided that because these people are literally what have made this experience for me, each and every one of them deserves a line. So here it goes...all 77 of them in alphabetical order.

Janay Adams: The shekel shaq queen, she's brilliant, beautiful, and sassy all rolled into one package
Alisha Anderson: The sweetest, smartest, happiest rugby playing girl I know
Teri Ann Bennett: Sweet, smart, and is the best at being everyone's friend
Rachael Bentley: Give a wink, jump some rope, and get her to flash you that dazzling smile
Chelsea Bigney: Always looking on the bright side, she keeps everyone in line with class and sass
Ken Blomquist: class comments and video games
Steve Blunck: Never one to miss out on the 'pun', he's studious and has a mean volleyball spike
Bryan Bozung: Bald spot first week, playing the ladies, and taking everything to the extreme
Jayne Bradshaw: Sweet and spunky, she kicks volleyball butt and has artistic chops to boot
Allison Brinkerhoff: The life of the party, A. Brink is in the know how...just don't ask about her personal life
J.J. Campbell: Gigi is always smiling, wearing his red crocs, and keeping it real
Sharon Campbell: Funny, musically talented, and a master of crazy face making
Josh Cazier: The narrator of our group, he's either heading up a game or singing a catchy tune
Keri Chalk: Violinist extraordinaire who brings in the sunshine with her all-knowing smile
Stephanie Conrad: Seriously angelic and gorgeous are the first things you notice about her
Carly Curtis: Keeps you laughing with crazy stories and wondering how you lived life without her before
Jacob Curtis: Our beloved pre-mie, Jacob is chill, funny, and has at least 4 wives already
Miriam Deaver: Silly, spunky, flirty, and looks like a model when she rolls out of bed
Mckenzie Fogg: Moon is the free spirit who loves everyone and is probably a pathological liar
Emilie Foss: With her contageous laugh and life wisdom, Emilie brings joy to everyone around her
Marianne Gold: Lives up to her name like a  golden ray of sunshine with her laugh and smile
Amy Gordon: Her IQ and verbal rhetoric will put you to shame, but in a good way
Nycole Griffin: Always up for a party and good for a laugh
Annie Hale: Full of shenanigans and great accents with her partner in crime Alexis
Aubri Hilton: Wearing North Face and keeping the teachers on their toes...Ophir?
Eliza Hutchinson: Knows who she is and how to have a good time
Jecia Hutchinson: Kind and thoughtful to everyone around her
Valorie Jones: Fearless, intelligent, bold, and quietly that too much? :)
Tamarra Kemsley: I'll never forget her unshaved legs in the talent show...
Heidi Lambert: So incredibly fun and I LOVE how she always calls me Sister Bradley
Krista Landon: I imagine her as snow white...kind to everyone and all the forest animals love her
Steve Marcum: Practically a professional at parkour and GQ posing
Lara Mayfield: Knows what she wants and gets it done!
Lauren Merkley: My BFF and fellow curly haired friend
Ryan Money: In a class all his own, Money re-defines the male ego
Jordan Moody: His laugh is notorious and he's famous for making every teacher like him
Kelsey Mordue:
Matt Morgan:
Andrea Morris:
Jake Mudrick:
Richelle Nelson: This girl is the most lighthearted, unselfish, and sweet person I have ever met. I love her.
Breana Nielsen:
Chelsea Owens: Willing to give you practically anything, make you laugh, and be an all around awesome friend
Anne Pearson: This girl loves 'getting wacky' and having a good time. Her smile is infectious and she's
Hayley Peterson: Known for get some and saying "Oh hay hay!"
Lisa Peterson:
Jess Ralphs: The unselfish and lovable storyteller who makes everyone happy, Jess is the perfect roommate
Ryan Rampton: 
Shelby Rampton: 
Aleni Rasmussen: The VP of my super-secret/elite Virgin Lips club
Alexis Redd: The funniest story-teller and I'm pretty sure she's got a solid career in standup comedy
Chris Ricks: Voted most likely to flirt his way through life, Chris makes friends wherever he goes
Stefanie Roddick:
Kara Schumacher: She once told me she didn't like white people, but I think we helped her get over it ;)
Suzie Skinner: The teach's daughter who's way funnier than she'll ever let on
Shamra Smith: My sham-a-lama is always up for nerdy gaming and good stories
Ali Snarr: The most unique little mouse laugh around, she's just the right amount of sweet and giggly
Jennifer Stacey: A killer voice and impeccable fashion taste to boot
Priscilla Stewart: 
Christine Stinger: 
Jeff Stott: He can write, rap, dance, and sing, all within his towering 6 foot and some odd inches frame
Celeste Swenson:
Stefanie Tanner: What more can I say? This girl is my Jeru soul sister. Ping-pong, pranks, pantsing and more...
Chelsie Tavernier: She will become your best friend in a day...she became my BB and Camel in just one!
Whitney Thomas:
Lindsey Thurgood: The self-proclaimed individual, you won't ever be bored in a conversation with her
Cate Todd: The most dedicated shopping queen with diva fashion to back it up!
Emma Toolson: She's too cool for school...and all of us...and we know it
Angie Trujillo: Possibly an Egyptress Queen in another life, she's beautiful, loving, and kind
Kara Van Wagenen: The best care-free lovable animal impersonator you will ever meet
Jessica Veater: The bohemian beauty who won't say she's in love...
Mike Westover: His musical skills are astounding and he has a ping pong paddle named excalibur....awesome
Stephen Wilkinson: Always the gentleman, Stephen has spunk, smarts, and makes friends wherever he goes
Sarah Wills: My favorite field trip buddy and the best roomie I could ever ask for!
Kim Wilson:
Suzy Wilson:

