BEGIN February 2010 | Corina's Corner

I love this poster. Love it.

February 27th thoughts | Souk Pictures

I am very sad to say that 2 months from today I will be sitting in class in Provo. I don't want to think about this too much because I am really enjoying myself here in the Holy Land. I have met some really amazing people and had some wonderful experiences. I can't believe that it is almost March. Time is flying by before my eyes.

Just some thoughts:
-I love Fridays at the Center for 3 reasons. 1) Cold cut Fridays. YUM! For lunch we get to make our own sandwiches with delicious bread. I don't know why, but for some reason these sandwiches are amazing. 2) Humanitarian Aid. On Friday's if we want we can sign up to make Hygiene kits. I love it! I’ve done it every week possible. We set up some killer assembly lines and get down to work. We can whip out like 4000 hygiene kits in like 2 hours. We sing great songs or chat while we're working hard. It is so fun. I wish there was something exactly like this in Provo. I seriously love it. 3) Yesterday for the third time I have gone out to the city on Friday and got soaking wet. Friday's are kind of funny here because for a lot of people it is the start of the Sabbath so a lot of the stores or shops close early. And we're not allowed out of the center until 3. So going out on Fridays is tricky. Even though it is rainy and most of the places are closed or closing down I still go out. I try to go out as much as I can.

^^At the Souk on Shabbat^^

-I love going to church here. We have sacrament meeting in the beautiful auditorium with the best view possible of the Old City (these old ladies at the Philharmonic concert told us they thought our view was the best). I always make sure to sit where I have a great view of the Dome of the Rock. Each week before Sacrament meeting the choir sings a prelude song and it really invites the spirit. I decided not to be in the choir because this means that I have an hour by myself between breakfast and church. I love sitting out on my patio and reading scriptures or writing in my journal. Our Branch President has been teaching a temple prep class and even though I took it in my ward last year, I thought it couldn't hurt to go to this one. I love it. Relief Society is also great. Our Relief Society President is from Bethlehem. She once told us about how she came to a knowledge of the gospel. She had to go all the way to Provo, Utah to learn about a gospel that has its origins in her homeland. It was a great lesson to me about how it is the events that took place here, not the location that matters most.

-I love my Old Testament class. I am very sad that it is ending this week. I have learned so much about the scriptures. Brother Emmett has been a great teacher. He is a geography teacher at BYU and therefore has really helped me to better understand how the places in the stories we read would have affected the people who lived there (ex. Down to Jericho, up to Jerusalem…). But on top of this, his personal stories have really touched me and will stay with me throughout my life. Even though I am very sad to see my Old Testament class end I am also very excited to start learning about the New Testament.

-At the beginning of the semester they gave us a map of the Old City. I love going to different places and checking them off the list. In a way I feel like I am conquering the city. I love how I can go out with anyone in our group and have a good time. We're required to go out in groups of at least 3. So it's been fun to try to go out with a variety of different people and to talk to them and get to know them better. It's hard to imagine not seeing these people every day. It will sure be weird.

Well that's all I have for right now, but I just thought it would be good to write a blog post this evening since I don't have very much else going on.



Have you ever seen this painting?

“Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches.
“In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water.
“For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had.
“And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years.
“When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole?
“The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me.
“Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.
“And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked.”
-John 5:1-9

Yesterday I went to the pools of Bethesda. Here is what they look like today:

Right next to the pools is The Church of St. Anne. This building is beautiful and the accustics in it are amazing. Dan and I sang I am a Child of God. It sounded so neat.

While I was there I thought about how Jesus knew that this was a place where the sick, the wounded, and the blind, would be. He came there to heal them. The water at these pools was said to have healing powers but Jesus was the one who healed this man and not the water.

Absalom's Pillar

All last night and a good amount of my time today has been dedicated to finishing my Islam midterm. It is a take home exam with ten questions, 3 being essays. Overall not too bad, but I had put off doing some of it. It was supposed to be due at 4, in class. However my teacher's permit (he lives in Bethlehem) to cross the border to come and teach us is expired. He was unable to make it to class today, so it was canceled. Bummer!

