Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Beauty and the Beast (a rather handsome Beast I might add)
So, my big little sister came to visit me over Thanksgiving and we had a good time. Hands down it was the best Thanksgiving I have experienced yet. We had amazing food, lots of laughs, and good friends to share it all with. Here are a couple of the experiences he shared together during Alicia’s trip to the Middle East.

Scary Suits
Towards the end of Alicia’s trip we rented a car and headed up to the Galilee and needless to say we had a couple of interesting experiences. We got up to the Sea of Galilee and decided that we wanted to take a little swim. We stopped at three different spots and they were progressively sketch.

The first one was down a gravel road and was simply a dirty beach and no one was swimming. An elder couple was eating and several kids were riding their bikes around, so we decided to move on.

We made our way on to site number two. Thinking back on it, I’m surprised I didn’t wake up in a bathtub full of ice cold water with one of my kidneys missing. This place was something out a horror flick. It was at this hotel and there was no one there. There was stuff all over the place though, such as a baby stroller, drinks, and chairs. It looked like there was a party and everyone disappeared. There was a pool, but no water in it and a couple of really big dogs barking at us. Alicia and I just looked at each other and decided to jet.

The final site showed signs of better days with a rusty ferris wheel and the remnants of a staff full of misfit carnies. We asked how much to use the beach and they said 50 shekels so we replied, “see you later.”

We gave up on swimming.

Pounds vs. Gravity
That night we camped out on the Cliffs of Arbel. By the time camp was set up the sun was getting rather low. So, I wanted to gather some firewood for a little fire, but there were only a couple of trees and they were on the cliffs edge. I climbed on down and got some wood and on my way back up I needed to use both hands to continue climbing. So, I yelled for my sis so that she would grab the wood and she eventually found me. However, instead of helping me with the wood she reprimanded me. She said she was calling for me earlier, but I didn’t hear her. She asked me if I was alright and I replied that of course I was. She thought I was hurt because I didn’t reply to her calling and she said, “I was trying to figure out how I could pull your dead lifeless body up this cliff.” Now that’s love.

Alicia and I went to the Galilee and camped and hiked on the Cliffs of Arbel, chilled at Elijah’s cave, and saw a beautifully landscaped Bahai temple. In Jerusalem we went to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, Hezekiah’s Tunnel, Western Wall, and what kind of brother would I be if we didn’t go visit a hole with the Canadians (pictures soon to follow).

Bragging Rights
My sister and I are similar in a couple of ways. Hair and eye color (some people say we look alike but they lie). We both have very strong personalities and can be rather bull headed at times. However, my sister and I are different in ways as well. I’m a lot bigger than she is and she’s a lot better looking than I am (any guys reading this and are interested in my sis better be bigger than me…just an fyi). I’m athletic and she’s a genius. Alicia is much more of a stronger person than I am and I have a lot of respect for her because of this and for many other reasons.

My sister challenges me and pushes me for my own good. I NEVER would be here in Israel if it wasn’t for her pushing me to do a semester abroad. The finances and class schedule I didn’t think would come together, but they have. I didn’t think or care to check into it but I did because of her. My time here in Jerusalem has been the greatest opportunity and experience of my life. It never would have happened if it wasn’t for Alicia.

She has taught me the meaning of family. As I said earlier, she doesn’t have any money because she works for a non profit, but she scrapped what she did have together and came to visit her baby brother. That act holds a lot of significance and love in my eyes.

Alicia challenges my thoughts on politics, religion, and theology. She opens my mind and eyes to new thoughts, ideas, and views. We disagree sometimes, but I’m glad she challenges me.

She corrects me on my dinner manners, which really annoys me, but I know it’s for my own good. Take smaller bites. Chew with your mouth closed. Blow your nose don’t snort it up. Wear a black belt not brown. The list continues.

It was nice to have my big little sister come over to visit, but its better knowing that I have a sister that loves me, wants the best for me, and will always be there to challenge and encourage me.

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