Sunday, November 29, 2009

Boat ride on the Sea of Galilee

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Sea of Galilee

The Sea of Galilee

where Christ called his Apostles, where he healed the sick, the lame, the blind, and performed many other miracles.

I had the most amazing 11 days of my life on the shores of Galilee.

Galilee was so beautiful. More pics to come.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Surf sesh on the Mediterranean!!!

We got to go to Tel Aviv again, but this time I was determined to rent a board not matter what because it started getting colder and I wasn't sure if I'll ever have the chance to surf in the Mediterranean Sea every again. Obviously these pictures are not in sequential order because this is a picture of when the sun was setting and we got to just chill and watch couple of wind surfers surf.

After enjoy a mean surf sesh in the Mediterranean, I just floated on the board for a little bit and just soaked it in. It was great.

Here is a picture of me all happy cuz it was super tell you the truth, the waves were so much better the last time we came, but I just wanted to get in the water. So I went to this place where they rent boards, and they told me they weren't renting boards that day because it was too windy for people to surf. I tried another place and this guy that was running the place told me that he was closing. I told him I was from Hawaii and he kinda lightened up and told me that he goes to Hawaii every year to surf and that all of his children were born there!

So, even though he was closing shop, he decided to just leave the keys under neath the mat and told me that I could just put the board back in the shop when I was done with it because he was going to leave as soon as he gave me the board! He was way cool about it. I also asked him how much it was per hour, and he told me 50 shekels/hour which is about $12, which is super cheap, but I decided I would ask him for a student discount and he said..."just give me however much you want, we respect people from Hawaii" - I'm glad I mentioned that I was from Hawaii...well I kinda had to because I was desperate and wanted him to know that I have come ALL THIS WAY to get a surf board! Anyhow, I kept it for about 2 hours and paid him 50 shekels since I didn't want to take advantage of his kindness. Alohas uncle.

Overall it was a GREAT day. This is a picture of us from the day. Brian Oats, Anna Banana, Brooklynn the bridge, Jewish Kate, and myself. I kinda wanted to post more pictures of all the biblical sites we've gone to but the internet just stopped working well so I'll do that another time.
Salamu walaykum!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Preview of Egypt Pictures...

I was hoping that I could get some more pictures from Egypt up, but the connection is being really slow here, so here are just a few of the Pyramids of Giza. This one was is from the first night we got to Cairo, we went to this light and sound show that thoroughly educated us about these Pyramids. It was pretty cool.

Another shot from when we were at the light and sound show.
turned out awesome.

The next day we got to go in the far left pyramid you see in this picture. Went up the hill and got pictures with all three of them. These things are UNREAL.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

a BUNCH of pics

ALOHA, Marhaba, and Shalom from the HOLY LAND!!

Alright, I'm at the Hebrew University right next to Jerusalem Center and using the internet here. The connection is a lot faster so I was able to upload a bunch of pictures. I'll try my best to explain what each of the pictures are. I don't know if all of the historical imformation I give you are correct so don't go around telling people I told you the info. lol

We will be heading to Egypt in two days for a 10 day field trip. While we're there, I will not take my laptop with me so this is probably the last update for the next week and a half.

Hope you enjoy

This is a underground bell shaped stone quarry caves that we visited. This particular stone quarry cave is in Bet Guvrin and was from the Byzantine period, the beginning of the seventh century CE.

The bell caves were amazing. Its hard to imagine how they were able to get all that rock out from so deep.

This is one of the best preserved olive presses in all of Israel. After crushing the olives in the device seen below, they would bring the olives in baskets seen below the log, and using the principle of leverage, the olives would be pressed here for oil.

This is the first part of the olive pressing process. I think this is from like the first century 200o years old.

This is a pigeon coop where they kept all these pigeons for all sorts of purposes. The pigeons were used for food, their droppings for fertilizer, and also for sacrifices. The little holes in the wall are for the pigeons to nest in. This cave was kept up so well. It was amazing.

WE went to Tel Aviv on Sunday since we had a free day. I found a beach in front of Hilton Hotel where everyone was surfing!!! Next time I go I'm definitely going to rent a board and surf! I don't know if you can tell, but this little bay was nice because the waves were breaking nice and wide and had some nice lefts which I love. I sat here and watched people surfing for about 10-15 minutes wishing I was in the water. The sets that came in were about waist to chest high so they were fun waves!
Beautiful sunset on the Mederterranian Sea. This beach is called the Jerusalem Beach where we spent majority of our day.

