Friday, March 14, 2008

My Israel Roommates

Yes, two posts in one day! I was thinking of my experience in Israel the other night (where I was lucky enough to spend a semester in college). I wasn't thinking of all of the amazing Israel stuff so much as I was thinking of a few silly things about living with my roommates. There were four of us, and it was my first and only experience living with roommates (though living with my sisters was not much different). I am posting this picture because if any of them are lurking about reading this, I know it will grab there attention like nothing else could.
There were 176 students in our group, and we were all part of the Jerusalem branch. We lived in the gorgeous Jerusalem Center. Our dorm rooms were on one half of the building and the boys were on the other. Visiting the dorm of a member of the opposite sex was strictly forbidden except on one occasion – a monthly home teaching appointment from your assigned home teachers. The two boys that home taught us were great. They gave meaningful lessons (in fact I still remember one about building our own spiritual fortresses), they took us for one lesson to the Garden Tomb, and, perhaps our favorite thing of all, they gave us the candle pictured above. It was a birthday present for one of my roommates. Similar candles were sold everywhere in the Old City – but none of them could possibly compare to the candle they gave us, because none of those candles had "Happy B-day" carved into their wax or little black and white photos of our four faces along with black and white photos of our two home-teacher’s faces stapled into them. After all their goodness to us, I am ashamed to report that we found this thoughtful gift to be thee most hilarious thing imaginable. In fact, for some time after Jerusalem we continued to re-gift this very candle to each other . . . until it was lost and no one could quite remember who had been given the precious gift last . . . until now. We can all assume that the photo is proof of my possession. I found it again when we moved here and ohhhh I can’t wait to re-gift it when one of them least expects it!

Speaking of re-gifting, I don’t know why it seems so funny to continue to pass certain things on. Growing up, my sisters, friends and I would often have some silly thing that we kept passing back and forth to one another. There was another special thing from Israel that we passed about – until it too has been lost somewhere with one of us. Everyone bought fancy Nativity Scenes in Jerusalem. I bought a decent one, but then I also found a little old shop where there were a bunch of very roughly carved little tiny scenes and I bought several of these cool little sets for family. One set, however, had no sheep. The shop-keeper assured me and my roommate not to worry as he rummaged through a big barrel of trinkets. He then proudly produced a similar looking sheep about three times the size of the other figures in the set. He was so pleased that he’d found a match and seemed so certain that it was a perfect fit that we ended up shrugging and taking it with the set. We loved and laughed over this monstrous frightening nativity sheep and in the end I think stuck it in someone’s suitcase as a surprise for when they got home.

Lastly, as roommates we got along very happily . . . except for one minor thing. Two of my roommates liked to go to bed early while the other two of us liked to go to bed late and then talk til even later. There were constant annoyed “SHHH”s from their half of the room and nervous raised eyebrows and pursed lips from our half. Unfortunately it was not until our last week in Israel that my late night roommate and I remembered that everyone had filled out an information sheet before coming to Israel on roommate preferences. One question asked specefically if you liked to go to bed early or late. We brought this up to our early-to-bed roommates only to be met with nervous glances between the two of them. They then confessed, “Well, we talked about it and decided that if we put ‘early to bed’ we’d be stuck with nerdy roommates.” Well, they were obviously saved from that fate by getting the coolest of cool roommates, but ohh how they suffered for there trickery!! If only we’d been able to use that against them the whole time!!

Well, that’s that, just some silly memories about those fun days. If I had a scanner I’d put pictures of us on here, but alas the candle will have to do.


Perla said...

that reminds me...where is that picture of meg's face?

BS and the Kids said...

One of my very favorite posts yet, rightly so. I can't believe you found that candle which can only mean one thing-YOU HAVE THAT CAMEL!!! I can't believe it. After all this time, it is going to resurface. Good think I just had my birthday. It looks like little Mrs. Dunn might be in for surprise when her Birthday rolls around in June. But, reminscing that birthday is so much fun, it really is one of my all time favorites. Thanks for the memories.

Nancy said...

No no, I really think it is a giant sheep -- or maybe a donkey. In any case, I miss the little guy but I've nought seen him since Israel. I swear I think I planted him in Jill's suitcase!! Oh the sillyness.

BS and the Kids said...

I had the donkey and mailed it to Jill for her birthday who was then supposed to mail it to you. Who knows. Maybe it will turn up unexpectedly one of these days.

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