Friday, September 14, 2012

Working hard

Orientation has been quite busy especially once we had to write our curricula for the session. Interestingly, we were supposed to have a couple of tours of areas in Nablus (the Old City and the largest of the refugee camps: Balata). Those tours got cancelled due to strikes and protests going on here in the West Bank so we had "free time". I'm not sure HOW I would have gotten everything done without that "free time". As it was, there was some staying up late and getting up early to get everything done.

Today, I went hiking with Tala and the other interns at Wadi Qelt, one of Earth's lowest points. Jesus apparently walked there when he was going to Jericho. There's some other Biblical stuff that I can't remember too. The Romans built an aqueduct to direct water through the area that is still in use today. There's also a Greek Orthodox monastery at one end that's been there for over a thousand years. Very historical. The hike itself was STUNNING. None of the pictures I took come close to capturing how beautiful it was. I've always been a fan of desert beauty, and this was rock formation at their most beautiful. So now, I'll give you some pictures!

My favorite thing about living at TYO: the huge amount of produce we get to consume. So many yummy fruits and veggies. As a grad student shopping for just me, I never got a lot of produce because it would go bad before I could eat it. Not a problem here.

Wadi Qelt! So beautiful.

Another view. Really, every angle of this hike was stunning.

The Roman aqueduct.

Another beautiful view. The cave dwellings are used by Bedouins. We saw some of them herding goats during the hike.

More beautiful desert.

This was taken inside St. George's monastery at the end of the hike. If I hadn't been so tired, I would have liked to look around more. They were also renovating so it wasn't the best time to see the place.

Tomorrow TYO has a library day for kids and then Sunday I starting teaching! Yikes!

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