Just a few snapshots of our 4-day trip to Galilee! We’ve “graduated” from our class, and we’re headed back to the States in 3 days…crazy! In the meantime, we’ll be exploring Jerusalem as much as possible. Please keep my team in your prayers as some are experiencing sickness and as we travel. Thanks! =]


3-day Negev Trip!


My Trip To An Israeli Hospital…

Welp, I am officially the biggest clutz of all time. I had a trip to an Israeli ER last night, which was quite the experience.

Essentially, I fell down the stairs at JUC. You can ask anyone…they’re ridiculous — thin, incredibly steep, made of stone, and slippery. AND I live on the roof, so I have to climb down 64 to get to the gate of JUC. Amy, Olivia, and I were walking down them, and I wasn’t paying attention. Before I knew it, I slipped, my lower back hit one of the steps, and I slid down about 6. Then, I laid in a ball, crying, and a ton of people popped out; apparently, the sound my back made was pretty bad. 
Luckily, Mrs. Huber is a nurse, though, so she helped me through everything. A big bruise was forming on my spine, so she insisted I go to a hospital to get it X-Rayed. She, Amy, and the president of JUC (haha) took me, and they performed an X-Ray. It came through clear; I have no fractures. It’s just severely, severely bruised. The doctor told me to take 3 ibuprofen a day, so that’s what I’m going to do. We’re leaving this morning for a 3-day trip to the Negev, but I’m going to try to take it easy while keeping up with everybody. We’ll see how that goes.
Please just keep me in your prayers. Moving hurts…a lot…but I’m in Israel and want to make the most of it. God has already helped me so much thus far, and I know He’ll continue to work in me and my group. =]

Well, folks…it’s official! I am here in Jerusalem, Israel, living life as a normal college student/tourist!! I can’t believe that I have already been here for 4 days. Where to even begin?! I suppose I can tell you about my living space.

^This is me, chilling on the roof of JUC’s campus. Yes, this IS where my room is…on top of the roof. I am rooming with my GC roommate Amy, the GC librarian George-ann Kurtz-Shaw, and a fellow classmate Robin. We live in the only room on the roof, but we get to wake up to THIS every morning…the view of the Water Ridge Valley, looking at the King David Hotel and Israel’s YMCA. It’s stunning. I just can’t believe I’m living here.

We’ve been doing SO many amazing things while here: walking around the Old City and the City of David, climbing on rocks at archaeological sites, singing praises in the chapel where Mary was born, roaming around the Dome of the Rock, and learning by the Pools of Bethesda. We have 4-hour class sessions, which are excruciatingly painful yet extremely informative. After class, we get to tour different parts of the city for another 4 or 5 hours, which is always an adventure. I can’t wait to do more things and see more of where Jesus walked!!

Above is a picture I took at the Temple of the Holy Sepulcher, where Israel claims to hold the stone that rolled away from Jesus’s tomb. This temple was the most ornate church I have ever been in, and it truly felt holy. I had tears in my eyes, thinking of Jesus’s presence in the town I’m studying in. I will never forget the sacredness of this place.

^This picture shows me, Amy, and my dear friend Olivia, walking through Hezekiah’s Tunnel. Although my claustrophobic tendencies were about to kick in, I LOVED every second of this. We walked through the ice-cold water for 25 minutes and were able to see the man-made tunnel that leads to the Siloam Pool. I am in awe of the architecture here; the Israelites know how it’s done! 

Basically, I am absolutely loving this so far. I am completely exhausted and can only dream of reading Catching Fire, but I appreciate every second spent learning about the land of Israel. Tomorrow, we are going on our first day trip, so I’m sure I will have plenty to write about! Until then! =]


ISRAEL BOUND!

Well, folks, here it is…Sarah’s Blog, 2.0!

This time around, I am headed to Jerusalem, Israel, with 13 Greenville students and 3 professors! We are participating in a religious studies course through Jerusalem University College, which sits on Mount Zion and overlooks the old city of Jerusalem. We will spend the next 3.5 weeks exploring the lands that Jesus walked on, and I absolutely CANNOT wait.

We are flying out tomorrow from STL to JFK in New York City, where we will experience a 7-hour layover…yayyy! (I will be reading The Hunger Games the whole time, while sipping on some Starbucks). From there, we will fly for 12 hours into Tel-Aviv (!). 

Please keep me and my group in your prayers as we set out on this awesome adventure. This is a journey of a lifetime, and I can’t wait to see what God will show us in the land of Israel. Pray for safe travels and that we will grow as a team that can share Christ’s love with everyone we encounter.

Also, feel free to follow this blog! I promise to make it interesting. =] I’ll miss you all!


