Monday, December 22, 2008


Today I was in the West Bank. Today I was in Bethlehem. Yes, the two are synonymous. Luckily, Dad has connections and it was deemed safe enough to go (hooray!!). I am so grateful we were able to make it there.


Welcome to Bethlehem!

Welcome to Bethlehem? This was kind of gross - an open landfill in the middle of town. Definitely not Provo, that's for sure.

I still cannot believe I'm actually here.

The entrance to the Church of the Nativity, church built over the place believed where Mary and Joseph took refuge in the stable because there was no room at the inn. (read more)

Bec, Hez, and me in the Church of the Nativity.
Please disregard my stylish outfit throughout these next photos. Thanks.

This is the spot where Mary supposedly gave birth to Jesus. Even though it kind of looks like a fireplace, I figured I needed a picture with a baby right by it to truly appreciate it. :) Luckily there was a baby close at hand - thanks Krista!

me and Amy (7 weeks)

walking down the streets of Bethlehem

The olive wood carving factory
(also in Bethlehem)

Step one is to let the olive wood dry for 4-7 years, or until ready. Was that 350 or 375? (haha)

The guy at the end of the machine hand carved the first piece of wood, and all the other figurines were carved by the machine simultaneously too. If that makes sense. (sorry the pic is sideways)

Janel, Heather, me, Dad

I thought this was funny but wasn't able to capture the humor in the picture. This cute little old man was over in the corner completely covered with sawdust. He kind of reminded me of the old men in the short movie before A Bug's Life. So maybe you had to be there. Next picture.

me, Janel, Heather, 2 wise men, and a woodcarver

Waiting for our taxi in Manger Square (a big open square right across the way from the Church of the Nativity). And no, we don't use Kodak if you're wondering. :)

Their English is pretty good over here...most of the time. Happy Birthday ... Jesus?

my first round of pictures from the holy land!

Disclaimer: I'm still figuring out all the quirks with uploading pictures via blogger, so this post isn't as nice as I'd like it to be. However, I really want to post some pictures really quick before I hit the hay, so there. Take it or leave it.

The Dome of the Rock and Temple Mount. Yes, I took this picture, and no, it is not a scanned-in postcard. Thank you very much.

And here I am to prove it. :)

A view of the Old City of Jerusalem. Check out all the satellite dishes (along with water heaters). It's crazy how these houses are all crammed so closely together and built on top of each other practically. A lawn? What's that? Some of the homes have domed roofs; maybe to keep other people from building another level on top of their house. Pretty interesting.

Heath, me, and Mom at a restaurant where I tasted lamb shawarma, for the first time. Yum!

okay, you can live vicariously through me.

For all those who haven't heard, I've moved to the other side of the globe.

For the next two weeks there will be lots of additional pictures on my family's blog as well as mine, so if you're interested in following our escapades as a family more closely (or just want to see more stunning photos of the fam), you know where to go. If you check my blog purely based on its creative content, see you in four months. For now, my posts will probably be pictures of me in cool places that will make you wish you were me. :)

Let the games begin.

Monday, December 15, 2008

not the end

It all works out in the end - and if it's not working out, it's not the end.

59 hours and counting

Friday, December 12, 2008

a long absence

It's been one month since I posted. Sheesh! I really have missed blogging but obviously haven't made it a priority. Thanks to all you who still read this despite the never-changing "onward ho!" post...

This semester has been one of the best of my life. Boo ya. I want to explain. Except, I have a final at 8 am tomorrow morning and I haven't started studying for it yet. looks like a real blog post will have to wait. Alas.

What's the saying - "Next blog post in Jerusalem." ?? Something like that :) I do leave on Thursday, after all.