What a day, what a day!
Up and eating breakfast at 7:30am. Had some speaker come in and talk to us about... er.. stuff. He was a journalist for Jerusalem Post, I think. I harrassed him with lots of questions. Heh. After that we packed up and went for a day hike to the Bet Shemesh/Luzit area.
Hot hot hot as we hiked through scrubland and fields to get to a giant manmade cave. Evidently this is where Jews gathered. After we hung out there, made lunch, ate and cleaned up we moved on to the much more exciting caves
... those made by the Jews when hiding from the Romans. Few words will do the experience justice, but let me just say it was incredible
. To think that thousands of years ago Jews secretly dug these tunnels and then hundreds hid within... wow. The tunnels were dark, damp and in many places very tight. We had to crawl on our bellies and hands and knees at several points to get to the next chamber. When we finally got to the largest and innermost chamber we sat and listened as our teacher told us about the history and stories surrounding this incredible place. After that we shut all the flashlights off and sat in the dark for one minute....... it was scary but very moving. While the lights were still off many began to sing in Hebrew as the rest of us clapped or kept a beat on our knees. It was amazing! Such an incredible experience.
Ok, I had a lot more to write but I am *seriously* distracted by the loud Orthodox women who have taken up a discussion in Hebrew RIGHT beside me here in the dining room. Who are they? I haven'ta clue because they aren't with this program at all. Strange. They have gathered in a round circle to have a talk about....well, I don't know what other than the one word I understood: pigua (peegooah). Terrorist attack/bomb. They're even recording their talk with a little tape recorder!
Anyway, I had more to say about the caves and our trip to the Kotel (Western Wall) last night but I can't think with these loud Israelis in my ear. I will try to post pictures soon.... I have *hundreds*! Thanks for looking in on me and not giving up! I'll post again as soon as I can. :-)