These are my kids, whom I love so, so, SO much. I have to say goodbye to them tomorrow, which will be incredibly sad. Please keep me in your thoughts; I will probably be crying a lot!

These are my kids, whom I love so, so, SO much. I have to say goodbye to them tomorrow, which will be incredibly sad. Please keep me in your thoughts; I will probably be crying a lot!


We. Are. So. Busy.

We leave Nanning in two days, so things are cuh-razy here. Outside of the usual lesson planning and working with students, the school requires that we have many performances for the camp’s closing ceremony on Thursday evening. Thus, we are preparing a song with our individual classes, a traditional Chinese dance with students, and a song/dance with fellow foreign teachers. Considering I am uncoordinated, and my dance partner is the 16-year-old who is in love with me, the past few days have been verrry interesting.

BUT.

I want to tell you about our field trip yesterday! The school took us, along with 130 students and 13 administrators, to Beihai, which is a beautiful beach city near Vietnam. We drove 3 hours on a Chinese bus, which is an experience in itself. Once we got there, we went to a restaurant with only seafood…that’s right…shrimp with eyes and facial hair, mussels, fish with a face, eel…the works! Every vegetarian’s dream! (Sarcasm) The beach, however, made the eats worth it. It was so great to relax! I walked up and down the beach with my Chinese friend Muz and a precious student, Cindy. We hunted for shells and ended up finding 4 hermit crabs, who now live in mine and Carrie’s room. Muz also convinced the lifeguard to let us climb up in his tower, which was so great. Along with relaxing and tanning, I found a few cool gifts for some of you loved ones back home! =]

Have I said that I love it here yet?? Because I really do. 

P.S. Apparently, Chinese chalkboards are made out of glass. Mine shattered on top of me today during my lesson. By the grace of the Father, I walked out with only a few bruises and cuts.

P.P.S. Don’t get sick in China. Loving, sweet students will give you chicken feet to eat. I am not even kidding.

Miss you all!!


Things that make me smile: Asian notebooks, a disappearing lake, Halloween parties, my roomie Carrie Potter, and banking without a translator.


A Day in the Life of a Foreign English Teacher

Here’s a run-down of my typical day in Nanning:


6:14 AM: My wonderful roomie Carrie and I wake up. Although the rest of our teams sleeps until 7:30, we like to wake up early for devotions, jam sessions, and instant coffee.

7:30 AM: We depart for our 20 minute walk to get what we call the “Breakfast of Champions”. Carrie always gets noodles, and I get 2 boiled eggs and a steamed roll. Beyond delicious!

8:25 AM: Arrive at the school. Chinese culture requires students to arrive in the classroom before the teacher, so they eagerly await our entrance. Beforehand, they tidy up the room…it’s so precious!

8:30 AM - 11:30 AM: Teach, teach, teach. Sing silly songs, dance around, speak slow English, get covered in chalk, take away multiple phones, play games, laugh, and encourage. All good fun!

11:45 AM: Eat lunch with several students! There are multiple cantines around campus, so we get to eat lots of incredible food with incredible company. You can bet that at least one student will make a comment about my lack of chopstick-skills.

1:00 PM: Team meeting with Elizabeth! This is a great time to unwind, detox, and plan activities.

3:00 PM-5:00 PM on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays: Afternoon activites! This can range from playing basketball to watching a movie to having a tea party. During this time, we sweat off our entire breakfast AND lunch. (No AC…wahoooo!)

5:15 PM: DINNER. No words necessary. =]

7:30 PM-8:30 PM on Wednesdays and Fridays: Culture nights! So far, we presented American birthdays and Christmas, and tomorrow night, we are covering Halloween and Thanksgiving. We acted out the Christmas story, and I got to be Mary. Lifelong dream…accomplished!

That’s basically it! As for the rest of our free time, you can find us drinking mango smoothies at our favorite shop, lesson planning, playing Dutch Blitz, walking through a jungle, getting mosquito bites, lesson planning, eating Magnum bars, getting stared at like musical monkeys, jamming to Adele, lesson planning, spending time with students, braiding hair, napping, lesson planning, learning to speak Mandarin, befriending locals and precious babies, lesson planning, reading, picking fresh lichi from trees, and downloading music from Chinese Google. Oh, and did I mention lesson planning??

Although no words can describe my adventures here, I can summarize it into this: I am loving every second of this experience. No doubt about it.


Today, we toured the great city of Nanning with our students. It was a day to remember, thanks to the Nanning Expo, the Minorities Museum, an exhausting, hot hike, a Buddhist temple, and some spectacular views. =]