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Monday, May 25, 2009

Blog #3

Tel Gezer

Tel Gezer is a national monument and a park. It is believed to be one of the most occupied cities and we are excavating parts that were built during Solomons reign,during Iron Age II (965 BC)
We have to walk in approved paths up to the excavation area, which apparently is a small mountain. The site is surrounded by agricultural fields.
We will be assigned either Field A or B on our first dig day. Within our field there will be a square supervisor and from there we will be in small teams from 4 to 5 people.
I will be assisting in the dig but also helping to distinguish between different parts of pottery and sketching our finds.
Thats as much as I can say without being there and learning.

Other interesting facts...we are on GMT +3 listed on the blog.

There are 7.28 million people in Israel.
80.1% are Jewish, Europe/Americas-born 32.1%, Israel born 20.8%, Africa-born 14.6%, Asia-born 12.6% and non-Jewish, who are mostly Arab 19.9%

Capitol-Jerusalem even though most foreign embassies are based in Tel Aviv.

Israel is bordered by Lebanon and the Syrian Arab Republic to the north, Jordan and the West Bank to the east and Egypt to the south. Gasa, a small strip between Israel and Egypt is claimed by the Palestine National Authority but is currently under de facto rule by militant group Hamas.

Hebrew and Arabic are the official languages. Hebrew is the first language of about two thirds of population though.

Blog #2

The Trip

Here are the basics of our 5 week trip.

We fly out of Atlanta on June 11th and have a 10 hour layover in Paris....AWESOME. We have from 8 in the morning til 6 at night to check out Paris.....I can't believe it!!
We will arrive at Tel Aviv Airport in Israel around 12 in the morning on June 13th.

We are staying at Neve Shalom ( Oasis of Peace) Guest House. This hotel is part of a community where Jews and Arabs have purposefully chosen to live side by side. Neve Shalom is 20 minutes from the Tel Aviv airport and 30 minutes from Jerusalem. The community is surrounded by olives groves, pine forests and fields.

We are staying four to a you guessed it- guys and girls are split up. I will be staying with 3 other women and Adam with 3 other men. We are definitely okay with us but we laughed when the doctor that did our physicals said " this will be like a second honeymoon"..NOT.
However, we do take weekend excursions and two of those are overnight stays so we have been told that we will get to stay together on those two trips. (Absence makes the heart grow fonder right?)

Ill close this one out with our Tentative Daily Work Schedule.
4:30-4:45 Wake up (first breakfast)
5:00 Bus leaves for Tel Gezer (about 20 minutes away)
5:30-8:30 Excavations
8:30-9:00 2nd Breakfast
9:00-11:15 Excavations
11:15-11:30 Fruit Break
11:30-12:30 Final Excavations and Clean Up
12:45 Bus leaves for Camp
1:00 Lunch back at Neve Shalom
1:30-4:00 Free time
4:00-5:30 Pottery Washing ( Mon-Thur)
5:30 Lecture ( Mon, Tues and Thur)
6:30 Dinner at Neve Shalom
7:00 Free Time
9:00 Quiet Time

So sounds like we may gain some weight while there right? I mean two breakfasts and a fruit break...GREAT!!!
You may be wondering why we start so early and end at 12:30 ....well with temperatures approaching 100 degrees daily we have to work during the cooler part of the day.
Next blog....What in the world are we digging up??

Blog #1

Lets start at the very beginning...

We first of all want to apologize for the cheesy title of the blog...however, we just couldn't resist.
Second, we want to share how we came upon this trip and why we are going. Adam and I agreed that I would get my graduate degree first since I have known since I was little that I wanted to teach art. During the second semester of my graduate degree Adam started looking at schools and thinking about what he would like to specialize in. God revealed to both of us at the same time (but in different ways) that he would be pursuing a career in biblical archeaology.
Immediately Adam was drawn to Wheaton, a private college in Chicago, that offered a Masters Degree in his field. We both agreed that he should steer clear of a seminary degree so that he could go into the secular job force. The plan was that he would start Wheaton right after I finished and we would move to Israel for 6 months for his first semester there. Of course after we got everything set up for that, we began to feel God tug us in a different direction. Actually, I think that is when we started listening to God instead of telling Him what we were going to do.
One of our friends from Johnson City, Morgan, applied to another seminary and therefore Adam became interested. We also contacted an old friend from Auburn, Mark, who attends Southwestern Seminary in Ft. Worth and found out that they too offer a Masters in Biblical Archeaology. Adam and I started praying over which school to go to and decided that we would wait to make any other plans until those prayers were answered. I immediately felt drawn to Southwestern--no offense but I have never seen myself as a northerner, and we also have several friends in Texas.
Adam announced to a group of friends at dinner one night that we would be attending seminary--and that is when I found out :). So over Spring Break of this year we went to TX for four days and we both fell in love. Adam met with the creator of the archeaology program (which is only 2-3 years old) and they hit it off. We thought that we would not be able to participate in their summer dig but Dr. Ortiz (the creator) invited both of us!! He answered all of our questions and encouraged Adam to stay at Southwestern to receive his doctorate as well. He is slowly building up a very competitive program and pushes to get his students published and have them speak all over the country. He wants them to come out of seminary with a degree and a resume that will put them ahead of others with secular degrees in archaeology.
So instead of going to Israel for six months as we had originally planned we are only going for 35 days (5 weeks). This works out better for us because I will hopefully be able to get a job teaching art in Texas when we get back.This is the rotunda at Southwest Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth.