May 15, 2006
9:00 AM Israel time (2:00 AM Eastern time)
We left yesterday for 3 weeks in Israel - the trip I've been waiting for sicne October. It is strange knowing it is finally here and that it's no longer just an "idea". When we got to Newark (we flew from Logan airport to Newark to Tel Aviv) we went to the waiting room that had been reserved for our group - one of those rooms that you can't see into from the outside, the kind one always wishes they could go into (or at least I always had). It had nice leather chairs and all kinds of snacks and soft drinks for us. We spent the next 5 hours hanging out and getting to know each other. We played a word association game and then a stupid pattern game - stupid because I couldn't figure out the pattern! I called my family and talked to them one last time before the flight.
I love flying. I love looking out the window when I fly - reminds me of Grandpa Lebo. I am told that when he was a pilot he had the smoothest landings. I find myself comparing the pilot to him. I slept most of the flight - taking a menatolin to help me sleep and hopefully minimize the jet lag. Dinner was served at 5:30 or so. I had what I think was Chicken Parmesan and rice with a salad that had a raw piece of salmon on top - ew. (Little did I know that raw fish for meals would be a common food that I would see while in Israel.) I slept straight through til breakfast - Special K cereal, fruit salad, banana, crescent roll, and a banana muffin. Both meals were pretty good, especially for plane food. When we land I will get my pass stamped - although the option is available not to because other Middle Eastern countries won't let you go in if you have a stamp from Israel. Then we are going to take three 10 passenger Taxi's (sheaurets - you'll hear more about these later) to Jerusalem. JUC (Jerusalem University College) - where we are staying - doesn't start serving us meals until dinner so Elaine and Perry are taking us into the Old City to get falaffels. (In this picture we are waiting for the falaffels to be ready.) We have a full day ahead of us, hopefully we can keep up (we managed to keep up then, but it got harder as the trip went on). I have so much ahead of me to experience!
* The Car Naming "Contest" will be closed to entries on June 17th, so get your suggestions in before its too late! So far the choices are: Silver Bullit, Purl, or Stanley. Think your name is better? Let me know! *