I got scrapbook-happy again. Well, when some of you get scrap-happy you get a page or more done an hour, and this took me most of the afternoon; I’m so slow! Give me a card anyday. I want to start another page tonight, and if it’s a single page it might go faster? Maybe? lol.

Background paper is by Far and Away. The “10” luggage tag was provided so our bags made it onto the correct bus. Theround napkins are salvaged from the trip—I saved every scrap of scrappables I stumbled onto! Israel title is a rubon, not sure of the manufacturer.

Anyway—the large photo on the left is our bus group; my church had 3 busloads, and the whole tour group had something like 30 buses to coordinate—what a job!! That’s me standing with our tour guide, Naphthali, at the bottom of page 1. What an incredible man he is, such knowledge of both new and old testaments, Israeli history, current affairs, all sorts of things. He once taught Israel history when he was in the military, and it was easy to see why. He told us the story of Eli Cohen—and now I want to see the movie based on his life, it was fascinating!

The man on the scooter holding the #10 sign is our bus driver, Gabi. He could drive like I’ve never seen anyone drive! Sharp curves engendered no fear. Heights did nothing to shake him. Close traffic in cities didn’t bug him. He could parallel park that beast anywhere! We regularly chanted, “Gabi, Gabi, he’s our man, if he can’t do it, no one can!”

The page on the right is photos of our hotels that we stayed at, the Gai Beach Hotel in Tiberias and the Hyatt Regency in Jerusalem. The Gai was on the Galilee, so the center photo with the date palms at sunrise was taken there. Wow, how beautiful! That was the view I had the day I captured the sunrise (audio and photos) in the intro of this video that I made.

At the Hyatt in Jerusalem, we had an experience of Shabbat (pronounced shabbāt, or Sabbath)—hotels are designed in such a way to allow observant Jews to practice Sabbath rest, including things like a Shabbat elevator (it stops at every floor all the time, so no one has to “work” and push a button! Don’t get in it if you’re in a hurry!). Note that the appropriate greeting on the Sabbath is not hello but “Shabbat shalom,” meaning Sabbath Peace.

My roommate and I also had a challenge with our room’s air conditioning in Jerusalem; the first couple nights it went off every 20 minutes, and with the heat of that city, it got hot fast. The buttons on the AC didn’t work—the only thing that would turn it back on was opening and closing the room door. So the first two nights I got up every 20 minutes to get the AC back on! I told the hotel it was broken but they only said they’d fix it, and nothing changed. The third night I pitched a major fit at the front desk; they sent a workman to our room, assuming it was broken as I told them it was. He left after tinkering, and once again the AC turned off—and I headed for the desk in my pjs in near-tears from exhaustion! Finally the desk clerk checked the computer and realised our room had never been taken off the “Shabbat” setting!! That was rectified, and the rest of the trip our room was blessedly cool as we slept.

Tomorrow I am blessed to be able to present my Israel videos and stories to a church nearby, and I am so excited! Not a lot of people ask me to tell them about it—so it’s a joy to be asked to share!