After getting to Tel Aviv, we jumped in the water till lunch time, then we walked around the city for a little bit. We went to this market called the Carmel Market, which we originally thought was called Camel Market. lol But I got the best Falafel at this market. The pita had falafel, hummus, bunch of veggies, this white sauce they put in it, and all this was super good. The Falafel was about 10 sheckles which is about $2.00. It filled me up

Me at the market. I also got freshed squeezed didnt taste like American lemonade but it was super refreshing. We also had some gelato that was really, really good.

A bunch of us at the beach. from the left; Marni, me, Clark Reynolds Cahoon, Jewish Kate, and Brian Oats :) The vans that took us to Tel Aviv dropped us off right infront of the beach. As soon as I walked off the van, the sea breeze blew in my face and I just took a deep breath. Salt water and the salt air and the sun definitely makes me happy. I didn't realize how much I missed it until I got to the beach. lol I don't think I have ever lived away from the ocean for an extended period of time so I think its just puts me right back where I need to be.

This is Golgotha. We went to the Garden Tomb on our Sabbath. Traditionally, this is one of the places that is thought to be where Christ was placed in the stone tomb and resurrected here. There are other places that are thought to be where Christ was burried, but this park is well kept by an international Christian organization and there were a lot of people praying, singing, worshipping in their own way. There was a Japanese guy reading his Bible and writing down his thoughts. I knew he was Japanese because he was writing in Japanese. We also came across a group of Fijian soldiers serving in a near by country, I forget what country, but they were in Israel for two days and they wanted to come visit the Garden Tomb. They sang couple of hymns in Fijian and just listening to them instantly took me back to the islands.

The cliff you see behind me is where they "stoned" people. Stoned, if you didn't know (cuz I didn't know either) meant they were pushed down the cliff. Supposedly many bones were found at the bottom of this cliff from the bodies that were pushed off the cliff as a form of punishment. Some believe that the Christ's tomb was actually at the top of this cliff.
President Hinckley also visited this Gard Tomb. As he walked around with President Brown, one of the head administrators of the center, President Hinckley just stopped and said, "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem" I think we can all do that.

Even though we are not sure if this is the definite place where Christ's tomb was historically, I was able to feel the Spirit strong and reflect upon the Sacrifice of our Savior.
We also got to sing a couple of hymns as a group. We just wanted to keep singing, and we did. Our group sings pretty well. We sounded good. People came around and listen to us sing.

It was a good Sabbath.

This is at David's Tower, or David's Citadel. Located near Jaffa Gate of the Old City of Jerusalem, this citadel was built to strengthen the defenses of the Old City about 2nd century BC. King Hezekiah may have been one of the first to fortify this area with this citadel. The citadel has been added on to over the years as Jerusalem got conquered by different religious groups. When Muslims conquered Jerusalem in 638, they added a minaret, where they do the call to prayer from. That tower, is not called David's Tower. Now it is used as a museum with hundereds of artifacts to describe and educate people about the history of Jerusalem. This tiled floor you see is the original flooring that kept really well. I touched it.

A group pictures at Zedekiah's cave. It is another underground quarry that supposedly had tunnels going all the way to Jericho. I don't know if its true, but supposedly Kind Zedekiah escaped through these tunnels during the invasion of the Assyrians to Jericho but was captured there anyways.

Called the St. Augustine Chapel. Beautiful chapel where the German Lutherans worship (I think). We got to sing here. The bell towers here is the highest point you can get in Jerualem and you are able to enjoy a 360 view of the surrounding areas from atop the bell tower. The bells here also ring in harmony and corresponds with the bells of the church of the Redeemer in the Old City of Jerusalem and another church (I can't really remember but I think its the Dormition Abbey church). This church, located on top of Mt. of Olives also is a charity hospital.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Ramparts Walk

This is me at the top of Nabi Samwil, or the church/mosque where it is said to be the Prophet Samuel's tomb or burial place. Since Jews, Christians, and Muslims all believe in the old testament in a fairly similar context and its prophets, this place has an interesting history. Christians built it as a church at first, but was later taken over by Muslisms, and now the top part of the church is changed and resembles a mosque, and in the basement is a cenotaph marking the place where Samuel was burried where Jews worship, pray, and study. The mosque isnt functioning, but the presence of both Muslim and Jewish religions are prominent in this building. The tower you see is called a minaret where the Call to Prayer is given from 5 times a day for the Muslims.

