Overwhelmingly Overwhelmed

Posted: 01/25/2008 in Semester in Israel
Tags: , , , , ,

Hey everyone, I’m safe!! That’s the first good bit of news. Currently I’m at my school’s computer lab just checking some e-mail for a little bit. I’m about to go into the Old City and get myself a falafel (or however you spell it). I’m not even really sure what a falafel is, but i’m gonna eat it.

So my travels went well yesterday. I left from Indy airport at about 10 am on Wed. and arrived in Tel Aviv at about 3 or 4 pm on Thursday, so it was quite a lot of time on airplanes and at airports, but I arrived at Tel Aviv at last only to take a train, to take a bus, to take a cab to finally get at the guest house where I stayed. I think the only form of transportation I didn’t take yesterday was submarine. Well, I’m not going to bore you with very many details right now, but I’d like to give you some pretty fun highlights of my traveling experiences.

* I discovered my ukelele was a pretty good conversation starter. In Indy airport I met and had a long talk with a group of street performers that do were traveling with Renaissance Fair work or something like that. Some were clowns, musicians, and a flute-playing children’s fairy. They travel all over the country doing that sort of thing. They told me after about a half hour of talking that I looked and felt as if I fit right in with them. So I think that was a compliment.

* I got to play my ukelele in the middle of O’Hare airport for about an hour, so that was kind of fun.

*When I arrived at Tel Aviv airport knowing exactly nothing about what i was to do next, I met an English-speaking (from England) Israeli soldier going to Jerusalem at the same time I was who offered to help me get to where I needed to go, carry one of my bags (I had 3, so carrying them all at once looked and felt ridiculous), helped me find a good taxi, and was just good company. His name was Daniel, so keep him in your prayers. He told me a really funny story though, that I have to share. Well, apparently dodging service in the Israeli army is a rather common occurence, and one of the most common ways of doing it is convincing the army you are crazy. So they have this interview to kind of determine that kind of thing, and people come in pretending they are crazy by doing weird stuff. Well, a friend of a friend of Daniel walked into the interview carrying a bass guitar and a live dog. He sets the dog down, plugs his electric guitar into the dog’s ear, and commences to pretend to play during this entire interview. It actually worked, which was kinda strange.

* I am all set up in my room (I’ll post pictures soon). I have 3 roommates, but it’s a really big room. I’ve only met one of em, but he’s a cool guy, and I think we’ll get along just fine.

* I spent some time last night exploring the Christian and Armenian quarters of the Old City. I touched the Old City wall and walked in and out the Jaffa Gate (my campus is right outside the Jaffa Gate).

* I was awoken this morning at 5 am to the sounds of monks chanting not too far out of my window. I couldn’t really be upset, cuz hey, it’s kinda cool. I was ready to get up anyways… jet lag really messes with your system.

*And just to give you a post on the weather. It’s about 50 degrees (so light jacket weather) and beautifully clear and sunny.

Well, I think that falafel is calling my name. I miss you all so much already. Thanks to those of you who have been sending me prayers and encouragement. I am blessed by all of you! And if you see my parents around, just give them a hug for me!


  1. Angela says:

    JE- Just wanted to tell you that we are thrilled for you and this time to learn and grow in your faith! We will hug your mom and Jim on a regular basis (which we like to do anyway)! Blessings to you and we will look forward to reading about (and seeing) the adventure unfold! Angela Parker (& Bret!)

  2. waking up to monks chanting….wow that sounds awesome. glad you are safe, man! have a good weekend! 🙂

  3. jessie says:

    jEEEE!!! hahah. i am SO stinking excited for you i can’t even describe it to you. my heart aches and swells for you (aches ’cause i miss you being here but swells because i am so happy for the opportunity that you are embarking upon right now). know that we love you here and miss you and are praying for your safety… ah!! okay. yeah. that’s all =-).

  4. Anonymous says:

    JE, I am so happy you are there! I love meeting random people, and it sounds like you had a lot of fun in those airports! ha ha. I am glad it was a good experience though! JE you got to wake up to monks I think that is so amazing. I could not image, (prof guy alway tells us in chorale to think as though we are monks to get that peaceful yet rich sound.) To be able to hear that first had I would love to get up in the mornings to that, so peaceful. mmhmm. What a blessing. I can not wait to see pictures and here more about you adventures! I will be reading every single one an more then likely leaving you a comment!. Many Prayers! and love!Katie Schenck

  5. Anonymous says:

    I can see it now: JE the ukulele playing children’s fairy and is band of traveling minstrels.-Will

  6. Allie says:

    Haha I hate Jet Lag. Whats the time differance?

  7. Carita says:

    JE!!! i’m so glad that you made it safely. i looked at your pictures and your room looks pretty sweet. not quite as cool as the cave you had here, but still… 🙂 anyway, i pray that God will guide you as you learn to navigate in this new country and as you begin classes and such. i am thinking about you, and missing you, friend. have a wonderful night…—Carita—

  8. blgtnjew says:

    The time difference is seven hours.

  9. Joel LeMaire says:

    falafel rocks. 🙂 Frank and I were just talking about it the other day. i miss you. you’re so far away. i wish i had a ukulele to carry everywhere with me so that i could play it in airports and stuff. i would love that. all well. when i get back from Peru i should have a chirrango (sp).be well brother. keep my heart in your prayers.

  10. Jennie says:

    I think traveling with you would be fun. A ukulele and street performers? Are you serious? That’s awesome. 🙂

  11. Rob says:

    Glad to hear you’ve arrived safely!Maybe we can plan a submarine ride when you get back so you can experience that form of travel as well.Looking forward to more updates.Much LoveRD

  12. Dad says:

    JEHappy to hear that you arrived safely and that you are enjoying yourself. I am both proud of you and envious of your adventure. Study hard and grow your faith. Keep blogging on a regular basis. Love, Dad

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