Saturday, March 23, 2013

Turkey Time!

Turkey! It is probably now one of my favorite places on the planet earth! It is so beautiful and really fun. We stayed in Istanbul the first night and got to go exploring.

Istanbul at night with my friends Tess and Lindsay

This is my Turkey-roomie Anne Staples, aka the cutest roomie ever. We ate lots of treats that night.

The first day in Istanbul, we saw a lot of sweet cites! This is the Blue Mosque.

This is me in front of the Blue Mosque.

This is a panoramic of the Blue Mosque.

This is the inside of the Blue Mosque. I love the cool lights hanging from the ceiling.

Anne and I prayed whilst inside the Blue Mosque.

Chloe, Camilla and I. The headscarves are always fun to wear.

The Hagia Sophia! We didn't get to go inside the first day, but we did on the last day when we came back to Istanbul.

This is my friend Jenessa. This is a picture of us whilst we were at Topkapi Palace, which is a place where Ottoman Empire Rulers lived (#iamlearninglotsofthings) with the view of Istanbul behind us. Jenessa is going on a mission to Jacksonville, Florida. I like her a lot. Actually I love her. 

These are some tiles that I saw whilst we were visiting Topkapi Palace. 

This is a head of Medusa at the Basilica Cistern. She is upside down.

So this one time I went to the bathroom at a restaraunt. I couldn't figure out how to flush the toilet, so I tried turning this little knob that was towards the floor. Turns out it was the beday, so a gushing water force came SHOOTING OUT AT ME. I screamed, tried to turn it off, but I made matters worse. I exited that bathroom looking like I peed my pants. This is the evidence. 

We got to go on a ferry ride! We did a little out-and-back loop out on the Bosporus Straight. It was beautiful! We got to see both the European and Asian side of Turkey. 

These are my friends Chloe, Jeff, and Tye! 
The view from the ferry as we went under the bridge! 
The first night in Istanbul, some of my friends and I (and our teacher Professor Stratford) ventured off to a SWEET jazz club. The music featured was traditional Turkish Jazz.
I think I found some new favorite songs.

I am the luckiest girl in the world. Lindsay Kelly and Camilla Summers are two of the funniest, most beautiful, most awesome friends I could have met out here in Jerusalem. Lindsay has been called to serve a mission in Atlanta, Georgia, and Camilla has been called to the Novosibirsk, Russia mission. I love them, and I can't wait until we are back so we can talk about all our fun adventures!

This is the beach at Gallipoli. So pretty!

Me and my friends on a dock for lunch in Turkey! IN TURKEY

We stayed the night in Troy. Except this one time we went to Troy, and the Trojan Horse was being rennovated, so it was stuck under a pile of boards and a black tarp. SO LAME, but still really cool!
The beach where we spent the night after visiting Troy! 

Turkish Flag!
Assos, where Paul taught some people! Cool ruins, sweet view, and it was not even cold at all.
Ancient columns in Assos.

Susana, Camilla, Me, Kari, and Lindsay at Assos! Love the view in the back. 

This is Ephasus, also where Paul taught. 

The Library!
Some of my friends and I (yes, I'm wearing a meerkat shirt) at the Library in Ephasus.

Camilla and I were sleepy, so we took naps in a sarcophagus. 

The theater where Paul taught some people. Also some kids in the program sang here, and it sounded really awesome.

This is Ephasus! The theater is behind me.
This is the theater in Pergamon. It was super windy, but this was a sweet view of the steep theater that is there.

This is Patty. She's a huge snail.

Lindsay and I at Sardis. It was pouring down rain, we were wet and cold, but we still managed to climb a hill to get the ruins in the background.
This is at Nicea, where the Nicean Creed was established. We had a nice devotional there, but it was windy and rainy, and cold, so we only snapped one pic before getting the heck outta there.
Inside the Hagia Sophia! They were doing some renovations, but this is the gist of what was going on. 
The Hagia Sophia was first a church, then a mosque, and now a museum.  When it turned into a mosque, the mosaics were plastered over, which is why there are some mosaics and cement on the walls. 

All in all, Turkey was a blast. The Olympics could be held there in 2020, so maybe I'll get to go back!

Monday, March 18, 2013

10 K and America Pride

 I ran a 10k in Jerusalem! It was suuuuper hilly, and everyone and their mom was running, but it was so fun! I did it in under an hour, and for not training and having a permanent pita bread belly I was pretty happy about that.

Me and my friends! That is Mikkel with a mustache.

This is me running with sheep. They ran in the race. Who trains sheep to run in a race?!


Notice the man with the curls behind me. I'll miss seeing that!

Along with running a 10k, we had National Anthem Night in the Jerusalem Center. My good friend Nicky Hamilton loveloveLOVES America, so we dedicated a night solely to singing songs about America, whether they be the National Anthem night, or pretty much any country song.

Chloe, Lindsay, and I saluting our country.
I pledge allegiance to the flag...

Introducing the next President of the Confederate States of America

Monday, February 25, 2013

Party Central in J-Town

So lots of activities have been happening around these parts lately.
I went to a ghetto hospital to get some tests done for my visa-
They wrote on a white board for the x-ray room.
 It looks like something out of a scary movie or something!

 We visited the Western Wall on a early Monday morning for the Torah readings for Bar Mitzvahs! It was just one huge party, with people singing and dancing. 

 My friends Montana, Chloe and I went to the Jewish Quarter and found the World’s Biggest Donut. And it was delicious as well.

My new favorite thing to do is eat lunch on top of a building called the Austrian Hospice. We get our food from the city, normally a loaf of bread, a Diet Coke (aka the elixir of life), and some candy, and head up to our benches that look out across the city. It’s quite nice.  I have also purchased a cool sweater ‘It’s Better in Israel’!

On ‘Aloha Tuesday’ we wore our genie pants that aren’t really genie-esque but they are nice and comfy, and have a Hawaii scene on the bottom, all-inclusive with sunglasses, palm trees, and a surfer.

There was a Seder Passover Dinner for our Israel class, and these fine people and I performed a rap for one of the songs. It was a hit. 

PURIM PARTY! Purim is Israel’s ‘Halloween’, so we decided to attend a sweet party! The guy dressed up as Pharaoh came to the center a few days ago to teach us all Israeli Folk Dancing. He then proceeded to invite us to his birthday party slash Purim Party! How could we turn that down!? It was quite the event. Everyone was dressed up, and we were definitely the only ones who didn’t know all the line dances.

We finally went to Tel Aviv! It’s about an hour away from Jerusalem, but we took the trip out to the beach! It was so nice and warm, and so fun to explore! We spent most of the day at the beach, but then cruised around town! 

We even rode in a horse carriage, it was so fun! 

I have found the job of my dreams- herding sheep. We went to a sheep farm and learned how to herd sheep/goats, and also make pita bread
 (which is one of my most favorite things to eat out here in the Holy Land). 

Eye Love Ewe!

Little baby goat!

Homemade pita bread-HEAVEN! I LOVE PITA BREAD

Today was also a sad day because it was our last field trip with Brother Judd. We switch religion teachers halfway through the semester, so this was my goodbye picture with one of the coolest guys ever! I LOVE BROTHER JUDD!