The trip down the mountain was infinitely more pleasant. Stefanie was fully convinced her finger had fallen off, but I wouldn't let her take her gloves off to look until we were almost all the way to the bottom. Turns out I was right, although I have to admit I was a little concerned. We spent some good time bonding on the rocks and cheering as everyone made their descent. Here is Priscilla, Stefanie, me, and Moon looking happy to be at the bottom.The Mount Sinai adventure ended and we returned to our hotel where a small group of us basked in the sunlight by the pool while getting down to what I like to call "the dirt" of things. It was some pretty juicy stuff, and I have to admit that I gained some new perspective on things and people. I'm always happy to discover that my first impressions are wrong. Anyways, the lounge-fest was followed by a lunch of sorts and a whole lot more of bus time. The highlight came when we got to stop by the kibbutz (this explanation will come in a back entry) for dinner. Our dinner crowd got a little rowdy, especially when Richelle blew chunks of rice and Steve came over to share a mission story about a baptism, a tongan, and some VERY large pants. This was followed by a mad dash to the ice cream stand where we were more than happy to devour our delicious Kibbutz desserts. Can I just say that I love these girls? Because I really do. Anywho, the night finally concluded with our return to beloved Jeru. Now we can again shower with real shampoo, use bathrooms without fear, and eat salad until our hearts are content. Thank goodness for the Holy Land.
Monday, February 2, 2009
Back in Jeru
I really can't believe I am still awake enough to write this blog, but we are going to do it anyways. I have officially returned from the land of Egypt without any injuries or diseases...that I know of at least. It was quite possibly the most intense 10 days of my life since I got here, but completely worth it. I wish I could give you all a full description of everything, because it was brilliant. But alas, I don't have enough time to blog and you don't have enough time to waste reading it. So again, I will attempt to sum it up. But it's probably going to take a few blogs to recap, so I'll be doing back-posts. I'll work my way backwards, so just bear with me y'all. Just in the last 24 hours (which I've been awake for...straight up) I've got enough to fill a post. First, just imagine waking up at 2:00am to hike Mount Sinai. Bundled up in sweaters, scarves, and any other clothing we could fit on, our group of 78+ students and faculty began the hike up. It was cold, dark, and starry. The first half was pretty decent, but altitude sickness started to kick in for the latter half and I found myself gasping for air just to keep my water down. However, through reminiscing about elementary school teachers, singing B*witched songs, and listening to Richelle's superior storytelling skills, everyone made it to the top. Then came the hard part. Pretty sure it was cold enough to induce frostbite on top of the mountain. So we huddled together in tight groups, sang some hymns, and watched the sunrise together. This really is what made everything worth it....