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Saying Goodbye

Today is officially my last day in Jerusalem. Where has the time gone? I remember the day we got here, thinking there was so much time to go do and see everything. Yet here we are at the end and time has run out. Time is a funny thing, it prolongs itself when you need it to move forward and and then flies by just when you wish it would slow down. I guess the most important thing is that you don't waste the time your given, and not once minute of this last semester has been wasted. I have...
and most of all loved.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Keeper of Memories

Ok so I have this ongoing thing with memories: no matter where I am I end up being the one in charge of keeping memories (who decided it was a good idea to put me in charge of things? seriously.). I am a hard core journal keeper, picture taker, and blogger (which has not been as good as of late, sorry!). It probably has something to do with a deep seeded fear of forgetting things. I want to remember everything and I know my pathetic brain won't let me do much, so I have to document. Anyways, as a result of this, I'm now going to embark on a journey through the past 4 months about people and places that I just can't bear to forget. I know there won't be enough time for me to include everyone, but maybe once I get home I'll throw some nostalgic posts up. Anywho, here are some of my favorite pics, in no particular order, that haven't yet made the blog until now...
Here is Shamra and I on our first field trip through the city at seven arches. Shamra was one of the first friends I made here and she was always there to support my ping pong needs when no one else would.

This was the day I discovered falafel. As you can tell, Alexis and I were thoroughly enjoying ours. The free pitas and non smoking building also might have had something to do with it.

Angie and I with our rockin hard hats at Beersheba where we happened to be in range of the rockets from Gaza. Luckily, we had those hats, because if some rockets had hit us, they would have saved our lives FOR SURE!
I will miss this when we leave...Miriam giving me hugs and nuzzling my ear like a teddy bear. Although when it happens in public places we do get funny looks. What's wrong with a little lovin?!?!

My dearest Moon and I outside the church in Tiberias. This girl has more soul than a shoe store and this picture captures her essence.

