Our trip to Tiberias

We went to Tiberias yesterday, to help out a friend, then we took a walk along the marina. It was hazy over lake Kinneret. After that we came back to Afula.

But it is now official, I like Afula better than Tiberias. Tiberias is nice, its touristy and on the sea of galilee and all that. Still even though Afula doesn’t have any major tourist attractions it’s a whole lot calmer and not the busy whirl wind that Tiberias is. You don’t feel the bustle and hustle that you do in Tiberias.

Here are some pictures of the Marina.

Afula and Tiberias 073 signedI didn’t realize that there were sparrows in the pipe until after I downloaded the pictures and went through them. I was aiming for the seagull. I got a nice surprise there.

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At the marina they’ve built the front end of a boat that kids can play on. It isn’t much and its more for decoration but its still fun for the kids.

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Then there’s this old mosque that’s just up from the marina, its not in use any more I don’t think it has been for years.

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It was a good day but, by the time we got back both Mom and I had a colossal headache. I guess going to bed at 10 and getting up at 5:30-6:00 don’t mix. Oh well…

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Sunset and Moon

Last night was the new moon. We went down to the look out and took some pictures of it.

Afula and New Moon 061 signedthe moons right smack dab in the middle of the sky.                    ^

Earlier yesterday I was down at the look out with Ben taking pictures. Then we decided to go down to spot the new moon. The sunset was awesome too.

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(my brother isn’t taller than my sister yet, he’s just up on the railing, he’s getting there though)

It was fun, but, all too soon we had to head home for supper. I enjoy taking pictures there. The only down fall of it is that it never changes and the only difference is the the sun, clouds, moon and stars.

But, the view down on Afula is truly beautiful.

The moon last night was so big it wasn’t a problem to spot. It was right there!

Tonight is the beginning of Shabbat. So we have a cleaning day ahead of us!

Afula in the rain

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Israel hasn’t been getting their average rain fall so far this year. But that may change as, today it rained most of the morning. Mom and I got caught in a downpour while waiting for the bus. We laughed about it though, it was even more funny because we didn’t bring our rain jackets. So we had to stand under a tree across the road. There was a lady waiting for the bus too but, she had an umbrella. When the bus came, she let us go first, she was chuckling about it too. It was good. I love it when it rains, especially when I have something dry to go back to, that’s not a tent.

On the way back I got off below our street instead of the top so I could take some pictures. Mom kept going to the top. It felt really good, I like taking pictures when not in a hurry. Then I walked up the hill to the Apartment.

Both Pictures are of the valley, Afula is below and Nazareth on the hill.

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The valley is known as the Jezreel valley, its full of farms and other agricultural businesses. Between here and the Hula valley, that’s where the majority of farming is done.

I hope they get plenty of rain this year, it will help with next year. I love seeing Israel become green after being dry and brown, from the dry summer. Last year we got to see it literally grow before our eyes.

Shabbat Shalom

Surviving-the-Enduring-Race

A visit to the Eternal Capital

Afula and Jerusalem 100 signed and bible verse

We are back! I do believe I made improvement on my fear. Its not as bad as it once was, and it was fun. My parents (especially my dad) was like take the picture, take the picture! Get over your fear, and I’m like you keep doing that and I’m Not going to take the picture, thank you very much, now backup. I don’t like to take pictures under the stress of someone telling me what to do because I already know. Now if the person wants to suggest something that’s different.

Anyway, our time there was great. We got the 7:40 bus from Afula, we went shopping for a backpack for Joseph and scarves for Erin and I. We found the scarves and found Joseph a backpack.

After that we went to the Imperial, then met up with a friend, got pizza before sunset, because that Night was the beginning of Sukkot, and therefore a high Sabbath. It was SO awesome! Did I mention how much I love it there? That night we went to the wall, then headed back for bed.

The next morning after breakfast we headed down to the city of David (we checked out too). We spent most of the morning there. It was good.

OH!!! I found out more about my almost top favorite thing about the city of David! My extended family thinks I’m crazy, my family isn’t so keen on my interest with it either, but there’s just something about it that makes it so real for me. It’s the toilet. Amazing, huh? I hope you weren’t expecting something more exciting.

In area G they have excavated a house a huge house actually, and they say it was a rich mans house, and in that house they found a toilet.

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See the square piece of rock with a hole in it? Well that’s the toilet.

I heard this from a tour guide (I listened in while they stopped in area G), I’ll just do a briefing.

