May 27, 2010

Day Four.

Boca Tov! (Good morning) Remember how a few days ago I wrote how I was relishing in the fact I got to wake up with the sun streaming in through the balcony windows and bouncing off the walls and such? Let's just say that this morning, that wasn't the case...the sky was completely white. WHITE, I tell you. You definitely couldn't see very far in front of you. We couldn't even see past the shore of the Sea of Galilee. A bunch of us assumed at breakfast that the hazy skies could be blamed for some type of Israel dust/sandstorm.

(Someone, whose name will not be mentioned, complained that my pictures need more explanation... so, the picture above is the view of Tiberius/Sea of Galilee from my hotel balcony. Crazy white skies!)

After reading the news later today, we learnt that the whole of Gamla Nature Reserve had burnt down!! This is absolutely crazy...because we ventured in and around the Gamla Nature Reserve just yesterday, in its full glory. And now, it's completely destroyed. How unfortunate. It's almost bittersweet in a way; it's tragic that it's now wrecked, but it's awesome that we got to see it beforehand. It was meant to be, my friends.
Despite the opaque atmosphere, the bus ride to Nazareth was like any other bus ride. We had our morning devotions, testimonies, and sang our tour theme song (so awesome haha) "Let There Be Love".
Driving to Nazareth put a great song in my head... (I pulled into Nazareth, was feelin' just about past dead...) Haha. 

(this is what Nazareth looks like!)

(Bra shopping on the street? Yes please!)

(FIFA World Cup is a huge deal among Israeli's. Practically every house hangs a flag for the country they're cheering for.)

So here in Nazareth, we went to a location where apparently, was where Mary was told by the angel Gabriel that she was pregnant with the Messiah. I can't for the life of me remember what this place was called, but of course, like every other significant location, it was replaced by a fancy schmancy catholic church with shrines, statues, mosaics, and little tea-light candles. But what I thought was excellent about this venue was that each country had submitted a large interpretative mosaic of Gabriel speaking to Mary. I fell in love with this artwork, because it was all so multi-cultural. To explain further, Korea had a mosaic of a Korean Mary and a Korean Jesus, and the Ukraine portrayed people wearing Ukrainian apparel and such. For some odd reason, I didn't even bother to look at the Canadian mosaic. Sad. All of these mosaics made me decide that I want to create a mosaic one day. I've never done anything like it before, and I think it would be quite something. I mean, I don't have the desire to create my own interpretation of this Gabriel-Mary encounter or anything...but maybe this summer something will come to mind?

After this we headed to "Nazareth Village", which is's a small village situated within the Nazareth city limits. It's a replica of what Nazareth would've been like 2000 years ago, back when Jesus walked left his footprints in the sandy dirt roads. These replica even includes people dressed as first-century citizens! It's totally volunteer-run; the workers there don't get paid, and I'm even pretty sure that you don't even need to pay to come inside. So their only way of raising money and continuing on is through gift-shop support. As the brochure once told me, it includes cultivated terraces and vineyards, an ancient wine-press, a watch tower, a working olive-press, a threshing floor, and a village well. I, and everyone else in my group absolutely loved this place. I mean, experiencing first-hand what it must've been like to live in such a place at such a time, was eye-opening. I can't imagine threshing in plus 40 weather, with the sun beating down on you, while clothed in what seemed to practically appear as tarps. I can't imagine having a little stone well as your only source of water. And as shallow as this sounds, I can't imagine life without lightbulbs, Sobey's, and Blogspot. Sigh. (A random fact from this tour: this woman showed us how blankets and other means of cloth were made back then, and how they made the yarn into different colors by dying it with all of nature's goods like pomegranate juice and olives.)

(this is what the landscape was like 2000 years ago, minus the buildings in the background...haha)

(little threshers! Half of them are actually American didn't hear it from me!)


(Weaving blankets from yarn)

(Pita bread)

(Our pita bread maker)

(Jenny and Jenni! What a wonderful woman!!)

(Olive Press)

(The cool oil lamps we got to take home)

(Me and my Kippah)

We then had the privilege of experiencing a first-century meal! We had little pottery cups of water, bbq'd chicken, pita bread, olives, hummus, some sesame seed salad concoction, and watermelon for dessert. I found it funny how they referred to this as a "first-century" meal, because this is STILL what all Israeli's eat, ALL the time. Hahaha. Makes me chuckle. We also got to take home little oil lamps like they used in the olden-days! How exciting.

After making a quick stop at a diamond factory, we then headed back to Tiberius, where we watched a short movie called the "Sea of Galilee Experience". This movie was super awesome to me, but apparently not to the snoring guy a few seats down. It gave me a craving to watch random Bible movies.

Tonight at supper, we decided that with our good friends Bob and Gloria, we would swim in the Sea of Galilee. I'm sad that I don't hold the photos to this great bonding experience, but you're just gonna have to take my word for how wonderful it was. This body of water didn't contain any beaches with pretty white sand. Just rocks and docks and clear-as-mud waters.

Charmaine and I ended the day with Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2. I thank God for the uneventful, yet exciting day. There was alot to take in, bringing you to the point of exhaustion, but worth every second nonetheless.


  1. Love it!!! I am so jealous Jenni! It is sounding like the trip of a lifetime!!!
    When I think of random Bible movies, I remember those cartoon ones with that girl and guy (or was it two guys?!) who go back in time to Bible days and they have to help solve whatever is going on.... like Queen Esther and stuff. Do you remember what I am talking about? I can't remember the name of it! haha, good times. I guess there is always the donut man too.

    Did you swim in the Dead Sea??

  2. Jenni - I love your wall!
    You look so pretty sitting in the window.
    I also like the the one with the two Jennys - so happy.