Yes, I am still Surviving!

Kim Snyder writes:

The first three weeks are almost over. I am still surviving, battling the sun on my arms and neck (but have not changed color or gotten “tan lines”), and still have Fizzer with me at every turn.

I am amazed at how much I am learning. My day starts at 4:00 am, which is frankly too early, but it gets us up to our sites to begin work at 5:00. I typically get to see the sunrise, and occasionally a moon set. We work until 8:30, when breakfast is served, but it resembles lunch. Some have started calling it “first lunch!” Then back to work until 11:00 water break, where my team is treated to coffee that I am making (scary isn’t it?). And then we work until about 12:30, to get back to the Kibbutz for lunch (a meat meal) at 1:00. There is pottery and bone washing, pottery reading, and classes in the afternoon, a Veggie dinner, and an evening lecture.

So, how am I keeping up? Well, I find I have to take a nap everyday, even if it’s only for 15 minutes. I get to bed as soon as I can (which tonight will be early, because I couldn’t handle tonight’s lecture), I try to laugh a lot and enjoy the break from normal life, and squirm a lot in class. It’s not that I’m impatient – my back is just cramping!

There is a huge hike to the top of the Tel, and my goal over the next few weeks is to be able to hike it without getting winded. Our space is literally hanging off the edge of the Tel, so to get into it you have to hike up and down stairs. I end up doing this several times during the day. I am serving as Registrar (making tags and logging all the paperwork for pottery and finds), and I have to make that climb several times. I’m thinking this effort should count as 10 stairmasters!

The classes I am taking are really letting me explore a number of things, from Archaeology processes, to the thought and debate going on because of what we think we know, and what we are finding out in the sites. Yesterday I got to draw a hole on a wall – which made my art classes seem not so far away. Lectures are great because I get to play with lots of ideas and figure out how to make them relevant to the folks at my church. And, last weekend we went on a study tour. The first stop was great, but the second was, well, we got lost getting off the beaten path! I must say that Tiberius is a wonderful little city, and I must go back! Perhaps after the dig is over.

In the meantime, Fizzer and I continue to study and eat well and sleep when we can. He is having a great time, and even got his picture taken with a label in one of the squares the other day. He did get a bit weepy the other day – my daughter sent us a postcard, but he’s doing much better now. He was even in the group picture we took today! Hmmm, sometimes I think he may be having more fun than I am!

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