17 April, 2013

My Dad Visited Israel :)

Let me start off by saying I would not be in Israel right now if it wasn't for my dad. There was absolutely no way I could have afforded a semester abroad on my own, but with his generous help, I was able to come. I can't thank him enough for his support and his sacrifice. I love you dad!!

I found myself filled with butterflies as I was up top waiting for his bus to arrive. A few other students were with me who's parents were also coming :) Josh Grisanti's dad was so kind to organize a "Friends & Family" trip to Israel, where he lead them around the whole country for a week so they could catch a glimpse of what their loved ones are studying here. 

So the bus arrived andddd I just about died! 

The next day we left the moshav at 7am so we could have as long in Jerusalem as possible. As you can imagine, I was thrilled to be able to join the group and see my dad's first experience in my favorite city.
In this post, I tried to minimize explanations of importance and history since it's been thoroughly covered in my Jerusalem field study posts from the beginning of the semester.

First stop, Western Wall

While my dad went into the men's section, I wandered in the women's section for a lil bit. It was nice to be here on a non-Shabbat day so that I could take some photos

 Taylor teaching his family about Jewish culture

 I went to see what my dad was up to, so I peaked through the gate and found this. heh. precious moment

So much gratitude to the Grisanti family!!!

In the Roman cardo, the main north/south street in the 1st century AD

Throughout the day, I got to re-visit certain places from early on in the semester. It was neat to see how much I have learned since then, and it was great to hear Dr. Grisanti's take on everything.

Hezekiah's broad wall

First Old City food experience.. Shwarma Laffa. Don't let the smile fool you... he didn't like Israeli food hahah

We walked up to the Temple Mount after waiting in line for awhile.

Al Aqsa mosque entrance and the Dome of the Rock

Lexi and her momma :) it was so good to meet you Rene!

Next was the Jerusalem Archaeological Park

Thennnn I got to do Hezekiah's tunnel again!! It lies about 100 feet underground, is a third of a mile long, and is filled with water

We made it!


My dad got to experience his first Shabbat in Israel! It was good to see him again since his spent a few days away from the moshav so they could explore the rest of Israel. We enjoyed a yummy dinner with all the students, parents, and faculty.

Ben giving the Shabbat devotional

After chapel

It was a skirt kind of night :) can I just say I much I stinkin LOOOVEE these ladies!!!!!

Hahahaha <3

Second (and last) day in Jerusalem

I was so glad that the group was able to spend two full days in Jerusalem instead of one. Though I feel that you need much longer than that to experience all its grandeur, I was surprised at how much of the city they got to see. Dr. Grisanti did a great job planning everything out.

We started out on the Mt. of Olives

Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus went to pray the night before He was crucified (Matthew 26, Luke 22)

Inside the Church of Gethsemane.. (Steph look at the cross!!)

Next we went to a spot where we could see Bethlehem from. then.. behold! I caught a lil baby lamb :)

Overlooking Jerusalem. Meet the friends and family group!! 

Ben and his dad :)


 Princess and her precious fam :)

Then Dr. Grisanti released the parents so we could take them around the city ourselves. We stopped at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher first, this is the best possible location for the tomb of Jesus.. however it was quarried out then turned into a church. and I'm not one to be a fan of the bells and whistles so... eh

Now for my favorite stop of the day: David's Kitchen!! My favvv place to eat in the Old City. Lexi and her momma joined us.

Lex got a plate of mystery meat... but it was good! :) (and by mystery I mean chicken liver, heart, kidney..haha)

Then me and my dad went to go explore the city on our own

I took my dad up to David's Citadel.. the very first place I ever visited in Jerusalem. It is such a neat place to explore and provides an excellent view of city

 Archer Dan! haha

View from inside the citadel

Sooo that concludes my dad's visit to Israel. It was so so so great to have him here with me. Having a piece of home come to Israel was a huge comfort to my heart, because so often it seems like my life in California and my life in Israel are very separate (7500 miles is a longggg distance). He had an amazing time here, and though it was sad to see him leave, I couldn't get over the fact that he was able to be here for a week. Can't wait to see him when I get home!!