We made it safe and sound without any incident...other than slight passport delemma for one member of our group who will be joining us in a couple of days. I apologize ahead of time if I do not sound coherant...I have not slept in the last 30 hours for even 20 minutes and am extremely jet lagged. Just a few quick highlights...I love the group I am with! All the the people seem to be friendly and genuine, I think it will be a blast! Quick sidenote...so far as I know, I am the only girl who has already served a mission in the group...we have several receiving calls while they are here but I have yet to find another who has gone. Let me clarify, I think I am the oldest girl in the group. This doesn't bother me a bit and things will be great but there are moments when I can tell I am older but it will be great for keeping me young he he!
The flights were uneventful...our connection from NY to Tel Aviv was 10 hours, brutal. I have discovered that try as I might or fatigued as I may be I CANNOT sleep on planes, sad bunny! The flight was pretty uneventful with the exception of 30 mins prior to landing in Tel Aviv, in which we hit a bunch of turbulance and my stomach was doing cartwheels just as if I was on a rollercoaster, the friend who sat next to me was afraid of heights and had minor panick moments each time it happened but I thought it was a blast.
Guess what? It is currently SNOWING in Jerusalem, yes SNOWING! Apparently this has not happened in upwards of 10 years and is a big deal here. School sent the kids home early to beat the storm with how up and down and all around the roads are here. They have had flooding in the Old City streets the last couple of days with the extremes in weather lately...and I thought I was going to beat the winter cold...HA!!!
We got to the Jerusalem Center and had a brief introduction to the staff in the chappel...which by the way is INCREDIBLE! There are three huge windows behind the podium through which we have a remarkable view of the old city because the center is built on the Mount of Olives. It was stormy and blustery but even in the extremes of weather we could still hear the "call to prayer" that was echoing throughout the city and surrounding hills while the staff introduced themeselves. I feel that there is so much culture to absorb and we haven't even made it into the city yet. After the staff intro we took a quick tour of the center, unpacked a bit, had dinner (which the chef here is incredible...apparently when he is not cooking for the center aka during semester breaks, he cooks for the monarch of Jordan. They are taking very good care of us. After dinner we had a little more time to unpack and then met for intro to classes until 8:30 so now I'm wrapping up the details and planning to drop into a delicious deep sleep because I'm so tired I am running into stationary objects, true story. Gotta run, time for bed...YES!
Amber Rose, Sleepy Hippie Princess