Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Free Day-Ethiopian Church, Marketplace, and the Olive Wood Rivalry

Sunday was our free day so a group of us went out to explore the city! Our first stop was the Ethiopian Church in West Jerusalem. The Church was really pretty and we had a great time walking around barefoot, lighting candles, and singing hymns while sitting on the oriental rugs.

Next we stopped and explored a huge marketplace. We sampled some local foods, talked to some locals, and I got the greatest juice I have had in my entire life! They have these juice stands all over Jerusalem, where you pick out exactly what you want from the huge variety of fresh fruits in front of you and they make your juice right then and there. My selection this time was strawberry, orange, pineapple, banana, starfruit, and yummy :)

my delicious juice :)

Before heading back to the center to study for midterms, we stopped at both Jimmy's and Omar's olive wood shops. It is actually pretty funny because these shop owners have a huge rivalry going on in the Mormon souvenir market. And there definitely is a market...haha these men who are Muslim actually have lots of carvings of Joseph Smith, Nephi, Captain Moroni, etc. and have BYU flags hanging in their shops. They give any students visiting their stores free drinks, occasionally ice cream, and a whole lot of compliments to try to win their loyalties and prove that they are better than the other guys! There is an Omar/Jimmy division here in the center, that may or may not involve occasional debates and trash talking between the students, its hilarious! For those who may be interested I am definitely an Omar-ite. I already bought my nativity and I love it :)

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