This is one part on top of the Old City's wall that we got to walk around. Behind me you can see the Dome of the Rock on the Temple mount in the Muslim Quarter of the Old City.

Saturday, September 5, 2009


Some of us at the Wailing Wall or also called the Western Wall. It is a very important site for the Jews where they come and pray at the wall. You can't really see, but behind us, there are a bunch of Jewish people praying with their heads on the wall. The wall dates back to 19 A.D. and was part of Herod's Temple.

This day we actually walked ALL around the Old City. We entered at the New Gate on the north side of the city, walked down to Jaffa Gate on the Western side of the city and walked down to the south side through the Armenian Quarter of the city, then walked down to Dung gate on the south side and back up through the Jewish and Christian Quarter and out Damascus gate. We also visited the City of David and some of the excavation sites that were there just outside of the city walls on the south side! It was very HOT and HUMID. But we seriously just trail blaised it and it was totally worth it.

This is the view of the Old City from the top balcony of the Jerusalem Center @ night. What you see in this pic from the nearest to the furthest: East Jerusalem where the center is located, the Old City where you see the Dome of the Rock, then the furthest is to the top right hand corner of the pic is West Jerusalem. Not in the picture, but just to the left of where we are is the Mt. of Olives where the Orson Hyde Garden is, where he came and dedicated the this land for the gathering of Jews, and right below that is the Garden of Gethsemane.

This is the top balcony where the above picture was taken from. What you see is auditorium of the center located on the top floor of the center. We have our church meetings in here as we overlook Jerusalem. I believe that this auditorium is also housed with the largest pipe organ in the Middle East. The balconies of the center are filled with Olive and Pomegranate trees.

It took me forever to post these pics so I don't know how often they'll come but enjoy these for now :)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Old City

We went into the Old city and walked around east and west Jerusalem. It was amazing. The old city is filled with merchants selling little souvenirs and you would see Christians, Muslims, and Jews. This is such an interesting place. The Old city was filled with churches, mosques, and synagogues. So many people of different faiths in one place.

well, im going to go take more pictures of the old city...from the upper balconies of the Jerusalem Center.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

I'm here in the Holy Land

Right now I am sitting in one of the many balconies here at the Jerusalem Center that overlook the Holy Land, being serenaded by Ramadan chants that echo throughout the city. The Dome of the Rock is slightly lit up and the view from these balconies are just simply breath taking. The money and the time it took here to travel was well worth it.

The Jerusalem Center is a breathtaking structure. Every room has some kind of view of the Old City and Jerusalem as a whole. On the top floor of the 8 levels is an Auditoriums with huge arched windows that overlook the entire city. My room has a balcony and you step out to see the Dome of the Rock right in front of it.

We were warmly welcomed by many of the faculty and staff who are not all members of the Mormon faith. Some of them are actually Muslim, Palestinian, and Jewish.

I must have taken like 500 pictures just today. Too bad we're not allowed to post them here at the center due to connection reasons, but I will post more pics as soon as I get the chance to.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Traveling East...

Monday night: said good bye to all my wonderful Utah friends, thanks guys I had fun in Utah.
I slept maybe 15 minutes before my sister took me to the Salt Lake City airport at 4 am in the morning because I was packing and taking things out so that my luggage won't weigh more than 50lbs. Monday was just a crazy day all in all...I was excited, nervous, and stressed all day...but now that we're in the Vienna, Austria airport, I feel a little relieved. We have just a couple more hours till we get to the Holy Land.

I sat next to a real cool family heading to Macedonia for their daughter's wedding there on the way to Austria.

Here are some pics for the mean while. Most of them are just us waiting around in various airports. We went from Salt Lake to Denver to Washington and now in I will not be able to post too many pics in Jerusalem so enjoy these for now.