Ready for Armageddon!

Hannah VanVels writes:

After several months of anticipation, I can finally say that I am ready for “Armageddon!” I’ve dusted off my school supplies, printed off my syllabi, triple-checked my packing list, made countless last minute phone calls and treks to the store for more sunscreen, tracked down rogue socks, and, of course, exchanged hugs and farewells with friends and family. I think I’m ready.

I can hardly believe that in less than 24 hours, I will be boarding my plane, and by Friday I will actually be in Israel. I just finished up my third year at the University of Michigan (go blue!), and I’ve spent each of my summers differently, having stayed at school to work all summer, coming home all summer, and now this will be the traveling summer. I can’t wait. Equally exciting is the dig itself. Although I am an archaeology major, I’ve never been on a dig. In fact, I think the last time I played in the dirt was probably my elementary school sand box. I am so pumped to see a real dig site first hand, since most of my archaeology classes consist of examining pictures on slides. Helping on this dig is going to help me understand better the fundamentals of archaeology, and I’ll be able to grasp more fully what my professors relate in their experiences on their digs and what goes in to extracting history from the dirt.

While I’m not sure I have any idea what to expect, I am very excited all the same. My friends and family ask about the weather and how I will be able to work in that heat, and I mostly respond that I will wear a hat and drink lots of water. They ask what a kibbutz is, and I recite what I read on the Megiddo website and off Wikipedia. They ask what working on a dig actually entails, and I answer that I think wheelbarrows and trowels are involved. And they wish me luck on making it through airport security, and I apprehensively thank them. I am filled with a nervous anticipation coupled with barely containable excitement on what the next 2 months will have in store for me at Megiddo.

As well as the dig, I am really looking forward to traveling around Israel as well. I’ve never been to Israel (or that part of the world even), so I am anxious to see what the country holds. I am especially excited to visit some of the important religious sites that I’ve grown up knowing the names of from church and the historical sites that I’ve studied in some of my classes at college. To actually be there will undoubtedly be an unforgettable experience.

It’s almost overwhelming to think of just how old the country of Israel is, all the events (both major and day-to-day) that took place there and specifically at Megiddo, and all that the old proud walls of Megiddo have seen. It may be romantic thinking on my behalf, but I do think that the rocks have a story, and I can’t wait to help unravel that story!

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