Richelle and I right before our hike up Mt. Sinai. Only a true friend would sing B*witched songs with me all the way up the mountain.
My high school chum Allison (ya titans!) and I falling of Tell-i-forgot-what-it's-called. I know it's hard to read in arabic, but I'll translate...DANGER!!! FALLING ROCKS!!! ONLY STAND HERE IF YOU ARE STUPID....check.
Kara (I call her RaRa sometimes because she cheers me up) and I at the Med Sea. We're going to run a half marathon together...someday. It's on the bucket list at least.
My peeps and I in the secret cave where we officially inducted ourselves into the hall of fame. 2 Legit 2 Quit Baby! Oh and.....that was awesome.
This was our informal talent show were Angie, me, the three Steves, Anne, and Whitney all performed "Luxormotion." While I did get to play Mama Pharaoh, my favorite part was Blunck's diaper.
I knew I'd have friends here when we got off the bus for a stop on our way to Egypt and made a zen circle. Good karma lasted the whole semester! Yeeah!

The day atop Mt. Hertzl where the offical VL club roster was formed. I am happy to say that I still maintain the chair of president while Aleni continues on as VP and Stephen as an honorary member.
Suzie, Josh, Moon, and I at Sambooki with the famous brownie surprise. Who knew such great joy could come out of a small triangle pastry?
A group of us composing the 8th wonder of the world...the human pyramid. Notice I'm the one looking about to crumple on the bottom. I proclaim myself the weakest link.
And of course I can't forget better half while here in the Holy Land. Here we are at the beach in Tel Aviv where for once, we aren't acting like crazies.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Sunday and So Much More

Okay, so even though it's only been a few days, there has been nonstop action here at the JC and if I put off the blog any longer I know I'll get too far behind. So buckle your seatbelts and hold on tight because we're hitting a whole lot of action in this post...

First of all, I just have to write a little blurb about Aladdin because he really deserves a shout out. As most of you international travellers know, money changers are a part of life whilst living abroad. Here in Jerusalem, we have the superior services of Mr. Aladdin to assist us. This guy takes care of all the JC students money needs, and he does it all with a smile...even when we clean him out of shekels. He also has an entire wall dedicated to JC student notes, so if you ever find yourself in old city, you should pop in for a visit, because Aladdin is the man.

Fanning myself with the very last wad of shekels I could withdraw
Ok, so back to the action. Wednesday was another free day, so I finally went to visit Ein Karem, the place where John the Baptist was born and raised. While the experience was a little bit diappointing after the excitement of Galilee, it was good to get out and see some new sites. We got to roam around and explore, all the while hunting down the best deals for ice cream. The most thrilling part of the day was when we got lost in the hospital and had to surrender our sack lunches to hospital security because they weren't "kosher". Only in the Holy Land...
The Church of the Visitation where Mary and Elisabeth stayed

