rivers & roads

Venice, Italy

Venice, Italy

Florence, Italy

Florence, Italy

Leaning Tower of Pisa. Pisa, Italy

Leaning Tower of Pisa. Pisa, Italy

Trevi Fountain. Rome, Italy

Trevi Fountain. Rome, Italy

Rome, Italy

Rome, Italy

Here are a few pics from my recent trip to Italy!!

A group of five of us went to Rome, Pisa, Florence, and Venice in a week during our travel study break. It was a good time of rest for our brains despite all the walking that we did all over Italy.

I absolutely loved Italy-but especially Florence. It was beautiful. I would love to see it all one day in the late Spring/early Summer. I’ll be posting more pictures on my facebook page soon.

There are so many stories and great things that happened over this week but i’ll just tell a few.

In our first day in Rome, we wanted to meet up with another group, but we weren’t sure how it was going to work out. So we decided to go to the Colloseum. We walked through this massive monument where over 400,000 people died in the 390 years it was used for entertainment. After we spend some time and looked around, we meandered out of the area and we began walking to our next stop-Piazza Navona(another favorite stop of mine) and we looked to our left and who was there-our friends Mike O & Mike E-the two friends we wanted to meet up with! We then saw the Pantheon, Piazza Navona, Trevi Fountain, and Spanish Steps. On our way to the Spanish Steps we met a couple and talked about Jesus which was really sad because they were talking about how you can attain all this knowledge about Jesus and religion, but you’ll come to a point in your life and reconsider and end up on the other side, implying that it’s not really needed. It really broke my heart. Then on the Spanish Steps a group of us sang and got 16 euros and were invited to a believer’s B&B in Virginia. Then for dinner we were going to go to one place, but the people eating outside said the food wasn’t good. so we kept walking up the alley of restaurants and wound up at L’Arcano. And my friend Jeremiah, being the great guy he is, answered our waiter in Hebrew as has become so natural to us, and the waiter was shocked and asked about Hebrew. We got to talking with him and he is a believer who has been studying Hebrew and the Jewish culture which we have been living in for the past 3 months! It was really cool the conversation that we were able to have with this man-Mario. What an encouragement to see that this man was pursuing Jesus and really seeking knowledge. Something that he said that i really appreciated was, “The language of God is not Hebrew or Greek, but love.”

Went to Vatican City-but didn’t meet the Pope-sorry dad!

On the second night in Rome, it was raining when we fell asleep. at about 2 am this is the conversation that took place when we all woke up to the loudest thunder and lightening except for Andrew Bush:

Jeremiah: Welp when in rome

Beatrice: Are you kidding me?

Jeremiah: Wait is it raining?

*Loudest crack of lightening*

Jenna: Yeah, it’s a thunder storm

Jeremiah: Thanks JENNA

Taylor: *laughing so hard*

It was such a hilarious night!

We went to Florence on Tuesday and I loved it here as it was a little bit more of a city and not so much touristy. I really loved all the terraces with wrought iron fences with flower boxes and painted shutters. Plus the food I had was delicious! Had gnocchi for the first time with a stellar pesto sauce and then some dark chocolate gelato-MMM! And then while we were there we went to the Galleria degli Uffizi where there were lots of paintings and sculptures and one of my favorite paintings La Primavera (Springtime). AND then at night we went on a mission. Taylor had heard of a secret bakery that opens at midnight. So we got some vague directions and went on our way. We got to the end of our directions and followed the scent of baking croissants to our destination. We knocked on a door and ordered what we wanted and then I scarfed that fresh from the oven, chocolate, croissant. It was DIVINE! About five minutes from the bakery, Jeremiah said, “do you want to go back and get more.” Taylor stopped and started walking backwards. SO we went back and got some more. These croissants were so good. and cheap. MMMM! Thankful for these friends who love an awesome baked good and sweet adventure.

And everywhere we went, Jeremiah would sing, “rivers and roads. rivers and ROADS. Rivers til I meet you” so loudly. It was on repeat in my head the ENTIRE week. and I love it. because we literally were in the land of rivers and roads.

