I got into Jerusalem at 2:30 Wednesday afternoon. We had orientations that night, toured the center, ate great food and met all of the awesome people that work here. This building is beautiful. There are gardens everywhere and every room has a deck with a view of the city. Today we had more orientations in the morning and then we got to go on a tour of Jerusalem. I still cannot believe I'm really here! The city is divided up into quarters for the different groups. We walked through the Muslim and the Christian quarter and were able to see some awesome views of the city. I think the most incredible thing about the center that I have noticed so far (this is only my second day here so I'm sure I have lots more to notice) is how welcoming and unbiased they are to the separate groups. The people that work here are both Muslims and Jews, they teach us both Arabic and Hebrew and we take classes in the history of both of the major groups. The center itself is in the Palestinian part of Jerusalem, but one of our professors said that it is on the border between the two sides. When we were walking through the city all of these merchants kept saying "hey mormons!" and one guy kept singing to us. They seem to be able to recognize us right away and center really has a good reputation throughout the city. This other merchant, Shabon, took us to his store and gave us all drinks to welcome us to the city... and to make us want to come back and buy stuff. He had a BYU shirt hanging up in his store. I've already learned a lot just in our speed tour of the city. I'm going to go eat some awesome food but I hope everything is going awesome with everyone!
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
I can't believe there's only one week until I'll be on a plane to the Middle East. Its kinda surreal, but I'm so excited! There's just so much to do! Thankfully I only have one more final left and tomorrow is my last day at work. Also my family is coming on Thursday for Reni's graduation so I'll have a couple more hands to help me pack. Wow. I can't believe it came so soon! I love you all and I'm going to miss you so much!
Posted by Jenna MacKay at 5:55 PM