First Two Days

Claire Niech writes:

Our first two days in Israel have been a complete whirlwind. This was my first time in Israel and I had no clue what to expect when our plane landed in Tel Aviv. After checking into our hostel and meeting up with some others students who were digging at Megiddo, we headed out to explore the city. That first night was a fun and memorable one, as we ended up sitting in lounge chairs at a restaurant on the beach and watching the World Cup games on giant screens against the backdrop of the Mediterranean Sea. The others who had gathered to watch came from all around the world and were cheering for their home team. This was especially fun for us because the World Cup isn’t such a big event at home as it was for the others here. As we walked back to the hostel along the beautiful beach, we passed different artists and shopkeepers gathered on the sidewalks and boardwalks with big screen TVs rigged to broadcast the game out on the streets with chairs set up as makeshift living rooms along the sidewalks to watch. The next morning, we walked though the Yemeni Quarter of Tel Aviv, wandering through twisting cobbled streets and admiring the posters and banners the locals had hung from their balconies. Everyone we met was very nice and many of the locals struck up conversations with our group in some of the cafes and restaurants and were interested in hearing about the dig.             I was excited for our first day on the Tel today because I had been looking forward to it for a very long time. Waking up at 4:00 am was so hard, especially when we realized the stars were still out! The Tel looked beautiful in the early morning sun, though, as did the view of the Valley. We started to weed and clear the site, moving some of the rocks and top layer of dirt out of the way. We made huge lines across the site as a brigade to move some of the larger rocks across and up out of our area. I am working in Area J, where the temple is located, so I am excited to see what we find in the next few weeks. (Hopefully, no scorpions or snakes!) Even though it was exhausting, it was a really fun day and I’m very excited for what’s in store over the next three weeks.

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