Tuesday, January 31, 2017

In Which I Visit Jerusalem

Today, we hopped on a bus (at 7:59am on the dot) and drove a couple miles down the road to a little place called Jerusalem.

Folks, I think I'll remember today for the rest of my life.

|Jaffa Gate, through which we entered the Old City|

I've been reading about the of city Jerusalem ever since I was old enough to read those storybook Bibles for kids. I knew it was a pretty special place, seeing as King David lived there and Jesus rode through it on a donkey and such. I never realized how significant this city is until today. Like, God chose this city - this real, concrete, actual place - to be the place that Jesus would conquer sin and death. Um, that's sort of cool?

|"Tower of David", a medieval fortress with a great view|

Because our field days are part of our class "The Land and the Bible", our professor, Bill, lectured as we walked through the Old City. He talked about the history of the wall that surrounds the city, and about what the city was like during David, Solomon, and Hezekiah's times...aaand about a million other things that I wish I had a brain big enough to remember. 

There were a lot of great parts about the day. Here's a couple of them.

#1. Jerusalem is like a Cat Utopia. THERE ARE CATS EVERYWHERE. (they are what most people would call "mangy strays" but they are what I call "precious babies")

#2. I got to explore with my friends. Old ones and new ones. We got excited about everything. Mostly food.

#3. Speaking of food! Israeli pizza is a national treasure. 

#4. A lot of the place locations or artifacts that people traditionally believe are the REAL THINGS aren't actually the real thing, but it's still pretty cool. Like, that is NOT actually a stone slab from Jesus' tomb that Mary Magdalene wept on, but it was probably a rock just like that very near this spot, so I dig it.

(if my sentences are not making sense anymore it's because it is very late at night and I should be sleeping right now)

#5. THE MARKETS. Narrow streets filled to the brim with scarves, sandals, pastries, pick-pockets, and yamakas. Goals.

#6. We saw so many things I've heard so much about. It makes it so real to actually see it in person. (that's what everyone says, I know...but it's true)

#7. It rained and I didn't have a rain jacket. That's not a good thing, but I wanted to mention it.

This post is a little crazy and all over the place, and my pictures are completely raw and unedited cuz who has time for that, but I hope you enjoyed this anyway.

Thank you SO much for reading. I think it's pretty cool that there are people who are willing to brave my midnight rambles in order to see what I'm up to.


Sunday, January 29, 2017

In Which I Arrive in Israel




So after a goodbye to my cats (and my family, too), an airplane ride in a tiny french plane, a layover in Paris (where people kept trying to talk to me in French), and another airplane ride full of lot of snoring people, I made it to the airport in Tel Aviv at 4:45am.

In the taxi on the way to campus, the sun started to come up over the hills and the road-signs were all in Hebrew and I saw Jerusalem lit up in the distance AND IT WAS JUST TOO MUCH. Then I arrived here at the "Moshav", which is this little hotel village thingy on the hilltop. Not a bad place to call home for the semester.

The rest of the group are flying together from California, and they won't be here until later today. It's super weird being here by myself, not gonna lie. But it's also kind of nice, because I can get used to being here a bit before I have to start being all social and such.

Here's what I did to keep myself occupied since I arrived:

6:13am: I arrived at Moshav and was shown to my room by Jessy (who is this sweet girl who lives here to take care of us hooligans)
7:30am-ish: I fell asleep. (I was traveling ALL night, okay?)
9:30am: My alarm went off and I was just like "lol no" and turned it off.
11:23am: Hunger woke me up.
12:30pm: I went to the cafeteria/restaurant/thing, and I ate by the window and the view killed me. And the food was really nice.
1:14pm: I unpacked whilst listening to Hamilton. (it's an addiction, folks)
2:15pm: I realized I had wifi on my laptop.
2:16pm: I started blogging.
3:54pm: I talked to my fam back home.
4:10pm: I am sitting here finishing this post.
4:30pm: I dunno cuz that's in the future.
5:00pm: Exploring outside probably.
6:00pm: Hopefully people will arrive to save me from this strange alone-ness.

This has already been an adventure and all I've done really is sleep and hide out in my room. So that's cool.


Tuesday, January 24, 2017

In Which I Look Ahead

This year is going to be a little different.

