The Depths of the Church

The Depths of the Church
Originally uploaded by leadenhall
In the basement of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem I had the chance to witness a ceremony taking place outside the Prison of Christ.
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Around the Bend

Around the Bend
Originally uploaded by leadenhall
The Treasury in Petra, Jordan. Petra is an amazing place and should be visited by anyone who enjoys history and traveling. It is a true wonder of the world.
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Absolutely amazing.
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Inside Jordan

Just made it to Jordan and heading to Petra!
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Good Morning From Galilee

Yesterday was another busy day. We first stopped at the plastic factory/kibbutz, Plasson. It was an interesting experience as we saw the assembly lines on the factory floor.

Afterwards, we headed to the Iscar company. They are involved in all things that involve metal cutting.

We then went to a shopping mall to get dinner. I had time to walk around the stores. The funny thing is all the clothing there is made in China, so its no different than back home.

Last we went to a basketball game between Maccabi Tel Aviv and Haifa. It was a good game and Maccabi barely won. After the game we made our way back to the hotel to relax after a long day.

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Another Long Day

Additionally, it's another day without internet. Therefore this Blackberry typed blog post will have to do.

We started our day off early in Jerusalem and began our journey. Since today was Sunday, it was the first day of the workweek. This caused a decent amount of traffic on our way to Nazareth.
Nazareth was very interesting. One of the first "welcome" signs was one that stated essentially, convert to Islam or else. What a welcome! After that we went to the main Church in Nazareth. It was very beautiful. Each country in the world with a Christian presence donated a mural that reflected the style of Christianity in that country.

From there we headed to the city of Tibiras. We strolled along the waters edge and had a nice lunch of falafel and strawberries.

After we stopped at various Christian religious sites. One church as at the top of a large mountain/hill and we had the opportunity to hike down. On the way down I was amazed how much it was like San Diego in terms of weather and plant life.

To finish the day we first went to a hilltop in Golan that overlooked Syria. After we went to a winery and had the chance to try three different types of wine and enjoy the company.

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To a Better Place

Just finished visiting Better Place. This is a company that is trying to revolutionize the automobile industry by providing a worldwide network of electric car charging stations.
Additionally we had the opportunity to test drive one of their converted Renault cars. All in all it was an enjoyable experience and hopefully we will be hearing big thing about this company in the near future.

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Been in Jerusalem

I've been without internet the past few days, but here is a quick recap:

Got to Jerusalem, visited the Mount of Olives, Holy Sepulchre, souks, fruit stands and much more. I've had shawarma, falafel and had the opportunity to attend a Sabbath lunch.

Tomorrow we head up to Nazareth. Will write more then.

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We Have Arrived at a "Better Place"

Today was our first full day here in Tel Aviv/Israel, and it was a busy but good day. The day began with the typical jet lag and awaking at 4am. I finally decided that I wasn't going to get back to sleep so I decided to get out of bed around 6am. I went down and got a breakfast of many different styles of Mediterranean vegetables and cheeses. It was a buffet again, and I ate too much again.

Afterward, we headed to Better Place, which is a company that is both trying to reduce the world's dependence oil and revolutionize the automobile industry at the same time. We had the opportunity to test drive the modified Renault Lagunas on their special test track. We then were all fortunate to meet the company's founder, Shai Agassi. Overall, it was a very educational and enjoyable experience.

We then went to Teva Pharmaceuticals where we learned more about the generic and biosimilar medication industries. It was very informative and interesting to see how a company has quietly grown so much over the past twenty years.

The last business stop of the day was at Siemens, or the company formerly known as Solel. It was there we learned about the Solar industry and see an actual panel in action. And by action I mean soaking up the sun's rays out back.

By this time our whole group was pretty worn out but we still went to Tel Aviv University. While there we got a chance to meet some of the MBA students there. Nothing like having forty different MBAs in a group together!

To cap the night off we went on a quest for Shawarma, Falafel and Sabih. Fortunately for all of us, we found all three. Kristen and I split a Falafel and Sabih and finished the meal with a glass of freshly squeezed orange and white grapefruit juice.

Overall it was a long but enjoyable day. Tomorrow we are in Tel Aviv briefly, then we head to Jerusalem. Oh, and tomorrow, I won't eat so much at the buffets!

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International Arrivals: Tel Aviv

After about 24 hours I'm finally in Israel.

On Monday, we left Bloomington at about 3pm EST, arrived at Indy airport at around 4pm EST, took off at 7:40pm EST, arrived in Toronto at about 9pm EST, left at 11:40pm EST and got to Israel at 6pm Israel time on Tuesday. Phew. Lots of stop and goes, but I did collect two new stamps on my passport, Canada (seriously?) and Israel.

Overall the journey was uneventful, just the typical smelling of perfume and cologne at the duty free shop in Canada. Once in Israel, I passed through customs smoothly and got my bags. The tour group then headed to the bus going to Tel Aviv. During the ride to the city I got the same vibe as when we arrived in Istanbul. It must be that Mediterranean thing going on.

Once at our hotel, we were treated to a dinner buffet. This was a good buffet. There was a large selection of vegetables/produce which is something I was actually craving. This ranged from chopped bell peppers,  olives, pickles, cabbage, fennel, lima beans, corn and much more. Additionally there was some meat products including fish and beef. It was very good, and if this meal is any indication of the next eleven days, I will be eating very well.

After dinner, Kristen and I took a walk on the Tel Aviv promenade right next to the Mediterranean. It was very nice and made me think of San Diego. We then slipped into a small food mart and got some delicious nuts, seeds and few chocolate bars for later. We then made our way back to the hotel stopping at McDonald's to scope out what different types of burgers/sandwiches they have. There was a McFalafel wrap which I suppose is fairly unique. I don't think I'll be seeing it in Bloomington anytime soon.

All in all, it's been great so far and I'm looking forward to tomorrow. Until then, Shalom!

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Destination: Israel

The Sun Rises Over Jaffa
Tomorrow I am heading to Israel with school. We are traveling from Indianapolis, through Toronto and arriving in the land of milk & honey a day after.

There is some detailed information on my trip at the website that the school put together and can be found here: KIP Israel.

I'm looking forward to this trip. I've had friend and family visit Israel and tell me that it is a destination I definitely had to visit. Additionally, I have never been to the Middle East and figure now is a great time to start. On the second to last day of the trip, I'll be heading to Jordan to see Petra.

It should be a wonderful experience and I'm looking forward to sharing more here. Be sure to check back.


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