Monday, March 14, 2016

A Busy Day in the Desert

For the first time since arriving in this marvelous country, we stayed in one place all day.  We worked our tails off, but in a way, it was pretty relaxing.  But i'm getting ahead of myself. Let me fill you in on what's transpired since we got here last night. Oh, and about last night - after we got here and had supper, we had a great worship service and took communion here in this 3000 year old  Israelite city.

  Tel Tamar is an ancient city with eight levels of occupation, from at least 1000 BC till the Ottoman period ending in 1918. The archeological camp here has a mess hall, numerous mobile homes ("caravans" they call them over here), and various utility buildings. There's also a marvelous open air cabana with a fire pit and a bunch of comfy old couches where I'm sitting and writing this.

We got up around 7 AM and I took a walk down the old Roman road that lies south of the camp. Many Roman coins have been found along it, but all I found were a few pottery shards (those things are EVERYWHERE here!).  We had a nice breakfast waiting for us, and after it was done, Dr. Shipp did an interpretive walk-thru of the site with us, showing us the gates built by Solomon, the "high place" destroyed by King Josiah (they found 75 idols tossed in the corner there, all smashed to pieces!), and finally, the Roman bath house where we would be working. Our job today was "archeological restoration", which meant re-mortaring the walls and stabilizing them so that they will still be standing for future generations. It was hot, dusty (VERY dusty!) Work, but we stayed hard at it all day. While cleaning one seat out in the ancient bath house, I found a piece of Roman era glass - my coolest find of the whole trip!

  After we knocked off, I went next door to the crocodile farm - yes, I said crocodile farm! - where I got to fulfill one of my lifelong dreams and hold a crocodile. It was a very small one, but they wouldn't let me touch any of the big ones!

  After that, I walked down to the nearby Cafe Aroma and got one of those signature lattes. I've never liked coffee in any form before, but this stuff is YUMMY!  Of course, it's also about a teaspoon of coffee with a cupful of cream and chocolate, so maybe I haven't strayed too far off the coffee haters reservation!

This evening we had a nice supper and I gave the devotion - from Psalm 37 - after which we sang some songs and now I sit here in the desert night, typing up this blog and looking forward to tomorrow.

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