Friday, October 8, 2010


After a few hours of sleep we woke up and had a little snack, grabbed our sack-breakfast, and started hiking up the mountain. Julianne has been having problems with her knees, so she rode a camel most of the way up. Kaleb, Tashara, BJ, the Judds and I hiked up with the students, bringing up the rear (way in the rear). We had a really nice hike. It was almost a full moon, and was beautiful. A few times we almost went the wrong way, but we made it. We really had a great time. We met Mom just before we got to the top and she hiked with us the last little way.

We got to the peak as the sky was just starting to get a little light. We ate our breakfasts (what hadn't already been eaten on the way up) and then gathered with some of the students on a rocky outcrop. There we sang songs together as we waited for the sunrise. I especially enjoyed it when we sang "How Great Thou Art". We gave everyone some time to sit and think.

The sunrise was wonderful, with amazing colors. I then gathered my class around me. There, on the peak, we spoke about Moses meeting God, about the Israelites meeting God, Elijah meeting God, God giving his law, all on Mt. Sinai. I spoke of the theme of God wanting to be with his children, and all he does to make that happen. We read part of Exodus 24. Kaleb slept through almost all of it, hunched up on the peak of the mount. I think most people had a great experience, and some students told me it was the highlight of the entire trip. It really is moving to think of the grand experiences that took place on Mt. Sinai, wherever that is.

After some time to think, etc., we started back down. BJ hiked down the stairs of penance with some of his new, good friends. Tashara and Carrie Judd went down with some others. Julianne rode a camel. Kaleb and I had a wonderful time hiking down together. It is something I will always remember.

Towards the bottom we saw Julianne on her camel. The saddle had slipped around, the camel was having some problems, and it was causing Julianne a very painful ride. She had blisters on her hand from trying to hold onto the saddle. So, we got her off and she made the end of the hike with us.

All in all, it was an incredible experience.

The kids then got to swim just a bit as we packed. Then we had lunch (they kept giving us free drinks because they thought I was in charge), got on the bus, and headed out for home. The drive was good. The border crossing was long, but okay. We had a fun dinner at a kibbutz. On the long drive Kaleb talked to the students about himself. Julianne and I told them the story of our getting engaged,and got the Jacksons to do it too. We played music together with the students, and had a really fun time.

It was great to see our little ones we had left behind for a week. They ran up to the bus to meet us, and we had a happy reunion. It was an amazing trip!

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