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Traveling with the Jezreel Expedition

 
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One of my favorite things about participating in the Jezreel Expedition is all the various opportunities I have for traveling around the surrounding area during field trips. While we spend a lot of time digging, we also get the chance to visit and tour historical sites as well as other places of interest.

Returning to the Jezreel Expedition

 
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After my first experience with the Jezreel Expedition in 2013, I was really excited to return. It was such a great experience to work in the field and travel throughout Israel. I was only able to return for the last two weeks of the Jezreel Expedition 2014 and it's already been a few days since I got into the country.

Favorite Kibbutz Location

 

Hilda Torres, Michael Sullivan, and Kelly Goodner describe their favorite locations on the Kibbutz. The Kibbutz Yizre'el is the location where members of the Jezreel Expedition reside during their time at the excavation. 

Nazareth Village

 
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Field trips are an exciting aspect of our expedition in Israel. One of our weekly Wednesday field trips was to Nazareth. To me, the most exciting part of this trip was a tour of the First Century Nazareth Village. The reconstructed village actually functioned as a terraced field during Jesus' life and now continues to grow olive trees and produce olive oil, wool, and woven textiles for tourists.

Caesarea

 
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This year I spent my birthday in the city of Caesarea. The festivities began with a trip to the beach. Caesarea beach rests against the backdrop of an incredible Roman aqueduct. It is the perfect place to wade into the Mediterranean. Technically, swimming isn’t allowed, but that doesn’t stop locals (or crazy Frenchmen) from taking a dip.

Learning a Different Way

 
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I am a third year doctoral student at Vanderbilt in the Graduate Department of Religion studying Hebrew Bible and Ancient Israel. In addition, I am ordained clergy and I spend a great deal of time dedicated to ministry. My interest in archaeology is relevant to both my work as a burgeoning scholar and as someone squarely situated in the church. During the school year I spend my days and nights in the library, in class, teaching and learning both in an academic setting and in the church. I enjoy what I do; I find great purpose in it.

Exciting Excavation

 
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I am really enjoying my time here. The area is just beautiful and I am so excited to travel and explore the country. Excavating is tiring, but very rewarding and I am finding that once getting into "the zone" I can just keep going and completely lose track of time!

A New Adventure

 
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Israel is an amazing place! Surprisingly, it is not too hot. Actually it is quite cool in the mornings and when the wind picks up. Being able to watch the sunrise everyday has been a magical experience. 

A New Day's Sunrise

 
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Before I left for Israel, I just wanted to go to the beach and watch the sunset. Instead I was watching the sunset from the seat of an airplane. After being up over 24 hours with very little rest, I arrived on the Kibbutz, meeting several new people. We said goodnight and prepared for a 4:00AM wake-up call. We slept in until 4:30AM and waited at the bus stop by 5:00AM to start our day. Being mine and many others first time to Israel, Norma took us on a tour of Tel Jezreel. As we learned the history we slowly descended down to the work site, but not before we could witness something majestic.

"Don't Cry Because it's Over; Smile Because it Happened." -Dr. Seuss

 
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I kept this Dr. Seuss quote close when leaving Harlaxton, my study abroad home in England, and I called upon it again these past weeks as I experienced many “lasts” before graduation, as I walked across the stage to receive my diploma case and moved my tassel from right to left, and as I said goodbye to many college friends.

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