Is Israel Safe…

Many people have asked me if Israel is safe.  Blunt simple answer is…. Yes, Israel is safe. I know that for a fact and coming here confirms it. Here in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City, Jewish children run around playing with no worry of terrorist or things like that. Yes, parents and relatives keep an eye on them but they’re not like stay close, duck for cover every time you see someone that’s not a Jew or something like that. It’s not like that, girls the age of twelve go to the shuk to do the shopping, girls my age walk around the streets.

But people do take precautions for their own safety. Unless the area is completely safe they take precautions. I have seen ordinary citizens carry a gun (in clear view) around for protection, parents making sure their children stay close when out of their community. Same as many people in North America, even Australia. I must say being here is a whole lot safer than staying in the big cities of North America where at least 1-2 murders happen a day in many of them. Here, if something happens even down in Eilat we hear of it, (if you pick up the daily news paper).

I feel safe here, even with the military on the streets with guns, that just makes me feel safer because I know if something did happen, they would be right there to help. But you should always ask someone, such as a tourist information office, where should I Not go. If there are any problem areas they will tell you, and you should always ask, because maybe it wasn’t before but it is now. Just stay out of problem areas and you’re fine.

 

Today we went down to the City of David with a friend and a guy that Dad and Mom met at the Hostel here. It was good, they have done more excavations. If you ever make it to Israel, you’ve gotta make a stop to the city of David. Go through Hezekiah’s tunnel, warrens shaft, and see David’s Palace, it is just so amazing there! I also really enjoyed it this time because it’s spring/summer and the flowers are in bloom, and the city of David has beautiful flowers, so I took some time to capture the moment….

                                               DSCF7931 signedDSCF7934 signedThese are very beautiful flowersDSCF7935 signed

                          I am very pleased of how sharp these images turned out.DSCF7942 signed                                                DSCF7945 signed DSCF7949 signed                                  DSCF7950 signed

                                                        DSCF7951 Signed

Shabbat Shalom Everyone!!

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Arrived!!

We have arrived! We arrived last night at 10:15 in Jerusalem. We departed from my Uncles house at about 6:00 Tuesday night. Then we drove from there to Melbourne airport. There we ran into a little trouble… we had booked one way tickets to Tel-Aviv and on the Qatar airways screen when we went to check in, a warning appeared on the computer screen saying “a return ticket is required”. If there was no return ticket, we could be deported and Qatar Airlines would be fined 5,000 dollars. So because of that they would not check us in. All because of the word “is” and the chance of losing 5,000 dollars. Finally after much discussion, Qatar airways said that they could check us in as far as Ammon, Jordan, then we would have to collect our baggage and recheck in so it would be Royal Jordanian who would make the decision to take the risk and be responsible if we were deported. So we said our goodbyes, which was very short due to our late check in. We arrived on time and were not late. The customs officer was very nice and understanding. We took off from Melbourne just before 11:00. We then landed in Qatar at 6:00 in morning. We got assistance even though we never asked for it, they just gave it to us (probably due to having Deaf in the family). But it was because of that we found out that we were entitled to a free breakfast and lunch by Qatar because our stay was longer than 5 hours. And after six hours in Qatar we got on a plane to Jordan. It is really an odd feeling when most girls and women around you are wearing a head covering, and a good majority only had their eyes showing and a few were also wearing the veil.

When we arrived in Jordan we had no idea what we needed to do. There was a guy there who was yelling out Tel-Aviv, Tel-Aviv, he asked us if we were going there. We didn’t know what he was up to so we told him no. Another guy asked us if we were going to Tel-Aviv and he was more official looking than the other guy so we said yes and tried to explain our situation he told us to go to a desk, we did and the people told us to go with the man. So after that confusion we did go. And they took us and the other people that were going to Tel-Aviv downstairs. They explained to everyone that they had to search everyone’s luggage, we tried to inform him that we didn’t have ours and that we needed to pick it up then recheck it in. He said that they would go get our luggage and bring it to us. And we found out just a while later that they had to bring everyone’s luggage too. We were all exhausted from the plane rides and waiting in Qatar, we could barely stand and if we could sit could not stay awake for more than a few minutes. When ours arrived, he took us to the side asked us questions and then took us to the front/side of the line. THEN we had to take apart our backpacks piece by piece, we didn’t have to say this is my flashlight, that’s, my shirt, hat etc, etc, etc, we just had to recognize that each item was ours and the big bulky things were just put through an X-ray machine. But it was all for a very good reason, and the people that inspected things were very nice and kind. They had to inspect all check-in luggage because we had gone through Qatar and Jordan and there are many people that would like to slip something inside our luggage such as a bomb, poison, things that are sold on the black market, and basically things that should not be on a plane or enter a country. They were very kind during the whole process, and gave us a glass of cold water afterwards (Very refreshing after having to drink airplane water). We got checked in (no questions about one way ticket) everything went smooth. After that we found out that Israel had sent a team to Jordan to make sure that nothing bad would happen while we’re getting on the plane.