So a bunch of my time suddenly freed up! I went with Leslie and Ryan to see Absalom's Pillar and Zechariah's Tomb.

This is Absalom's Pillar.

2 Samuel 18:18 "Now Absalom in his lifetime had taken and reared up for himself a pillar, which is in the king's dale: for he said, I have no son to keep my name in remembrance: and he called the pillar after his own name: and it is called unto this day, Absalom’s place."

Panoramic Pictures

I have been experimenting with Panoramic picture programs. Do you know of any good ones? The one I used to make these ones is called Autostitch. It seems pretty good for the most part, if only I could take better pictures so they didn't have such funny borders. Oh well. I guess I can always crop them later.

I took this today on our field trip.

This is the Valley of Elah - where David slew Goliath

I think this has been my favorite view of the city so far. This is from David's Citadel yesterday.

Dome of the Rock

I am obsessed with the Dome of the Rock. Whenever it is in sight I take tons of pictures of it.

Free Day

I spent my day with Dan and Madison. We started our day by going to mass at the Notre Dame Centre at 9.

I had never been to mass before so it was pretty neat to go and see what that was like. Then we wandered into the Old City through New Gate and ended up at the Latin Patriarchate sitting in another mass for a few minutes. Both buildings were beautiful. I especially loved the second one.

After this we still had some time to kill before we needed to be at the YMCA to ring the bells. So we drifted through the Old City and looked at some shops and moseyed through the mall to the YMCA.

At the Crocs store at the Mall

I played Sweet Hour of Prayer again (it's the easiest one. ha). I got to do the 12 rings on the hour though so that was fun. I seriously love playing the bells, I feel like I'm leaving my Mormon mark on Jerusalem. After ringing the bells we headed to David's Citadel Museum, which I found out has nothing to do with David but was actually misnamed. Weird. Anyway this museum was way cool. They turned different parts of the citadel into exhibits about different periods of Jerusalem. It really helped me to see maps and displays from each time period. I really feel like it helped me to connect the different things I've been learning in all of my classes. After the citadel we went home through the Old City and Lion's gate after a shawarma stop and a ton of t-shirt shops. It was a good day!
I hope that everyone is watching the Olympics. Since I can't.

These next two weeks are going to be crazy.

(23rd) Tuesday-Islam take home midtern due
(24th) Wednesday-Old Testament midterm
(26th) Friday-Ancient Near Eastern midterm
(1st) Monday-Field Trip
(2nd) Tuesday-Islam final and Judaism final
(4th) Thursday-Old Testament final
(5th) Friday-Arabic final and Field Trip final



One of the things I did on Sunday was go to the YMCA to play the bells.

We all played hymns. I played Sweet Hour of Prayer for all of Jerusalem to hear!

Me playing the bells

Ibrahim's Visit

Oh man. I've written this like 3 times and firefox keeps quitting. But here's the wedding dress story.

A few weeks ago on our Free Day, we were at the post office and we met Ibrahim (I mentioned him earlier in a previous blog post). Two of the girls that were with us (who are probably going to get married this summer, one for sure is) asked Ibrahim where they could find a wedding dress store. Ibrahim said, “Why do you need a store? Just come to my house!” We kind of weren’t sure what to think of that but we thought he was a nice man and he seemed like he had an interesting story so we decided we wanted to go to his house to get to know him a little bit better. He has a guesthouse where anyone is able to stay. He says the doors are always open. So we went to his guesthouse and he told us about how he has spoken at the White House, and met the President, the Dalai Lama, and Richard Gere (he always said it in that order by the way. So funny), been to 44 states, and usually travels out of the country just about once a month. There was an article written about his grandfather in National Geographic because he lived to 134. Then we went to his real house and as we approached his house we noticed that there were like 20 wedding dresses lining the entryway to his house. He had remembered that the girls asked him about it and had prepared for us to come visit him. He was so kind to us. We were in a group of 12 and only 4 of us were girls yet he made us take all 20 dresses. So that night we decided to wear them to dinner. And the boys that were with us dressed up too and escorted us into the Oasis. Afterward we took some silly pictures while we were still wearing the dresses.