How do they know that this was a wealthy house? By the size? Yeah maybe, but you probably know a low income family with a 2 floor house too. They found a chair made from wood, and this wood was from way up north, and only a rich man could afford it or a well off one. But how do they know that it was a RICH mans house? Simple ( you know where I’m going with this don’t you? of course you do), the TOILET! At that time, if you needed to go to the bathroom you head out into the field. Only a very Rich and important man would have a toilet, and indoor septic. You might ask how they know it’s a toilet, well… the hole in the middle is a good clue. Another good clue is the fact that they found um… excrement. Fossilized of course, and I find this fascinating they were able to send it in and find out what this person ate. The most likely last person to use it ate… OH the suspense! Raw meat! How do they know this? They found worms in the excrement, which you only find in raw meat because if you cook it there are no more worms (that is, they are dead).

Maybe I should become an archeologist. I love this kind of thing, but, no I think I would rather be behind a camera. A good thought though, maybe I’ll take it up on the side?

The fact that they found a toilet to me, proves that it was a house, a home, it was lived in. And it makes it so much more alive, and real, not just a house that was excavated but a home. The your guide said more about it but, I’ll let you find out for yourself.

When I was listening I was so excited! I always wondered and wanted to know more about it. I loved hearing about it! In fact I almost jumped up and down afterwards. I know, that is SO mature. Not really, but, that made my day. Father knew what would make my day. He knew that learning more about the toilet (so interesting isn’t it), would bring joy to my day. No matter how weird that it. And I know you agree with my extended family, I’m crazy.

I just spent most of a post talking about an ancient toilet. How weird is that?!

After the city of David we wandered to the square, then walked back down and sat by the Menorah.

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Then after that I went for a 45 minute walk around. Spotted 2 minionite ladies, got a picture of the zion gate. Then met up with Mom and Dad, started back up to the square picked up Erin and Ben, and saw this.

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They were heading down to the Wall, and singing as they walked. You know, even though I don’t have proof of Jewish heritage, I feel so proud when I see the IDF. If I could when I turn 18 and it is Fathers will, I would not hesitate to join them. But, that’s another subject.

After the sunset we got supper, and went to catch the tram to the bus station. As we were waiting they started telling people to move away. Apparently, someone left a bag and there was a possibility of a bomb. Sorry but the camera was in the pack and I didn’t get a picture. They sectioned off the area. About 10 minutes later the trams were back on track. It was a false alarm. So, while in Israel do not leave your bag behind.

We made it to the bus station for the 7:40 bus back. Ha, that’s funny I didn’t even think about that! 7:40 there and 7:40 back. It was a good 2 days.

Conquering a Fear

My task for the end of this week is to get over my fear of street photography, and improve in most if not all areas.

Yes, I have a fear of street photography, I’ve always been scared that someone’s going to come up and tell me not to take their picture, or something like that. Silly I know and a bad habit, especially in the line of work I want to get into. I just feel self conscious about taking photos on the street

But I shall conquer this fear! Or die trying (figuratively of course).

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It took almost all my courage to do this one. By the way it’s the new shopping mall here in Afula. They are doing road work down near the other round about, and I think they are adding a bus stop too. The market (shouk) is up the road a bit. Down the road is a grocery store and an indoor mall.

Any tips on getting over my fear or ideas for it are welcome!

My Day

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Its been raining for the last two days. But that’s nice, because it’s cooled down everything, and the last time we were here and it rained we were in tents. Not fun to be in tents when you have winter rain. But its SO nice because we have an actual roof and walls. I like it when it rains. Its always fun, except when you’re in tents.

I talked Mom into walking down to the grocery store even though it was going to rain. It was AWESOME! I love walking in the rain! I think I smiled all the way to the grocery store. Ben came with us and Joseph caught up near the bottom.

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Down below is Afula. I took more pictures of Afula today than I did last time we were here.

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More Bougainvillea! I told you they grow like weeds here.

It was a good morning. BTW: When Mom passed under the flowers I shook it and sprayed the water on Mom. That was funny.

After all that we caught the bus and came home. That was pretty much my morning.

Back Next Door

OK! So we are now back across the border!

We left Jordan on Tuesday (yesterday), crossed the border. Which was a really nice crossing. Everyone was friendly and smiling. It was really great. Of course Dad, Joseph and I had our bags searched, but that was because we had:

Dad

berkey (our metal water filter)

metal bowl,

Joseph

Multi tool,

canned food,

bowl,

but mostly cans

I

Multi tool,

bowl,

tin flute,

But the great news is! I beat Dad and Joseph packing up again. Dad says I take a long time to pack up, and that I need to work on packing faster. But I beat him! YIPPY! I felt like having a party at that moment, I almost wish I timed myself like I did with my sleeping bag before we left Afula. But that probably would be too much, especially at border security. It was great though. The whole border thing was good. Then we find out that the bus to Jerusalem wasn’t until 4:30 because of Rosh Hashanah, so we got a bit frazzled at that but Father used that.

