A couple weeks ago I headed home to the United States for a visit. As much as I enjoy living in Israel, I was eager to see my family and friends again and to spend some time at home.
My first stop on my journey homeward was at Houston. Many of my classmates from The Bible Seminary (TBS) were graduating, and I decided to attend the graduation ceremony.
Just for fun, I kept my visit a secret. I showed up at the TBS office on Friday afternoon and successfully surprised the staff. I think that it took some of them a moment to process my being there. Since I was both a student and an employee there for the past few years, it seemed natural for me to be there, yet they knew that something was off – as far as they knew, I was in Israel. I enjoyed catching up with my old friends and co-workers.
At the graduation ceremony on Sunday, I managed to surprise a few more people. I was so glad to be able to congratulate the graduates in person and to spend time with a lot of people that I knew from my time at TBS.
After spending a few days in Texas, I headed home to Idaho. I had contacted family and friends in advance to schedule times to get together with them. I took a few days to relax and recover from jet lag. After that, my schedule was pretty busy visiting with people and revisiting some of my favorite places.
I spent quite a bit of time in and on the water. I renewed my membership at the local pool and swam laps almost every day. I also inflated my paddle boards and invited various friends to join me on the river. Sometimes we relaxed and floated, and sometimes it was a workout, paddling hard against the current and/or the wind.
Down and Dirty Mud Run
The annual Down and Dirty Mud Run is a race/obstacle course. I’ve been interested in participating for quite a while, but my schedule has not allowed it until this year. When I realized that it was taking place during my visit home, I signed up for it.
I wasn’t sure what to expect for the difficulty level. I haven’t done regular running in the past few years, so I knew I was a bit out of shape. I was hoping that working on archaeological digs all summer might help out with conquering some of the obstacle challenges. It turned out I was right.
Some of the obstacles were easy-peasy. Carry a bucket of dirt for a few yards? No problem. Climb a rope ladder? Just like climbing out of a cistern. Flip a tractor tire? That’s like rolling a boulder, only easier. Climb over piles of loose dirt? I can do this.
A couple of the obstacles were more challenging. I had trouble on the monkey bars – we don’t have anything like that on the dig. I also struggled with climbing a vertical rope. I’ll definitely have to brush up on my rope-climbing skills. I feel like that might come in handy if I get stuck in a cave or something like that.
I didn’t complete the course very quickly, because I ended up doing a lot of walking rather than running, but I was content with the fact that I completed it.
This has been a fun and relaxing vacation for me. I’m looking forward to this fall in Israel. I’m planning to participate in two archaeological excavations in September, and I have classes starting in October.