The locals call this place the "Mormon University." If you tell a taxi driver to take you to the BYU Jerusalem Center, he will have no idea what you're talking about. If you tell him to take you to the Mormon University on Mt. Scopus, you'll be dropped at the front door for fifteen shekels.
The most popular treat here is not havla or gelato, but is in fact pita bread spread with nutella and/or peanut butter (my personal preference is for both). We eat it all the time. There's a special corner reserved for that purpose (and other breads, too) in the Oasis, and you can buy it after meal hours for one shekel (about 25 cents) at the Shekel Shack in the student lounge. According to my mother, this declicious treat has been a tradition for BYU students here in the Holy Land since before the Center was built--and probably at Ramat Rachel before that. And I do love being a part of long standing tradition...
|Alyssa and Rachel Holdrige (there are four of us) enjoying chocolate pita goodness in the Shekel Shack.|
There is plenty to do at the Center, but since we couldn't bring much with us we still get creative with our play. The discovery was recently made that socks tractionless flip flops make great ice skates on the polished limestone floors, so I am thinking a stocking-feet figure skating competition will soon be in order. Volleyball and basketball in the gym are a must, and in addition to that a ping pong club has recently been organized (as a side note, the ping pong and Foosball tables are in the bomb shelters--I guess we really are prepared in there). A few students initiated the Sunset Watchers Club, of which I am a proud member--we sit out on the terrace and watch the sun go down over the Old City after dinner. The best I've heard of yet, though, is a creative use of water bottles. We get big two liter bottles every time we have a field trip or free day. I've been trying to conserve mine, but between the four of us we have a stash of six or seven under the desk in our room after only one week. I'm told that some of the FHE groups are going to put them to good use on Monday night by setting them up in the gym and having a bowling tournament. I am so there.
|A gorgeous Jerusalem sunset as captured by the Jerusalem Center Sunset Club.|
|Me posing with out extensive collection of water bottle ten pins.|
|I couldn't resist this picture. Smile, Katie!|
We have our first test tomorrow morning, and my roommates and I are still singing our song. In fact, I have had it perpetually stuck in my head all week. I shall get down the lyrics I don't know for sure and post it tomorrow after I have (hopefully) aced my exam.
Boker Tov and Ma'assalama, everyone!
|The beautiful patio outside mi casa.|