It might take me three tries to spell it every time, but that’s where we are for the next few days.
We started our day with a quick debriefing session at the hotel about the articles we will be writing. Right now, we are working on narrowing our topics down and starting to think about who we need to get in touch with. I am working with the amazing Bre Payton, who works at The Federalist. I also interned at The Federalist this past summer and worked with her then, so having her input on my story is such a blessing.
After we left the hotel, we drove to Mt. Precipice, overlooking Nazareth. We had a short devotional and heard from our guide about the history of the location. Like a lot of places we’ve visited, Mt. Precipice is one where they are almost certain Jesus himself walked.
Next, we headed into Nazareth. We toured a recreation of what part of the town would have looked like, including renactments of traditional industries, such as carpentry and spinning. One thing that stood out to me during the tour, however, was the Muslim call to prayer echoing in the background. Many parts of Israel have Muslim populations, and their calls to prayer can often be heard, even while touring a Christian holy site. This juxtaposition of religions is just one reason this country is so interesting.
While at Nazareth, we also had the opportunity to have an authentic ancient meal. All the dishes were exactly as residents of the town would have eaten at the time, and I can honestly say it is the most flavorful meal I have ever had.
After lunch, we toured a church erected in honor of the Virgin Mary, and then headed to Jerusalem. Instead of having any speakers or events, we were given the rest of the day to explore the city on our own. A group of us went into full tourist mode and hunted down the market place and a few hookah bars (sorry, Mom).
Even on a Wednesday night in the middle of January, the streets bustled with people. In my hometown, the streets are fairly empty after around 9 p.m., and even in D.C. everything was fairly quiet once the sun had set. In Jerusalem, however, everything was still vibrant and busy. Advertisers would stand outside restaurants to try to offer seating, and vendors would hold out samples, even as it pushed toward 10 p.m. I’m so excited to stay here for a few more days. Our group already has plans to return downtown.
Since these posts seem to be getting a good reaction, I have to ask: is there anything you would like to hear about? Let me know in the comments or reach out to me on Twitter at @JordynPair. And be sure to follow there for updates throughout the day!