Holding all of the dresses

"We don't know what to do with all of these dresses." "Here put them in these boxes. Take all of them. I don't want them anymore."

Squished in the taxi on the way home

Some of these dresses were hilarious. I don't know if you can tell from this picture but there were some really nice fabric roses on this dress going down the sides and on the back.

This is the view from the rooftop of his guesthouse. I have never felt more like Aladdin, than I did when I was climbing up to this roof.

Hezekiah's Tunnel

On Monday for our field trip we went to the City of David. We looked at Area G, and walked through Hezekiah's Tunnel. I loved it! It was so fun! Hezekiah's tunnel is a tunnel dug from the Gihon Springs to the Pools of Siloam. The water at some spots was up to about mid thigh but most parts it was up to my mid- or upper calf. I was amazed at how level the ground was. I had to duck down sometimes because the tunnel was short but also at some points the tunnel was really tall. Really tall.

While we were there we looked out at the city and noticed how the houses would have been built cascading downward. We talked about how it would have been very easy for David to see Bathsheba. It was also neat to talk about how this was the city that Nephi had to sneak into to go to Laban's house.

Sometimes I wish people would comment on my blog...

February Update

Lots of posts today....

Things are going great. I haven't really said what I've been up to lately! I don't really like writing long blog posts so I'm going to try to keep this short. Let's see since Egypt I've had a 7 page paper due, 2 midterms, 2 field trips, and lots of trips to the city.

February 1st - A big group of us all went to a Israel Philharmonic Concert.

February 2nd - Elias' House. Funny story: He walked to the store all by himself to get food because he knew we were coming. He bought juice, chip, peanuts, cashews, ice cream bars....What a nice guy.

February 3rd - Walked to an Argentinian Bakery in West Jerusalem in the pouring rain. I got soaked. I did get some cheesecake though, so I think it was worth it.

February 4th - Old Testament and Judaism Midterms. We also had cleaning checks this morning, so the beginning of this day was a little bit hectic. But in the afternoon we went to another bakery. Probably the best bakery in the world. No joke. It's called Marizpan, and I will admit that I went there twice in one week. It's that good.

February 5th - Nothing too exciting, just went to the Old City (doesn't that sound funny? No big deal, I just walked around the Old City). You never know what you're going to see in the Old it just happened to be some sharks:

February 6th - Garden Tomb after church

February 7th - FREE DAY! I went to City Hall and saw a cool model of Jerusalem that they use for city planning. We had pizza for lunch, went back to the bakery, to a few book stores, to the King David Hotel, and home through the City of David and the Old City.

8th - Field trip...see previous post

February 9th - Walked around the old city, the Jewish quarter, went back to the Western Wall. We tried to go see Oskar Schindler's grave but it was closed. So I'll have to try to go see that another day. The boys at the center have been growing mustaches. They call themselves the Mustache Militia. They had a mustache night at the Dan Jones (the snack bar, named after one of the boys here) , where poetry was read, songs were sung, etc... all supporting the stache.

February 10th - On our free day we met a man at the Post Office. His name is Ibrahim (check out his website here). A group of us went to his house yesterday afternoon. More info about this to come.

Carrie, Maddison, Ibrahim, Bentley, Dan Jones, Diana, Dan King, Me
Steve, Gage, Eric, Greg, Jordan

By the way, I do have classes, so the things I do are in the afternoon when we have free time. I try to get out of the Center everyday. Right now I'm at Hebrew University.

Sunset at the Center

The other day I got home from the city and I decided it would be fun to just sit on the balcony of the 7th floor and watch the sun set. These pictures were taken about 5 minutes apart. I don't think the sun shines quite like this in Colorado or Utah.

Field Trip

Every Monday we go on a field trip. This week we went to Bethshemesh, Azekah, Valley of Elah, Bet Gurvin, Lachish, Micah's Caves, and the Bell Caves. The Bell caves were really cool. We sang hymns while we were there; it sounded really cool.

Valley of Elah

This is where David slew Goliath. I think I might need to practice my slinging a little bit more, because let's be's a little bit harder than it looks.
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