I was embarrassed the other day because at most of the little kiosks we walk by, they have this round, donut-shaped bread for sale on poles. I thought to myself “what would that bagel-like bread be?” And as soon as I thought it, I realized it is bagels, real bagels. The American bagels threw me off. We have had some very excellent breads, mainly pitas. They put what we call pitas at home to much shame.
We went back to the large market in Tel Aviv yesterday afternoon and it was crazy because we went a couple hours before sundown on the beginning of the Sabbath. It was like shopping on Christmas Eve. I think the market is closed on Saturday, even though a lot of the vendors are non-Jewish. Rotten and bruised fruit that was being discarded kept getting caught in Colin’s stroller wheels and a couple times I got the gross water from cleaning that was on the street in my sandals. But we did find some great strawberries and some very delicious gummy candies. Anyway, it was crazy.
We walked along the sea to Jaffa yesterday. We have this great new lifestyle where we walk where we need to go. It was quite a warm day but it was nice to see something different. Brian was glad because Jaffa feels much older (maybe because it is, the cedars of Lebanon arriving there for the Temple and all, and we saw some Egyptian ruins.)
We arrived to Tel Aviv last weekend. The trip went very well, considering we were traveling with a 14 month old. He even was great with a more than two hour delay on the plane in London. Colin seems to have adjusted well to the seven hour time change, while Brian and I were up in the middle of the night for a while last night. We watched the end of Shindler’s List in the middle of the night because today is Holocaust Remembrance Day. This morning at 10am the sirens went off and everyone stopped. We are on a very busy street but everything stood still.
We are in a very comfortable little apartment that is two blocks from the beach. We have gone to watch the sunset the last three evenings. It is beautiful, and Colin loves to be outside. He loves the sand and found out quickly it is not so good for eating. There are lots of little playgrounds around and we spend a lot of time outside. We are happy to be in 70 degree weather instead of the 30’s like it was in the Midwest when we left.
We made it to Church on Saturday, since they hold meeting in accordance with local customs. We walked to the meetings, which proved to be quite an adventure. I am very happy to know there are people to help us if we need, and hopefully we can help out too. I translated Sunday School and Relief Society for some Spanish speaking sisters. My Spanish feels a bit rusty but it is fun to have an outlet. Everyone was very friendly and welcoming.
To the handful of people who understand the joke of Brian's shirt, Skipper has made it to Israel.
HAPPY EASTER from the Stuckis.
In Winston-Salem there was a huge cemetery affiliated with the old Moravian Community there. We went for a long walk through it one beautiful warm evening and Ann went just a little crazy taking pictures of the epitaphs. Here is a selection of them appropriate to the Easter Season. The "meet me in heaven" is kind of a joke, since we thought it sounded somewhat threatening (if you say it in a gravelly voice, slightly drawled). The stained glass came from someones very elaborate memorial. I guess they felt they needed a little Parthenon-like structure to spend the afterlife in. It was pretty impressive to see some of the dates on the stones, especially since America is such a baby country. The oldest one was dated 1775. --Brian
I loved seeing the words of hope and faith on the epitaphs, especially with our family's recent loss of Kirsten. Faith in Christ and the hope of resurrection are the only ways to find comfort with such a tragedy. --Ann