Archive for the Julia Martins Category

Hey! This is my last blog for this season!

Posted in Julia Martins on July 28, 2010 by ehcline

Julia Martins writes:

Hey, everyone!

This has been our last week here at Megiddo. Tomorrow, some pictures will be taken and… that`s it for this season. This past week I`ve been working at the office, still because of my knee situation. But it turned out to be quite interesting. After digging for 3 weeks, it was fun to spend the last one learning what happens to the finds once they`re out of the site. This way, the knee injury turned out to be an opportunity for me to have a broader picture of what happens in a dig, to get a better view of all the stages involved in the work we develop here.

And now, we`re almost done. The shades are gone, the balloon pictures have been taken, the baulks are down, everything is clean, and tomorrow some last pictures will be taken. At the office, we`re just about to finish the organization of the finds for further analysis. As for us, we`re leaving the kibbutz tomorrow. Some of us are going to Jerusalem, some to Tel Aviv, some straight to the airport, others to Jordan. In my case, after a night in Tel Aviv with the remaining team members, I`ll be joining my family in France for ten days of actual vacation (since here we`ve been working!), before going back home and back to real life.

This experience has been amazing to me. I not only got to learn about history and archaeology, but I met great people from all over and got to know a different country -in- I think – the best way possible. I`ll miss the sunrises at the Tel, falafel night at the kibbutz, napping after digging, `cooking` with my room mates, playing with the kibbutz cats and dogs, breakfast time after bucket lines, and even complaining about dirty socks. But most of all, I will miss the new amazing friends I`ve made here. I`ll never forget all the awesome people I met here. I`ve learned from them and had fun with them, and we shared this great adventure of being here and being a part of something so cool. That`s why I do really hope to come back in 2012… as for now, you`re welcome to visit me in Brazil! See you soon!

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Falling out of the baulk and keeping the spirit up!

Posted in Julia Martins on July 21, 2010 by ehcline

Julia Martins writes:

Hey, everybody!

This has been a great week, here at the dig. In my area, we are bringing down baulks (actually, yesterday I came down with one of them, which was not so fun, because I twisted my knee and now am trying to recover from it as quickly as possible), doing a lot of sifting (both dry and wet), pick axing and basically, working hard, as usual. The company of my fellow team members at the area makes the work lighter – we have interesting conversations, play bands / movies games, do occasional singings and try to teach each other our own languages – which includes korean, hebrew and some portuguese. It all makes it easier to work here and, as Hannah said, wait for the simple things in our lives (besides breakfast and flip flops, I would add napping, waiting for falafel night here at the kibbutz and calling home).

Another thing I love here are the weekend trips. The firs one I went to Jerusalem, which was just amazing. Just walking around the city, getting to know its temples, people, food and little shops was awesome. Going to the western wall was the most overwhelming experience I had there, and redoing the steps of the Via Crucis was really interesting. This past weekend I had two day trips – on friday, we had a field trip to another dig, Tel Es-Safi. Even though it was cool visiting another site, I`m glad to be digging here in Megiddo – even if sometimes we think our area supervisors are too perfectionists with sections and levelling, the results are worth it. After that, we stopped for a while in Beth Shemesh, to see the cross-shaped water system. On saturday, I got to go to Nazareth and Mount Tabor. I loved both, specially Mount Tabor, with its incredible view and gardens around the Basilica. In Nazareth, the Basilica of Annunciation was really cool too and, quoting Hannah again, a bit of chance always helps. We got there just in time for mass.

For the next days, I plan on recovering from my knee injury, organising weekend trips, feeding the cats that are always around our rooms here at the kibbutz, and writing an article for my research program in Brazil – article that I`m presenting in a congress the exact next day of my arrival home! Anyway, I`m having fun here, despite the article deadline and the knee injury. I miss home, of course, but I`m learning so much and having such interesting conversations and experiences that I`m really glad to be here – and falling out of baulks is just a minor thing when you`re so happy as I am.

Dust in the wind

Posted in Julia Martins on July 13, 2010 by ehcline

Julia Martins writes:

Hey, everyone! I`ve been digging here at Megiddo for more than a week now, and I`m really enjoying the experience. To sum it up, the work is hard. We do a lot of pick-axing, bucket lines, sectioning, sifting and digging. But it is so great when we get to see the results of our work. In my case, I found a very pretty vessel this week and dug it out. It was amazing, it was still in one piece. Despite the hard work, I think I`m actually getting some rest in my winter vacation (in Brazil, we`re in the middle of the winter!). We work from 5 am to 1 pm, but once we get here to the kibbutz Ramat Hashofet, everything is much lighter. We go to the pool, take naps, hang out and talk, try to clean our digging clothes (not always successfully, but we do try!), go to the pub, and just relax and have fun. Actually, saturday we even had a barbecue (completely different of the brazilian ones, but which i loved anyway!) after getting back from Jerusalem. Also, most of us are taking classes in the evenings, which so far have been very interesting.

