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Jerusalem, Masada, and the Dead Sea Summer 2013 Ulpan Update #10

Summer2013-15006As the Ulpan comes near to it’s end, I have more pictures from last week. I wend on a trip to Jerusalem with the University group, and then for the first time since I’ve been here, I went on a separate paid tour to Masada and the Dead sea, since they were not on the university itinerary, and I knew I couldn’t come to Israel without seeing them. In Jerusalem we went to excavations under the Jewish Quarter, including the “Burnt House” museum, went to the Western wall again, and also went to the market on David Street leading to the Jaffa Gate. Also in the Jewish quarter I got this beautiful picture of a fly. In Masada I went up and down on the cable car, and up top, where it was over 100 degrees, we looked at the ruins and the locations of different buildings. At the dead sea, I went in a few times, and had a lot of fun floating in it. The weirdest thing is not to just float on your back, but instead to float on your stomach. If you lift your neck up you will keep your head out of the water, and then you can just make swimming motions with your arms to propel yourself. I had a cut on my shoulder, and boy did it hurt when it hit the water, but by now it has pretty much healed, and no doubt a little faster from the salt in the water. BTW, don’t get it in your eyes, it will practically blind you until you go to the shore and wash it out with freshwater. I didn’t get any in my mouth luckily, but apparently that much salt can make you pretty sick if you swallow it. There were people all over putting on the dead sea mud as well, but I opted to stay with just the water.


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The last couple of weeks: Summer 2013 Ulpan Update #9

Summer2013-09005So it’s been a few days since I’ve made a post. In that time, one Ulpan has ended and another has begun. I’ve learned more words and now I’m beginning to touch the past tense as well. I’ve sat for many long ours in the Library, studying flashcards and memorizing new words.

Today was the midterm for the second Ulpan, and I think I did pretty good. Of course, that is because I haven’t seen the results yet. But there was nothing that left me entirely stumped.

Since the last post I’ve been able to finally step foot into the Mediterranean, and it was a very exciting experience to jump over the incoming waves while barefoot on the sand. Although I must say, getting a mouthful of salt water is much more unpleasant than pool water in general. I’m sure in the couple hours I was there I got more than my daily intake of sodium.

On my 21st Birthday a week ago, I decided to take a little time of to relax and fold some Origami. To the left you will see a five intersecting Tetrahedra model folded without the use of adhesives from 30 separate twenty shekel notes (They are worth about $5.60 each, making this model worth about $170 USD)

I’ve also recently had the experience of a traditional Shabbat dinner provided by the university, both in content of food and in traditional Jewish custom. There were some Hebrew songs and candles were lit to bring in Shabbat. No cheeseburgers were served.

I’ve eaten many pitas of falafel as well, and I am quite sure my taste for it will not leave when I leave the country.

Last Tuesday was the university trip to Caesarea, and we stayed focused on exclusively the ancient city, with Herod’s palace, the artificial port, and the locations of city walls, the Roman bathouse, and also the location of first a Roman Temple, which was tore down for a church, which in turn was tore down for a mosque, before the whole city was destroyed in battle. The pictures are below.


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