Monday, May 31, 2010

Leaving in 5 days!!

I wanted to write a little bit more about what we are doing this year that is so different from last year.
This year we will be participating in survey archaeology instead of excavation. We will be attempting to see how past civilizations lived and how they used the land they lived and traveled on. Survey archaeology aims to find what remains on the surface or installations in the land surrounding the city. If you think about it a lot of the industrial processes of the city are normally outside and apart from the residential area. We hope to find cisterns, wine presses, tombs, boundary stones and maybe some trade routes.
The method we will be using to cover the most land resembles that of Search and Rescue. We will cover most of the land by field walking. We are divided into 4 teams of 4 main people with two leaders who are overseeing all four teams. The field is split into transects which each team member will use as a directional line to walk.
There is a lot of documentation and and processing surface finds involved as well. We are going to be trained more when we get there.
Right now my biggest concerns are that we have to wear pants which means it will be really hot, we have to wear gators which means it will be thick brush with lots of snakes I am sure, and we won't be digging in one spot which means we won't be under a shadecloth so we have stocked up on sunscreen!!!!!!!

We fly out on Saturday from Pensacola, then to Atlanta and then straight to Tel Aviv. If you think of us during that time please pray for safety and good sleep on the plane (yeah right). Last year we had a whole weekend to get over our jet lag ( which we neede). This year we get there Sunday at dinner and head out the next day at 4:30!!!!!

Adoption update--looks like we will be certified in July!!! Can't wait to get our kiddos!!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Survey Details

We just got our itinerary for this years trip and it looks like our daily schedule isn't going to change too much from last year, except for meals. Last year we ate breakfast together so we had to book it to put together our peanut butter and jelly sandwich and make it to the bus. Adam and I are super glad that we can just make our breakfast in our room, jump in a van and eat it on the way there. We are going to take and/or buy lots of peanut butter crackers and almonds since last year I had some trouble getting enough protein. We are also going to use our handy coolers that we bought in Carmiyosef for the day, and may look into getting a platypus waterbag thingy.

4:45 Wake-up, breakfast in room
5:30 Vans leave for Tel (upper parking lot)
5:45-8:45 Survey
8:45-9:15 Shade Break – Tea Time?!
9:15-12:15 Survey
12:15 Clean-up/Hike out
12:30 Vans leave for camp
1:00 Lunch (Neve Shalom Dining Hall)
1:30-4:00 Free Time
4:00-5:30 Pottery Washing (Monday-Thursday)
5:30 Lecture (Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday)
6:30 Dinner (Neve Shalom Dining Hall)
7:00 Free Time
9:00 Quiet Time

I'm probably just as excited or even more so for this years trip then I was last year. One, because I will doing a lot more artwork and two, because I know a little more of what to expect and what to take. We won't be allowed to wear shorts on the Tel this year since we will be walking through some high and thick grass. We also will be working in smaller groups of 4 or 5 to cover more space. Adam is a team leader and I don't know if I will be on his team, probably not.

We once again have a certified nurse and an EMT going with us, which is always comforting.

A big change from last year is that we are only taking about 20 people (last year at one point we had about 80) so we don't need a bus. Instead we will have two or three we can split up on tour days :). A majority of us going have been before so there are several things we either want to revisit and then a couple of us want to venture off and see things we skipped last year.

So far, Adam and I want to revisit the Church of the Holy Sepulcre ( we went three times last year but still not enough). Its in Jerusalem and I think most of the group plans on spending Sundays in Jerusalem and finding a christian service to attend :) :). We also want to go to Ashkelon, on the Mediterrean Sea and Jericho, close to Qumran and the Dead Sea. We are so excited to see some of our friends from last summer who attend different schools.

Last night, while talking about how nice it will be to spend at least two full days in Jerusalem we both started salivating at the thought of spicy phalaffel from the muslim quarter....OH YUM. We hope to bring back some spices this time to recreate some of our favorite Israeli food. Last year, we brought home saffron but found out later that it was infested with bugs.

Last word for today, if you want anything from there now is the time to let us know. We are going to take one empty suitcase so that we can load up on souvenirs. Last year we kinda just got little things that we could afford...but this year we really want some decorations for our home ( like a nice Israeli map) and/or painting of the Holy Sites. We also want to get some things for our kiddo's rooms. Thanks for praying for us as we return to Israel...we leave June 4/5th and get back June 26/27!!

One of our many Isreal reunions from this past year.