Friday, November 16, 2012

Wir sind in Deutschland

Hey everyone if you didn't already gather from my facebook posts, we made it safely to Frankfurt, Germany this afternoon with our new friends from the NBA, Brian and Kristin Scalabrine. I was sad that we left Israel earlier than intended and missed out on trips to Nazareth, Galilee, and the Dead Sea, but after seeing what went on there today, I'm glad we left. We spent last night in Jerusalem and were planing on staying the rest of the trip (3 more days) there, but we got out just in time as Hamas sent more rockets at Tel Aviv and targeted Jerusalem for the first time today with firepower no one knew they had. Apparently the bomb sirens went off in Jerusalem today so I'm glad we didn't have to experience that. Again, no one knows what will happen so the uncertainty of that is what pushed us to leave. I pray for the people of both Israel and Palestine as they work to find a solution to this mess. We met people from both areas on our visit and they are all such nice people, just with different political and religious views that run very deep. I am glad we were able to have a fun relaxing night in Germany instead of a stressful scary day in Israel!

We touched down on German soil and I swear all the German I knew came flooding back. I remembered how to conjugate verbs, and piece together sentences, and basically started thinking in German. I was super excited to finally have some use for what has always seemed like a waste of a college language requirement. And come to find out pretty much everyone in Frankfurt speaks English. Well, except for a little old lady we bought a Bierstein (one of those big German mug things with the lid on it) from...I got to speak to her in German so all my dreams were not too severely dashed. To be honest, I was pretty relieved to not have to show how little German I actually remember.

We spent the evening with Brian and Kristin walking around downtown Frankfurt looking at the amazing architecture and finally ending up in a quintessential German pub for dinner, which consisted of a typical German and meat. During this meal, Brian and Kristin proceeded to educate Michael and me about nutrition and exercise for an NBA player, which was super enlightening and entertaining. You must understand...Brian Scalabrine has the most energy of any person I have ever met. No wonder he makes such a good commentator for the Boston Celtics now that he no longer plays. Apparently we were corrupting them because they don't normally eat a typical German meal. I feel so ashamed...

Anyway, we had a blast hanging out in Germany with our new lifelong friends. Tomorrow we fly home to Birmingham. We are home a few days and then we go up to Virginia for Thanksgiving with my family. I'm currently working on several blogs with pictures and about our trip to the Holy Sites. Prayers that we make it home safely tomorrow and for the people in the middle east. They are people more like us in America than I ever realized. They deserve our love just like everyone else. Please pray for peace.

An Update on our Situation in Israel

Just to update everyone. While we were at the Tel Aviv-Macabi basketball game last night vs Malaga, 2 rockets were fired on Tel Aviv from Gaza. The Iron Dome which is part of the Israeli military defense shot them down and they landed in the Mediterranean Sea. No one thought they had those kinds of weapons...courtesy of Iran i hear. Another rocket landed 9 km from our hotel. The US consulate called and said we needed to get out of Tel Aviv. So we went back to the hotel and packed quickly and hopped on the bus and drove to Jerusalem since most people were certain they would not fire on Jerusalem because the Hamas love the Holy City as well. We spent the night in Jerusalem which is good because I heard that they sent 11 more rockets from Gaza to Tel Aviv, though no one was killed so I'm not sure where they landed. Maybe the Iron Dome shot them down too and the media was just blowing things out of proportion as usual. I prayed real hard that no one in Tel Aviv would get hurt so God must've listened. So with all that, we r now at the Tel Aviv airport getting on a flight to Germany. We should be back in America tomorrow. No one here seems too concerned. They live with this everyday knowing that they may die by rocket, but it's not too likely. However no one knows what will happen so its best to leave now while we have the chance. It's just our luck that after 4 years of relatively little problem, everything escalates now while we are here.

Please pray for the people of Israel. They are such wonderful people and they have so much pride for their country. The men who took us to the airport said they hoped they got called up as reserves because they wanted a chance to fight for their country. The culture is so welcoming of foreigners and people of other faiths and cultures. They preach a message of acceptance that we Americans should take a lesson from. I hope America maintains a positive relationship with Israel because I cannot wait to come back and visit.

Now we get to go to another country I've never been to. Better start trying to remember those 5 yrs of German!