We went to stay at a hostel in Eliat named The Shelter. It’s a christian run hostel, and I would recommend it to anyone. If you have a family, great, its near a big playground, if you come as a group or by yourself, there’s always great people to talk to. The beach isn’t that far. It’s just all around great!

We rested up, then today we got on the 10:00 bus and went to Jerusalem, then caught a bus to Afula. We are now back at the same house that we house sited last month, but down in the apartment. Only for a couple of days though. Its been a good day.

When we arrived back in The Land, I found that I connected with the land but not with the people and the culture. After being over in Jordan, I see how much Israel is like North America. How people act and dress. Its nothing like Jordan. Of course Israel is a country all of its own. It’s a awesome country, but it doesn’t really have a culture. Its not middle eastern nor is it totally western. Its just kinda in-between. I still love it here, not for the culture, nor for the way things are here, but for the land.

Its great to be back. And its going to be a great fall!

Journey

Well here we are in Aqaba, Jordan. It was quite a trip to get here! Ben and I were up by 3:30 in the morning (I went back to bed for 1/2 hour), then everyone else got up by about 4-4:30. We had our boots on by 6:30, and out the door by about 6:40. We caught our bus, got down to Jerusalem. It was great to be there again, even if it was only in the bus station. By 11:00 we were on another bus heading to Eliat. Now that was a trip to remember. We had never been in the south, so it was neat to see it.

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We were on the bus for about 2 1/2 hours. Before we got to the Dead sea and Masada, we saw Jericho. One day I would like to see the Dead Sea, and Masada up close!

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I now understand what they mean by the plains of Jericho. For all around it is hills and on the other side mountains!

DSCF8720 sharpened and signed The Dead sea is in the background. There were old mud houses nearby and made for an interesting shot

DSCF8733 croped and signed Again the Dead sea. Now you will have to excuse the glare and blurriness, these photos were taken from a moving bus.

DSCF8727 signed Masada, you can see a squiggly path going up. That is a trail you can take if you don’t want to take the lift (cable car) up.

It was hot down there! The land was quite empty. There were not many communities from Jericho down to Eliat. We made a 1/2 way stop after the dead sea. Then continued on for another about 2 1/2 hours.

We arrived in Eliat about 1 hour early, and had an early supper. Then we headed to the border. It wasn’t difficult to get through. But by the time we got through we were exhausted. Some friends of a friend came to pick us up and the taxi drivers became very upset, and took the husband in for about 1/2hr-1hr. During that time other people came to pick people up and the taxi drivers had no problem with them. So, that just added to everything. Then we went to look at an apartment, we stayed here for one night but not sure about the rest of our time here. We might go sight seeing. We’re also not sure about where we should be staying whether we should do the apartment thing, or just stay in hostels on our way around.

Here is the view from the Apt.

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This post may not be posted for a couple of days.

Shabbat Is Almost Here

Shabbat is almost HERE! I am so excited! Yesterday we walked down to the grocery store to miss the rush on Fri.

Oh I forget to mention that we left Jerusalem earlier this week and have now moved to Afula. We are staying on top of Givat Moreh. This is where Gideon 300’s stood with the midianites below. You also get a spectacular view of the Jezreel Valley, which has so many stories and references to it that I won’t name them all but I will put down one.

Hos 1:11  Then shall the children of Judah and the children of Israel be gathered together, and appoint themselves one head, and they shall come up out of the land: for great shall be the day of Jezreel.

This hill/mountain has a beautiful view of the valley.DSCF7983

We aren’t even 1/2 way down to the store yet. But all the valley is full of fields below. 

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Now back to my original subject. The walk down took 30 min and then we took the bus back up. I now wish I had a picture of all the grocery bags we came back with but I don’t. So just imagine enough food for six people to last until Monday or Tuesday. That is how much we had to hull up.

So we took the bus. Which was fun, and Dad lost his balance about 4 times going around tight turns and once he nearly fell over if it wasn’t for the strap he was hanging onto he would have. It was a good bus ride, and I am learning the importance of when coming to Israel or any country to at least learn the numbers in their language.

Well have a beautiful Shabbat.

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