When we got to Venice, we got off the train, looked to our left and Mike & Mike were waiting for us! It was hilarious. After finding our really great apartment for the night, next to the canal, we decided we were going to make dinner-to save money and for kicks and giggles. And it was awesome. Jeremiah and Taylor were cooking up a storm of pasta and grilled cheese and Mike O helped me cut cheese for bruschetta. It was a great dinner full of laughter and good company! and we didn’t spend a whole lot of money! Then the Mikes led us to another bakery where I got my cannoli’s and a free donut! By this time it was raining, but it was all good because there were enough heaters in our apartment that we could hang all our stuff all over the heaters and it was all dry by the morning! PTL!

Being in Rome, and Italy, we read through some of Romans in the morning and throughout our days together. And Romans 5: 6-11 is the passage that stuck out the most to me, “ For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.”

Favorite Italian words: Roma, Ciao, Scusi, and Grazie!

I am so thankful for these friends that I was so blessed to travel around Italy with this past week! Only two more weeks together and then we will be heading home!

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beards, bellies, and unibrows

beards, bellies, and unibrows

It’s getting busy around here-going everywhere and studying and having a real social life with my 28 friends-it’s been a blast.
Since the last blog I’ve been to:
The Shephelah
Beth-shemesh where we stood on the edge of the Sorek Valley and looked at Zorah and Eshtaol where Samson was born and grew up. *amazing fact: Sorek means “choice vine” yet Samson was not allowed to eat grapes/drink wine. Ironic? I think not.
Azekah & Sucoh where the two cities are mentioned that the fight of David and Goliath took place between. And Sucoh is where Goliath is said to have been standing when he challenged the Israelites.
Lachish: a big city that was one of the last standing during the Babylonian Conquest.
Gath: the center of Philistine cities-quite cool how from the top of the acropolis, you can see all the other Philistine cities. This is where David faked being crazy to escape Abimelech and escaped to the Caves of Adullam.
Caves of Adullam: went here and hiked up the steepest hill we’ve climbed in a LONG time and I sat and thought about how quiet it was there-and what a place to seek refuge. David was a wise guy.
Then my Archaeology class went to my teacher’s lab at Bar-Ilan University where he is getting his doctrite. It was cool because he is a part of a real dig at an ancient site. So we got to see a lot of ancient pottery and there was even a lady putting all of it together-the ultimate puzzle master.
MY ROOMATE TURNED 20!! So it was fun to celebrate with her with real coffee and a scrumptious coffee cake.
This past Friday Beatrice and my good friend Taylor and I went to the local mall-which felt like real Israel-not a whole lot of tourists around there. But it was a good time of laughter, coffee, and a donut that had sprinkles that were pop rocks. definitely caught me off guard.
Then we got back to the Moshav and the clouds began to roll in and I went to Stephanie Schlegal’s house to make some Challah bread-which came out quite great if I say so myself.
Last Saturday, we went to a synagogue which was quite the experience. Part of it was in English and the reading from the Torah and Haftorah and Siddur were all in Hebrew. But I was able to keep up with the reading in Hebrew from my little knowledge of the language as we read from the “pulpit Bible”. The woman who read from the Torah, read in Hebrew and I followed in English-obviously. It was cool. Different. But now I can say I went to synagogue in Jerusalem.
AND THEN Saturday night, we ALL dressed up for a party with all of us ibexers and teachers. It was hilarious. Yes, I did dress up like a man-but not just any man, a shop keeper here in the Old City. Bea and I looked pretty great if I say so myself. beards, bellies, and unibrows. This was definitely a highlight for me for the week. We got really into character the whole night and I am so thankful for Beatrice Major, because I don’t think there is another girl here who would get into this role as much as she did with me. LOL it was fabulous.
AND I got to skype JP and Noelle-just love those family members of mine! ❤
I’m doing well. School is coming to a close-which is SO CRAAAAZYYY! In some respects I feel like I’ve just gotten here and then in others, I feel like I’ve been here FOR-EV-ER. I’m doing some projects, papers, and studying for some tests. Tomorrow we leave for the Negev area for four days. Then on the 16th I leave for Italy for a week with some of my best friends. With all these trips, it’s so hard to stay focused with the task at hand-school. But I’m getting things done-PTL!
Song on repeat this week: He’s Always Been Faithful to Me by Sara Groves