Friday, October 1, 2010

First few Amazing Days!

I am so glad that Julianne and the oldest three kids were able to come. We had such a great time. The first day we stopped on the way south to tour and teach about Ber Sheva, the place where Abraham lived, made a well, etc. Very cool! Then we went to Tel Arad, a very cool and huge fortress that we also really enjoyed. We stayed the night at a Kibbuts, where we spent some time at a huge sand dune, and spoke a bit about how we had been following roughly the same trail that Lehi and his family had taken, and let the students and my children write for a while about going through the same wilderness as Lehi and his family. Then that night we swam and had a barbeque. It was pretty funny, the Kibbuts told us that they were going to give us real American hamburgers. The burgers themselves were genuine, and barbequed well. But the buns werre pitas, and the condiments were kethcup, humus, tsiki sauce, diced onions, tomatoes and cucumbers. In other words they gave us a falaffel with a beef patty! Pretty funny, but very good. The kids had a great time swimming with all the students. We really enjoyed getting to know them all better.

The next day we left early and go to the border. It was much less hot than the last time we went through, and we enjoyed the whole process much better. It was very nice to get to the other side and find a nice bus waiting for us, with bottled cold water all loaded up, and off we went.

As we drove through the desert, I gave a lesson on the children of Israel in the wilderness. I think it went pretty well, and I feel great about it. It is pretty cool to talk about it as we drove through the actual wilderness. We had a couple of rest stops on the way, and some of the girls did not handle the more crude toilets very well, but we just helped them as best we could.

As we neared Cairo I explained to the students some things about the city, and they seemed to enjoy being able to understand some of the things they saw. One thing I will never forget is how my children and the students were so excited when I pointed out to them that we were going over the Nile, and how they all burst into cheers as we pointed the pyramids out to them for the first time.

We checked into a nice hotel, it was great. We had adjoining rooms with the kids, and it worked out well. That night we went to the sound and light show at the pyramids. I will always remember walking through the little awning with the kids. When you pop out suddenly there it is, the great pyramid. It is so much fun to hear them suck their breath in and say "wow, that is really it, we are really here." We had a ton of fun.

We slept well, ate well, and then we went off to tour the pyramids. BJ, Kaleb and Tashara worked on making a movie several times while we were there. They thought it was pretty cool to see the pyramids, and even more cool to go right inside one of them. The students couldn't believe they were there. We had some problems keeping the students together, and with them being hassled by people, but we eventually got them all together and went out for a great panoramic view, and then down to the Sphinx. It was exciting to tell them all about the temples we were going through, the Sphinx, etc.

Then we toured a factory where they show us how they make papyrus. As a teacher we got a free papyrus. Then we went to Saqqara and went through a great tomb, then out to the step pyramid.Way too many cool things all at once. From there we went to the airport, caught a plane, and flew to Luxor. We had a nice dinner there in a very nice hotel, and finally went to sleep. What an incredible bunch of days!

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