Friday, June 8, 2007

Egypt & Israel

Well, here I am with my first post in my new blog. I am very excited to try this out. I just recently have been trying out my first stuff with digital scrapbooking and Adobe (hence my pathetic and very busy title up above). I finally gave up after hours of switching things around. This was my first time using Photoshop. I know... it will be changed as soon as I have a few more hours!

I have had a couple of people ask me to post a couple of pics from my last trips so I'll begin with that. In May me and Martin (my little sweetie) spent 3 weeks in Egypt, Jordan and Israel. It was fabulous!!! We also took Heather along for the ride (our wonderful nanny!) I love Egypt. Of course while we were in Cairo we had to see the Pyramids and the Sphynx. I love standing next to these amazing objects.
We also spent the day in Luxor. This is probably my favorite place in Egypt. If anyone goes to Egypt they must go to Luxor. It seems that every direction you look at all times there is something amazing and ancient that was built there. And the hieroglyphics are beautiful and some are brightly colored, despite the age and the elements. The most fun part of the day in Luxor was the fact that our plane broke down and we didn't get back to Cairo until 4:00am. (yeah!) But we survived and still toured Cairo the next day. Even though we were half asleep!!! I always love going to Egypt. I love to read books and if anyone wants a book suggestion to read about the Pharoahs of Egypt and what the carvings mean I would recommend reading "Book of the Dead" by E.A. Wallas Budge as well as a fun book to read is "Who Killed King Tut" by Michael King and a few other authors. He might actually begin doing tours for our company. He is very knowledgable about Egypt.

And then we went to Israel. I love Israel because so many events have taken place in this area. I also love the spiritual feeling I have here! Also I love visiting my good friends in Israel. My Jewish Uncle (who has adopted me into his family) Jospeh Ginat is an amazing man who is a huge inspiration in my life. I always appreciate visiting him. He calls Martin his grandson. It is great because Martin has grandparents in Utah, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Israel. What a lucky kid!
Here is a picture of Martin and Heather in the Dead Sea. He didn't want to be in it. He thought it was too cold. There is also a picture me, Lindsay & Heather at the aqueducts from Ceserea and then here is me and Martin in the Garden of Gethsemane. I can't even describe the feelings that I have in such a place as the Garden of Gethsemane or the Garden Tomb. I walked around the Garden of Gethsemane holding my beautiful sleeping boy and I was filled with many emotions. I can not imagine the sacrifice that was done here for me and for my son. I am so grateful that I can be with my family forever! I am also incredibly grateful for my two little boys.

Here is the Western Wall (or the Wailing Wall as many people call it. We had another guide named Joseph who took Martin up to touch the wall. It is seperated by Men on one side and women on the other. We came here twice. Once when they were doing Bar Mitzvah's and the then we came Friday night to watch them welcome in the Sabbath. I loved to see their singing and dancing and their devotion towards their religion and God. It is difficult to find people who are devoted towards God these days. It seems most people find that they are devoted to mankind or to themselves. What a sad world this has become. People have lost faith and don't believe in miracles of God. They also repress the feelings that God is so wanting to share with his children. Anyways- sorry about my spiritual side coming out. I normally don't talk about that, especially on a blog, but the reason for this tour was to learn more about Jesus and God.
To continue.... One of the highlights of my tour was going to Beit Lehi (or Lehi's Cave). If anyone has read the Book of Mormon then they will know who Lehi is. Because he is in the beginning of the Book of Mormon. Anways this could possible be his cave. In Israel the place is called the Valley of Laman (which is one of Lehi's sons). The Muslims believe that the prophet Lehi taught here about 600 BC. Which happens to be when the Book of Mormon begins with Lehi. (pretty interesting heh??) So, they have been doing excavating here. Dr. Glen Kimber has been heading this up. We are lucky because he is such a good friend to our family. We are the only tour group he allows to go there. By the way I also had some great educators with us as well. Dr. S. Michael Wilcox and Dr. John Lund came with me. So, Glen said that me, John, and Michael could leave the group and go through a tunnel as Elder Hartman Rector was taking the group around to see the excavations. We found this little hole, grabbed flashlights and scooted on our stomachs for about 100 yards. It was exhilerating! It was a tight fit, but we all made it and it was well worth it. It opened up to these huge caverns filled with these little triangles. Inside each of these holes they used to keep doves. There were hundreds of these holes. They would sell the doves to those people going to the temple. They would then sacrifice them. I couldn't get very many pictures down there because it was so dark. But it was a lot of fun. I can't wait until they begin excavating it.

Another fun thing that happened while I was there is that the tomb of Harod the Great was discovered. The picture of me and the man with the turban is the person who discovered the tomb. He is very famous. He has even worked with the Pope on some discoveries. Right now he is dedicating his time with Beit Lehi. It is a very exciting excavation site. We also went up to the Dome of the Rock. Martin ran around the entire time. The entire tour everyone wanted to hold him, kiss him, and take pictures of him. I think his face is on over 100 cell phones. All the locals loved him!!! And also the people on the group loved him as well. We had 90 people in the tour. And let's just say that about half of them became his grandparents as well. He was so loved by everyone it was great!

But I must tell you I missed Calvin very very much!!! I don't know that I can ever leave him for that long again!
Here is a picture of me where "supposedly" Jesus was born in Bethleham. Sad isn't it? He was born in a cave (manger) with animals and now this place is covered in jewels and gold. Not quite the same feeling!
Next stop Jordan- Petra. What a great way to end the trip!! If anyone has seen Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom this is the huge stone carving that they go into at the end. And it is impressive!!! We began by riding on a horse. Martin was strapped onto my back. Then you go down this narrow passageway. At the very end suddenly you see it. It is huge. I have a picture somewhere of me and Martin and Heather riding camels around it, but Lindsay has the pictures. I'll post it later. Anyways the entire area is just hundreds of carvings. There are amphitheatres, houses, temples, churches all built out of stone. It was quite warm so we only walked around for a few hours. Then I rode the
horses back with Martin passed out on my back. Well, that night we flew to Cairo and the next day we flew home. We got in around midnight and there was my boy Calvin waiting for me. I was so excited to see him. I got a huge hug and also a beautiful flower that he had picked for me. Josh was very excited to see Martin.
Well, that's it for that trip. I just got back from Boston visiting my in-laws. I'll blog that hopefully tomorrow!
If anyone wants to go to Egypt, Israel, or Petra- give me a call!


brittany said...

Wow! great job! I think the header looks fab--beautiful boarder. I knew you'd be great at photoshop!

I love seeing all those great pictures. someday I'd like to go to those places...


ps, I got the order ready to ship for Monday!

Stephie Dawn said...

Next time leave the Nanny home and take ME! - :) Love and miss you guys - I start Nursing school in August so it will probably be some time next summer before I can come to visit again -

xoxoxo to all from N.C.

bloominmemories said...

It's so good to hear from you again! I'm totally making Bryan read this ... your photos are amazing! hugs! Amber

bloominmemories said...

It's so good to hear from you again! I'm totally making Bryan read this ... your photos are amazing! hugs! Amber

The Kelly Family said...

I get overwhelmed by your traveling experiences. What a blessing to see that much of the world. My favorite picture is of you riding the horse with Martin on your back. You're so adventures!

Loni Stevens said...

What a cool trip, Jamie. It's fun looking at your photos!