Greetings from the Holy Land! I finally arrived here yesterday at about 3:00 pm Jerusalem time which is 9 hours ahead of Utah. I was completely exhausted when I got here, but the staff made us stay up until at least 9:00 so that we could overcome our jet lag. Let's just say that I slept really well. :)
The flights were good.... I had 4 stops - Denver, Washington DC, Vienna, and Tel Aviv. After over 25 hours of travel and 18 hours of flying time I got here. Let's just say that the Jerusalem Center is AMAZING! I already feel at home here. The administration, faculty, staff, and service couples are all so welcoming and nice. I have like 3 grandmas here that make sure I am happy and healthy. And my fellow students are so so so awesome! I was really worried about making friends and finding my place here, but I know that these people will be lifelong friends already. We all get along so well, everyone is so nice, and things have gone great so far. And yes, there are some very very cute boys, but I am staying away from that game. :)
Today, April 29, was my first full day in Jerusalem. We took a tour of the Old City which is about a 15 minute walk from the JC (Jerusalem Center). It is very crowded, small, and full of merchants that would love to sell you things. They didn't allow us to do any shopping today, but I know that that won't last for long. We also had a great "get to know you" activity tonight which made me feel even more at home.
The classes will definitely be pretty intense. My mindset coming here was, "Oh, this is just a 3 month tour. And ya, I'll have classes, but it won't be that big of a deal." Well I was definitely wrong! My classes are already pretty intense, and it will require a lot of time on my part. But I will learn a ton and really grow from what I learn here.
The food is great! We eat in a cafeteria for every meal, so I definitely have to be careful on my portions while I am here if I want to keep off the 25 pounds I've lost. They do have a gym, but it doesn't have any treadmills. We are starting a running group in the morning so that we can learn routes outside which will be so so helpful. My dad blessed me that I would be able to keep up with my eating habits and be able to maintain while I am here, so I just need to give my full effort and hopefully that will come true.
So thus far, I have been very, very excited and happy to be here. Although I have so much to do, this experience is well worth it! I miss you all at home, but I trust that things haven't changed much since I left two days ago. :) If you want to e-mail me, my e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org. Much love!
P.S. The JC has a really small internet capacity, so I won't be able to post any pictures on here unless I go to an internet cafe. Also, they have blocked facebook so I won't be updating anything on there. Just fyi!