This is the email I sent to my family two days ago, which was my first day in Jerusalem. I'm posting it because it says a lot of what I was feeling, and what I'm still feeling!
I made it!! It was a LONG day, very very long day. I just wanted to write you real quick and let you know I'm still alive. We had a flight from Salt Lake to Denver to Washington DC to Vienna to Tel Aviv, and it was awesome getting to know everyone, but I'm SO tired. We got here to the center at about 5:00pm which over there was about 8:00 this morning, and I hadn't slept as much on the planes as I'd hoped (and being the procrastinator I am, I hadn't slept at all the night before I left. Mom, you were right). Since the faculty wants us to recover from jetlag asap, they wouldn't let us go to sleep until bedtime tonight. Haha, they even told us specifically when we went to our rooms to take our luggage there that we were not allowed to lay down on the beds at all. I can't say I blame them. I'm pretty sure every one of us would have been out in a matter of seconds. So instead, they've done their best all day with keeping us "busy." We've been on the go since we got here. We had dinner, a few orientations, and a tour of the center, and now they've finally told us we're allowed to go to sleep and I've never been so excited. But let me just say this before I go, this place is unreal. I can't even begin to describe how beautiful the building is alone. It's huge with marble floors everywhere and HUGE ceilings with big archways all over. And it's all light-colored with SO much natural light, its just so serene. I was staring wide-eyed at everything as we walked through. Not to mention that from just about any window (including my balcony) you can look out and see the Old City, with the Dome of the Rock just staring you in the face, as you hear the Muslim prayer call in the background five times a day, which is a single male voice singing (and its beautiful), and you can hear it all through Jerusalem. It's unreal. I still can't believe I'm here. This is the chance of a lifetime, and I don't even know how to express what I'm feeling just standing here thinking about how lucky I am. Thanks for all the support you guys have given me in helping me get here. I'll keep you guys updated and give you more details later, maybe tomorrow if there's time. We're going on a walk through the Old City tomorrow so I'm sure I'll have loads to tell you about. But for now, that's it. I can barely keep my eyes open and I'm pretty sure I stink of travel. I'm gonna go get nice and clean and lay down in that blessed bed and sleep soundly until sunrise when the prayer call sounds again! Love you all so much!!!!
5 years ago