DAY 1--Sunday, January 25th
We loaded the buses at the crack of dawn (without much sleep from the night before) and took off ready to have the time of our lives! By that night, we still hadn't crossed the border into Egyptian territory, but we did a lot of driving (all barriers were broken down in our beloved bus) and made a few stops along the way. In all the different places we visited, there was one constant: camels. There were camels everywhere. If you look to the left, clearly, I am the only one taking the "Beware of Camels" warning seriously. You can never be too cautious.....
First we stopped at Tel Beersheba, an ancient biblical city. Joseph and Mary may have passed through here on their flight to Egypt when Christ was a child. Abraham also had many experiences in and around Beersheba. This is where he was living when he received the commandment to travel to Moriah (near Jerusalem) and offer up his son Isaac as a sacrifice.
Next stop, we went to an overlook of the Wilderness of Zin where Moses and the children of Israel wandered for forty, yes FORTY, years after escaping from Egypt, looking for the promised land. It shouldn't have taken so long for them to reach the promised land, but they kept turning to wickedness, so the Lord kept them in the wilderness for a VERY LONG TIME. Let me just say this, when the scriptures said "wilderness," I had it in my mind that it was like trees and woods. Oh no no no. It is the most desolate thing I've ever seen. It's just flat out desert. Plain, dry, hot, rocky, sandy desert. Poor, poor Israelites. Here we are, pondering how bad it would stink to be stuck here (look beyond us) for forty years.
Okay, after that, the only other place we stopped was called Avdat. I'm pretty sure it had some significance with trade routes or something. All I know is that it was like a great, big, ancient playground. Complete with caves, ditches, the whole shebang. It was a blast.
That night we finally made it to our home for the night: a Kibbutz. Basically, it's like a socialist compound where everyone in their community lives and works. It was pretty interesting to learn about. Of course we spiced up our night with dancing, finger-fencing, and a few rounds of big booty. Then off to bed to get ready for tomorrow!