When we got on the plane I don’t think I stayed awake for much more than take off and landing. Erin didn’t even stay awake for take off! I don’t understand how she could sleep through that.

After a 45 min flight we got to Tel-Aviv. There were no problems with customs letting us through, we were one of the first to get through (unusual for my family) there were no problems. We got our bags alright. Then we went outside to get a shurut (I don’t know how it is actually spelled). The driver was nice. It was neat to see Jerusalem sitting on a hill with electric lights. You know how big cities look at night with street lights from far away. That’s what it looked like, but just sitting on hill.

Off topic thought: What would King David have thought if he saw Jerusalem like that?

We finally got to bed at 11-11:30, So it was a late night on top of the fact that we were already exhausted. And guess what……… nope we didn’t sleep in until 10:00 in the morning…… We got up at 6:00 in the morning. We had breakfast at about 8:30, then headed out for a walk. It was like as soon as we stepped out onto the street and started walking our feet just moved on their own and we walked down the same path we did almost everyday when we were here last time. Then after lunch we went to the temple institute but we didn’t go through the museum part, only the gift shop. It had some neat things.

It is so good to be back!

So now here are the pictures

DSCF7785 Sunrise

DSCF7796Hostel (looks worse than what is actually is. the mess on the beds is because we just got up when I took this)

DSCF7828 Taken at the wall of the old city over looking the Kidron valley

DSCF7844 Background Mount of Olives, Buildings just off the Temple mount.

Yahuweh gets the credit for everything. It is because of Him that we got here. So He gets all the Glory and credit

Packing!!

Today is final packing day! We will be heading to the Airport tonight after supper/tea at my Uncles house. We are having Pizzas!!

Here are some pictures of my what I pack in my backpack and what it looks like after. I also hope to remember to weigh it and post that too.

DSCF7753 (Beginning)

 

DSCF7758 (End product)

Weight 17.5 kg

We will be going directly to Jerusalem, then up to Afula where we will be house sitting. Last time we were in Israel we camped about 1/2 – 3/4 of the time not always fun so this will be a different experience.

And Yesterday I got myself a tin flute (tin whistle, penny whistle, Irish whistle) So maybe while we are there I could learn how to play it. My sister is taking her actual flute, but my dad is leaving his drum behind. It will be so much more easier to walk with out it. And hopefully all we have to carry when we get there is the laptop and that all the carryon’s will go in backpack upon leaving the airport.

Advice anyone going there you can either rent a car, or take the bus. The bus (pronounced boos) system is very good. If you are way out there they may get far and few but there will always be buses from after sunset saturday until 2:00 Friday.

Will post about our trip when we get there and I have time.

Flowers and Trees

We went to a nursery near Castlemaine which had a butterfly house, but the butterfly house was closed. So we went in to look at the plants. These are some of the pictures I took of the plants (mostly flowers)

DSCF7622 sighned

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I had a lot of fun taking these.

The photos below were taken at a park where we went for the afternoon.

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Have a good weekend. And a very good Shabbat!

Handkerchief test

Two days ago we went down to Castlemaine, as a family. It was a damp morning so most of us wore sweaters and things. Some of us wore toques (or beanies), I didn’t have a warm hat so I wore one of my dads old hankies, folded like this…. that was one reason, the other was I wanted to do a test.

DSCF7634 croped  I wanted to see peoples reaction with people who wore bandanas and things like that on their heads. As you can see I am dressed modestly and this is usually how I dress. I  just decided that day I would put something on my head. To clarify things I don’t wear head coverings as I have said in the “about me” section, this was just a test.

As as far as an unplanned test goes I think I got the reaction I wanted……

No one that I passed would look me in the eye. When I dress as I normally do, people would smile and sometimes say hi, but as soon as I put the hankie on my head everyone acted different. It was as if I had something other than a hat on my head, I was an outsider, not normal, not one that they should associate with. There’s a group here in Australia called the Brethren, and they consider themselves perfect and better than anyone else, there are other religions too that try and push their beliefs of head coverings on people which gives them the wrong picture. It also puts pressure on those who like to wear scarfs on their head not because of religion but because they like to. So I can say that my test was accomplished, and I confirmed what I have known for a long time, if I put something on my head other than a hat, I am judged for someone I am not.

