Green hot pepper…stuff

The last few days have been extremely busy, so I was glad to learn that today was going to be pretty slow. We got up at 6 to have breakfast and then did some work on the site tools so  that every unit has the appropriate tools. After that we just hung out and got to know some of the new folks that have come this year. Tomorrow is going to be a very early one. We are expected to be in the field tomorrow at 5am. For those of you that didn’t know, there is indeed a 5am, and it is just as bad as you might expect it to be.

So all this week we have been making our own lunches. We have been eating pita, smoked chicken deli meat, hummus, and this very awesome spicy green pepper…stuff. It’s a paste really. And it is very good and pretty darn spicy. I am now already trying to find a way to get a few containers of that stuff home.  The funny thing is, no one know what the stuff is. Even the people that can read Hebrew don’t know. Funny, but man that stuff tastes good……good. Most of the students come in over the next few days and the dig officially starts Monday. I am going to take a nap now.


Kibbutz Ruhamma, our second Home

We are finally here. after about 36hrs of travel we are relaxing in our air conditioned room at the great Kibbutz Ruhamma. It was really neat being able to come back here and see old friends. It was almost like we never really left. I cannot believe it has been a year. Ruhamma and the wonderful people here have made some great improvements on the Kibbutz. It is even prettier than it was last year.

Today we mainly fought pretty harsh sleep deprivation and after a small nap we cleaned out the “pottery washing” area, while dodging the possibility of running into vipers.  We were told that when we clean out this area to “watch for vipers, they have been particularly bad this year”. Right. Vipers. Great.  But to our great luck we did not meet with any.

Tomorrow we start early..not “dig” early but 6am still comes pretty darn early. Here is to a good night sleep in my second home. Night guys

A few day left

Only a couple of days now. Its always the hardest when I only have a little while left before I leave. I always thing that I should be spending more time with my family. I am really going to miss them. A lot is going on in our live right now. We are going to be moving to Michigan in August. I am starting a PhD program in biblical and near eastern archaeology at Andrews University. Its  a really nice place and I think its a really good program, but its is hard leaving so much family that we have here. Its an adventure, that’s for sure. Change is often bitter-sweet. But I think it will be good for us.

Better This Year

Well, I leave for Israel in a few days. I will try to do better this year and actually write and update this blog. I expect this year to be even better than last year.  Here is to a great dig season!!

Jerusalem Bells

This past week was our first week of digging. Its going pretty well. We found an egyptian scarab bead which was very cool. The weather here is getting much hotter and it is becoming more and more important to get a lot of water. I am having to take water breaks a few times and hour just to keep up. I might should even do more than that! This week end was one to remember though.

We spent the entire weekend in Jerusalem. We stayed in the National Hotel just outside the old city. It was a very nice hotel with very friendly staff and great access to the city. We got to Jerusalem just in time to run down to the Western Wall and be there for Sabbat. It was very spiritual experience. I got to touch the Western Wall and pray there. It was very cool. On Saturday we walked all over the old city and saw all the sites: The Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the Tomb of Mary, A really old Coptic Christian Church, The Garden Tomb, Golgotha, and then we went shopping. I got some really cool stuff for my wife and daughter and a couple of small things for myself. I guess I need to get something for my son, even though he is too young to understand. On Saturday evening we went up to the Mount of Olives and visited the Garden of Gethsemane which was very cool. We then watched the Sunset over Jerusalem. Really really amazing. I had a great time. Jerusalem is a huge city and is very crowed and people drive like a kind of crazy that I have never seen before. It was a bit un-nerving.  On Sunday we went into the City of David and we got to go onto the Temple Mount and touch the Dome of the Rock. Very cool.  It really was a great trip. I hope we get to go again.

Nothing like a Hebrew Coke

mmmm....Hebrew Coke

We went out to eat for the first time tonight. I had lamb kabob. It was delicious. We really didn’t do to much today. We set up our water screening/pottery sorting station and then mostly just hung out. I think I still have jet lag a bit. I am really tired now and I am about to go to bed. I have a very early day tomorrow. whoo…

Snakes and Scorpions

I was out on our site yesterday doing GPR when I ran across a 6 foot long snake skin. Needless to say that it made me a little nervous, so I asked our one of our dig directors about it. He said “oh, that ones ok, the long ones aren’t the ones you have to worry about, its the short ones that are vipers”. Fantastic.  We also have scorpions on our site. We are not supposed to pick up a rock without kicking it over first to check for the nasty critters. And its true, the small ones have the worst sting.  So, yeah, that’s good news, nothing like having to constantly watch out for all manner of critters half way around the world.

Today was nice. We worked, but it was pretty light work. The sun is hot, but the shade and the breeze make it feel really nice, even in the heat of the day. I got to go to Lahav today which is the site of the house that I am doing my masters thesis on. Very cool place. We also got to go the kibbutz store and I saw a hebrew coke can, which I know is kind of silly to even mention, but it was pretty cool. I bought some hummus from the store and it is AWESOME. For those of you that know me well, you know I like hummus. Let me tell you this is the best I have ever had bar none! I have mentioned the food in other post, but I have one other thing to say. We eat very very healthy here, and its easy. Lots of fresh fruits and veggies, and they are super good. Very sweet peppers and cherry tomatoes that taste like candy. Did I mention that I like the hummus here. Its rockin!

Got to talk to my sweet family yesterday on skype. Technology is great. Half way around the world and it sounded like they were in the next room. I miss them, but it is a dream come true to be here. I am going to bring them with me someday.