My favorite mural inside the Visitation Church

The supposed spring Mary stopped at while visiting the parents of John the Baptist
Thursday was our Herodian Fortress field trip to the West Bank, and I have to admit that this trip exceeded all expectations simply because the JC peeps are awesome. Even though it was freezing cold on top of the hill, or tell, or whatever it was, we still had a good time. Chelsea Owens made the trip there even more enjoyable while she entertained everyone with her violent camera abuse. Once we got off the bus and it was clearly not repairable, she proceeded to throw it down in front of unsuspecting students, who would then gape in horror. Then Jess Veater and I got to have a heart to heart discussion on the way home about our whole Jerusalem experience. Like I said, the people here make everything a hundred times better.
Chelsea and Kara V. showing off the pathetic remains of her broken camera
Anne, Carly, me, and Stefanie all bundled up on top of the hill
The separation wall that we pass each time we go to the West Bank
Sunday marked another highlight day here in Jerusalem with Easter. With services going on all over the city, it was tough choosing which ones to attend. However, the ones I went to really made the day worth it to me. A group of us headed over to the St. Augusta Tower Hospital grounds where we attended a sunrise service. Watching the sun come over the horizon as we sang Christian hymns and listened to sermons was amazing! The best part though, was when the pastor incorporated an object lesson with a racket and tennis ball. At one point, he attempted to a hit a ball gently into the crowd and ended up hitting the little wooden cross on the altar instead. It almost tipped over and you could tell from the look on his face he was fully ready to be struck down by the heavens. Awesome. After that we had some breakfast back at the JC and I proceeded to stuff my sweater full of food and smuggle it out of the Oasis since our sack lunches weren't looking hearty enough. Next we headed to the Garden Tomb where we all sung our little hearts out to Christian rock songs and praised Hallelujah as the sermons were given. The whole day was spectacular and I don't think I'll soon forget the experience of worshipping with these strangers. We all became united in our love for the Savior and it was phenomenal (can you tell I'm running out of superlatives?).
The breathtaking sunrise over Jerusalem on Easter Sunday
The pastor at St. Augusta just minutes before the tennis ball and cross incident...I almost died laughing
Me and my "food baby" walking out of the Oasis
Our Garden Tomb pastor who gave a great sermon, but the podium was my favorite
Finally, we get to today...which was the Herod and Essenes field trip. First we drove to Masada, which is the site where the last zealots (okay so they were actually the daggermen called the Sicarii, but minor detail) were defeated by the Romans in 73 AD. We hiked around, shouted out for the sake of echoes, and Miriam took the liberty of coloring my toe with yellow hilighter...which effectively disturbed the entire field trip group all day long. Then we were off to the Dead Sea where I opted to bask on the shores while everyone else got covered in mud and floated around in the water. I got many a dirty looks for my Palestine shirt, and a local Israeli even grilled me about it (clearly I took stupid pills this morning in thinking it was a good idea to wear a Palestine shirt to Israeli sites). Afterwards, we headed to the ridiculously crowded waterfall trail of Ein Gedi and then to Qumran, which is the site where many of the dead sea scrolls were found. Basically, everything has been so fantastic the last few days, that I don't know if I'll be able to leave this place after all.
Here's my "phalangical jaunditis" toe, pretty convincing huh?
Keri, me, Lara, and my Palestinian shirt in all it's glory, at the waterfalls of Ein Gedi
Valorie and I obviously doing something we shouldn't be doing...
Aleni, Jess, Chelsie, and Hayley looking very excited to learn about Qumran

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Palm fronds, Field trips, and Museums, Oh my

It's been an exciting past few days, I almost don't know where to begin. Maybe the beginning of the week will work. So, this past sunday was Palm Sunday. This means Jerusalem basically has an all day celebration. There are special church services everywhere and almost the entire city comes out into the streets for processions. Of course we wanted to take advantage of this opportunity, so all of the JC students headed out to the Mt. of Olives. It was such an awesome experience and we got to intermingle with so many different people! The best part was when Stefanie, Aleni, and I tagged along with a Polish Christian group who sang a variety of songs like Shine Jesus Shine. Smacking around palm fronds and cooking ourselves in the hot hot sun has never been more enjoyable.
Aleni, me, Stefanie, and our Polish friend Adam who taught us all the cool songs
The flooded streets atop the Mt. of Olives
The next day was our Christian field trip through all the churches of Jerusalem. We covered it all, from the church of the holy sepulchre to the terra sancta. It was great to visit so many different places of worship and feel the spirit and reverence in each one. My favorite was the church of st. mark where the older woman in charge of the church told us how the spirit translated language between her and a german man. I love listening to people tell stories, probably because I'm so bad at telling them myself. Haha.
Lauren, Miriam, me, and Eliza outside the church of the holy sepulchre
This is what was meant by the scripture about a camel fitting through the eye of a needle easier than a rich man being able to get into heaven. So me and the camel...pretty much the same size
Yesterday was a half free day and after debating over yet another sack lunch (I loathe the sack lunch) I was invited to visit the King David Museum. So our little group of five headed into the city and shopped on our way to the museum. It was a good review for our near eastern studies class and it was just nice to get out. Favorite quote of the trip was defintely Anne. I wish I had the picture to accompany it, but basically we looked at a display and Anne goes "Oooh! Photo-op! You be the headless one!" Awesome. We even made time to squeeze in a shave for the boys, who got a legit shaving job from a local.
A view of the Dome of the Rock and the Jerusalem Center from the top of King David's Tower
Anne and I with the Emperor Hadrian who apparently gets a little grabby