There are people who wear head coverings, as I have stated before if that is your conviction from our Heavenly Father, then go for it. I don’t have that conviction, but I do like wearing scarfs and things on my head for style or to keep my head warm.

Well I think that is it for now.

Have a great week, and hopefully it will be a warm one.

DSCF7532 <- The author

Queen Victoria Market

Yesterday we went to Queen Victoria Market in Melbourne Victoria. And it rained the whole day…. oh well we can’t change the weather it was still a great day. Any way…. the history of it is quite interesting. It started as a small market then expanded, eventually it reached Melbourne’s first official cemetery. There were about 10,000 people buried there including the remains of John Batman (he was the founder of Melbourne). In 1917 when the market extended into the cemetery 914 bodies were exhumed and re-interred in other cemeteries. This leaves another just over 9,000 bodies still buried under the market.

The Vic Market in 2003 was equipped with 1,328  solar photovoltaic panels which cover 2000 square meters, and generates…….. 252,000 kilowatts of electricity each year!

Victoria Market is also the largest market in the southern hemisphere covering 17 acres. It is huge it is a very busy market but nothing compared to the shouk noise wise, but definitely bigger than other markets I’ve been to.

It has fruit and veg, and a whole building just for meat and fish, we heard one mum tell her kid “are you ready to go into the Kingdom of Meat?” my mom and I thought it was cute. The market also also has retail shops. The prices are not too bad. My dad got a new belt.

We loved our trip to Melbourne, We got to visit camping stores and ride on the trams….. the city is nice but it is just too busy for me I prefer the country or in a smaller town. It is just a too big and busy for me.

So that was our trip if you would like more information go to either Wikipedia or http://www.qvm.com.au/qvm/market_history.aspx  <- is the official site for Vic market history and what ever else you want to know.

We also saw a man rolling out rock candy! It was so neat to see him roll it and how they do it all. I got some pictures too. Ok now these ones are absolutely not the greatest of photos I have taken, and it doesn’t help that it was taken through glass.

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Have a good weekend.

Miracles

Today was another walk to the library. It was good. My mom and I went shopping this afternoon I got a pair of black leggings, because one of my skirts barely cover my knee so I figured I need some kind of leggings. Mom also found a shirt that she likes. She has been looking for awhile, so I’m very glad she has found one, now for the rest of her wardrobe. LOL. We haven’t gotten new clothes since 2011 spring. So we are all getting practically new wardrobes.

totaling (for the majority)

  • 2-4 shirts
  • 2-3 bottoms (pants/skirts)
  • 3-4 pairs socks
  • 1 pair Pj’s
  • 2 pairs shoes
  • 6 undies
  • 1-2 pairs of long johns/tights
  • 2 undershirts

That is the basics. Imagine having only that for your wardrobe. And it is exactly the same for about 7-8 months.

It reminds me of all the miracles/blessings that I have forgotten. Our clothes endured backpacking for over 7 months, and I can say 1/2 of my clothes were from 2010 and before! But they didn’t fall apart until after we finished our trip. Ever wonder how the Israelites clothes lasted through 40 years in the wilderness (Deu 29:5  “And I have led you forty years in the wilderness. Your garments have not worn out on you, and your sandals have not worn out on your feet.)? It wasn’t because they were top quality (they were home made) but because He kept them until He knew they could get new ones. That is exactly what He did for us.

Another one is, last winter my family rented a cottage in Nova Scotia. There was a neighbour who was the “caretaker” of the house when there was no one staying, he sometimes asked my Dad and older brother to help him. And more often than once he would bring over things such as food from his freezer as a thank you. But this is one I remember the most. It was grocery shopping and library day as we lived 1/2 hour –45 min out of the main town we usually only went once a week. We went as usual but we knew we didn’t have enough money for all the groceries we needed, we would either go again later another day when the money came in, or we would have to make the food stretch as far as we could. We arrived home with all we could afford. Not 5 minutes after that the neighbour shows up with a trunk full of food even meat which in Canada is getting more and more expensive, we couldn’t afford meat with out straining finances to the Max. I think I cried when I saw that trunk of groceries. Many people who read this blog cannot understand what it feels like to know that by the end of the week you could be on the verge of not starvation but really severe hunger pains. I am almost crying right now remembering. How many times has that happened to my family but it never touched us.

Who ever is reading this remember one thing Yahuweh Never forsakes His people. Even when it seems to be at a dead end and hope is no where in sight, He brings something and we can keep going.

So I think I will end this post here. Think about these stories. You don’t hear about this kind of stuff much any more. Every miracle no matter how small is a miracle. People need to hear of miracles. So please keep telling of the miracles He does in your lives and in the lives of others.