This past weekend, most of us went to Jerusalem. I had always wanted to go there, and I was afraid of getting disappointed, since my expectations were that high. But the opposite happened, and I fell in love with Jerusalem. I think it is one of the most extraordinary cities I`ve ever had the pleasure to be in. Walking around from mosques to churches and synagogues, tasting typical food and just getting to know one of the most fascinating cities of the world was just amazing. What made it all better was having the company of lots of new friends, that I`ve met here at the dig. This is actually one of the best things about being here: getting to know such great people and making new friends, some of them, I hope, for life. Not only I get to practice my english and my french (no one here speaks my first language, even though I`m teaching it to a couple of team members), but I get to be in touch with different thoughts, cultures and ideas. There is nothing better than this for a winter vacation.

I can see better now how archaeology is interesting and how the daily job works. I still intend to become a art history scholar, but i think I`ll always be glad that I came here. This is a great adventure for me, not only digging and traveling in the weekends throughout Israel, but getting to be a part (even if it is only for a little while) of  this completely different world. I do miss home, sure, but living here at the kibbutz has been even better than I had thought. As to my family, friends and boyfriend: amo voces e estou com saudades! I`ll blog some more soon.

Hey, everyone!

Posted in Julia Martins on July 4, 2010 by ehcline

Julia Martins writes:

Today it was the very first day for us 4-weekers of actual digging. We arrived yesterday in the Ramat Hashofet Kibbutz, and met everybody. Today I was assigned to area H, which is pretty interesting. It`s the deepest area on the Tel and we have several layers – which I`m still learning to identify. The work at the Tel surprised me a lot, but in a great way. Even though it was hard work, we got to have fun and learn a lot from our area supervisors and other team members. Another good surprise was the shade over us. It made it not that hot, and there was also a light breeze that made everything better. I also didn`t mind getting up at 4 am. It isn`t really that bad. We got to watch the sunrise over the Jezreel Valley, which was amazing.

For me it felt pretty great and relaxing. I`m not used to manual labour, I spend most of my time in classrooms or libraries, and I had no idea it could be that interesting. I plan on keep studying art history, but archaeology has got my attention for sure! Everyone seems really happy about what they`re doing and people help each other, so the work gets lighter and funner as the day goes by.

Obviously, my clothes are totally dirty and my arms do hurt a little (it`s gonna take me a while to get used to those bucket lines…) but for me this has been great so far. We also took a tour today, and that made me understand a little better what are we actually doing and how do the areas relate to one another. So, I`m gonna go back to our little party over here and I`ll blog some more later on!

From Brazil to Megiddo… here I go!

Posted in Julia Martins on June 18, 2010 by ehcline

Julia Martins writes:

Hi everyone!

It’s just so great reading about your experiences at the Tel and getting ready for the dig! I can’t tell you just how excited I am to be a part of something so amazing as this! I’m already packing and can’t wait to join you at the Second Session.

As some of you may know, I’m Brazilian. After taking 3 years of Law and realizing I just didn’t like it, I switched my grad school from Law to History. It was rather hard to do so, because here in Brazil Professors just don’t make a lot of money. So, I was afraid of abandoning a career of stability and financial security – as and attorney or a judge – and engaging this “adventure” of trying to survive being a scholar. This is one of our greatest problems in Brazil: the Professors are often underpaid and the career itself can be frustrating, since most Professors don’t get to live as comfortably as they would have hoped. Naturally, almost everyone objected my “crazy decision” of being a History Professor.

But I couldn’t be happier today. I’m certain I did the right thing, because I wake up every morning looking forward to studying and teaching. Last year, when I quit Law School, I went to Greece to celebrate it. I had never felt better. I got to see lots of dig sites and the idea of joining a dig popped into my head.  And today I’m glad I made that change in my life, I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything different. Of course, I work a lot. To live a comfortable life being a teacher, you must work hard, speak several languages and do a lot of research. So, since I’m still in grad school, I work mostly doing French books translations and being a French teacher. Besides that, I do research at the University I go to. My field is art history – which I love. Even though it is tougher to try and make a living out of the career I chose (compared to Law, at least), I don’t mind it. I love being a teacher; to me it feels like getting paid to have fun.

So, after quitting Law and surprising all my friends and family, I embraced this new career completely, trying to make up for the three years I spent complaining about going to Law School. I was having a historical archeology class when my professor started to talk about ongoing digs and mentioned Megiddo.  I got curious and searched online for more information. Even though my major will be Art History, I got really interested in having this archaeological experience, especially because I’ve never been to Israel before. And then I had an amazing surprise: Israel Finkelstein was coming to the city I live in, in the very south of Brazil (Porto Alegre), for a lecture! If that wasn’t a sign, what on earth would be? Therefore, after attending his lecture, I applied online and… here I am, ready to join you all for this adventure! I’m sure it will be the experience of a lifetime.