Some of you guys know this, but most of you don't: I'm not going back to Southern California this semester. I'm going to Israel.


My university has this pretty cool study abroad program. I'll be gone for three months, living on a campus outside of Jerusalem with around 35 other students from uni. I'll be taking classes, exploring the country, and hopefully eating lots of falafel. 

I'm a little nervous. It's just going to be so different. I don't really know what to expect. I guess that's usually the way with adventures?

I really want to document this whole Israel thing. And I need to drag you all into this with me, k?

I'm leaving in 4 days. Meep.


P.S. Please give me any traveling tips you might have, or tips on how to blog while traveling, or tips on how to survive three months without bacon. kthanksbye
P.P.S. Or give me some music suggestions because I've just been listening to Hamilton all the time and I to need branch out a little.
P.P.P.S I don't have anything else to say but I wanted three postscripts lol

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

In Which I Look back

sixteen rather interesting things that happened in twenty-sixteen:

i. I finished my first year of university, and began my next.
ii. I roadtripped to San Francisco. (!!!)
iii. I turned twenty years old.
iv. I got to know Los Angeles a little better. (we're friends now)
v. I went to Disneyland and Six Flags.
vi. I made some friends that have become sort of more like family. (don't tell them I said that)
vii. I spent spring break with some friends up on a snowy mountain. 
viii. I joined my school's theatre program. I had the privilege to be on the props crew for Fiddler on the Roof and You Can't Take it With You
ix. Went to my first formal party thingy and wore a pretty dress.
x. I started working at the school cafeteria. (gee, what fun)
xi. I presented a 20-minute message for dorm chapel, and I didn't die. (I was close though)
xii. I nannied for a two-year old for the summer.
xi. I joined my university's choir. 
xii. I climbed most some of Croagh Patrick.
xiii. Fell in love with Adventure Time, Stranger Things, and Over the Garden Wall. Oh, and Pushing Daisies. And Dirk's Holistic Detective Agency. (How on earth did I find time for all of that)
xiv. Went on a family holiday to County Kerry, and took a boat to Skellig Michael (A.K.A Luke's Island from Star Wars VII)
xv. Went to a mystery-themed costume event with the Watson to my Sherlock (pictured above).
xvi. Shot a gun. (it was too loud)
xv. Spent too much money on coffee.
xvi. I pulled my first (and hopefully my last) all-nighter. 

It's good to look back on the past year as a whole. It was a big, full year. And it was a pretty good one.

I'm going to be honest. There were rough patches. The past semester was a kind of a downer for some weird reason. It wasn't like something super bad happened or anything. But there just seemed to be this underlying problem that shadowed everything. Instead of trying to figure out what I was doing wrong and why everything was crappy, I just ignored it and went on with life. And that just made everything continue to spiral down into a scary hole of badness.

It was only at the end of the semester that I started to realize why. Throughout the past semester, I was relying on my own strength. I didn't realize I was doing this, until it hit me all at once. I started to realize that I had been thinking that I was capable of doing everything on my own. I thought I could fix all of my friends' problems, and I thought I could get through classes and homesickness and the issues of daily college life without asking the Lord for strength. I thought I was fine on my own, but by the end of the semester, I was starting to crumble under the weight of it all.

Like, remember that scene in Monster's Inc where Sully is just helplessly watching the garbage compactor squish Boo (or so he thought) into a little cube. THAT LITTLE SQUISHED CUBE WAS ME.


I realized that dependency on the Lord is what brings true joy. I can't do it on my own, and I never will be able to. Like, ever. And that's a beautiful thing.

It took me too long to realize that.

'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10

Here's to a new year of new adventures and new friendships and new lessons learned. And maybe some new Netflix shows, cuz let's face it, those rock.


Tuesday, January 3, 2017

In which I distract you with a photo dump

Why, hello there.

There's so much to catch up on, I don't know where to start.

While I think about that, here are some photos from my Christmas break so far.

Christmas Break
my lake
a castle
a feather
a lot of Romany

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How have you all been? How do you feel about the fact that it's 2017?

I love you all. Whether you've been loyally following me for years despite my inconsistency, or whether you've recently followed me despite my last post being from June. You all deserve a big plate of chocolate chip cookies.