Here I find myself again, procrastinating study in order to blog. It's really the only time I ever feel like doing it. Essentially, if it weren't for my tests, this blog would not be getting updated. Now there's a sad thought. Anywho, loads of fun to report this week despite tests of death. Last week after round one of tests we had an Israeli Folk Dance activity that was a little less culturally enlightening than planned, but fun anyway. Our energetic instructor definitely kept it real.
Here's the group and our instructor learning some "authentic" Israeli moves.
Following the dance we wound down with a little High School Musical viewing which I sang practically all the songs too. The poor people at this center have to put up with me singing those stupid songs all the time, but I just can't help myself. But the fun doesn't stop there! Once 9pm rolled around, it was time for Capture the Flag: Ninjas vs. Pirates. While the game wasn't quite as organized as most, and J.J. managed to capture our flag within the first 10 minutes of round one, we entertained ourselves anyway. Whizzing around corners like a ninja has awesome written all over it.
Sadly my camera is being retarded as of late, so you get this blurry picture of Sharon, me, and Josh showing off our Ninja moves.
Sunday was more class and test prep, but after lunch I got to go to the Gypsy center and help some of the Gypsy children with their homework. It was so neat to talk to them and learn more about their culture. I loved it. Explaining different words in English as we helped with the homework was also proved educational. Stefanie's charade describing "icy" was definitely a highlight.Here's Emilie, Chris, Anne, Stefanie, and I with the kids.
Chelsea's 20th birthday saved the evening from being totally lost to studying. After dinner we went out for dessert in West Jeru and ate the most delicious crepes I've ever tasted. We even tried to dance with some locals in the street, but they shunned us and turned the music off. Apparently our dancing skills are worse than I thought. The real party however, began on the way home when we were picked up by the most pimp taxi I have ever ridden. This taxi van had neon and strobe lights, extra bass speakers, and a flip down screen to watch music videos. So we basically rocked out the whole ride home and were sad when we finally arrived back.
Here is Chelsea the birthday girl in all her glory.Monday marked the end of my love affair with.....Arabic. We met for one last time with the charming Mr. Ayman Jebara and took, quite possibly, the easiest final of my life. I will be forever in his debt for teaching me important phrases like Bukra fil mesh mesh (when hell freezes over) and the four different ways to say no (that's right, they need four different ways to tell you no). I will no longer be able to wait for my name to be called on the attendance roll as E-lice. No more falling asleep in the middle of his class and waking up to him muttering some Arabic swear word swiftly under his breath. And so I bid Arabic a fond farewell. Maesalame.
This is our happy little class with Ayman in the middle. He really did like us best I think. Except maybe Eliza haha.
Finally, we get to yesterday, which was our field trip to Bethlehem. We left early in the morning to get across through the separation wall and then proceeded to a lecture where I sat by Lindsey, who fell asleep with her sunglasses on and then woke herself up when she started to snore. Ah, how I love memories. After that we went to Bethlehem University where we watched a really well done film on the Palestinian Refugees. Then there was a panel of students that we got to ask questions. The whole experience on the campus provided me with some serious contemplations, and I left with some new insights on the current conflict. Next was the Church of the Nativity where Christ was supposedly born.
Jessica and I inside the great hall of the Church of the Nativity.
Unfortunately, I had one of my not-so-shining moments right after the above picture. A small group of us were waiting to go further inside the chapel when we began having an intense discussion on a sensitive subject. I recall chuckling softly at one point, but we definitely weren't being raucous or anything. So when the time came to move forward, a rather angry looking monk flew towards me and two other girls, literally forcing out of the hall. He then told us in no uncertain terms to leave the church. So there's one for the kids, I was kicked out of the Church of the Nativity by a real life monk.
Hayley, Kara, and I looking sad and penitent after being cast outside of the church.