11:15 am. That's when we're meeting in 114 CoMo tomorrow to set off on our pilgrimage to Israel. I will be staying at the Tantur Ecumenical Institute, Notre Dame's campus in Israel, along with 19 other students and 2 Campus Ministry coordinators. Traveling to Israel is expected to take us over 20 hours, since we have layovers in Detroit and New York before we reach Tel Aviv. I plan to maybe read for class and definitely to catch up on sleep.
The hardest part of preparing for the trip, actually, has been planning what to wear. Women must wear clothing that covers their knees and elbows - no jeans allowed. Since it's going to be sunny in Israel with weather in the 60s, it will probably be too warm for dress pants. So I've been searching for long skirts and thin, long-sleeved tops for the trip. Luckily, I found a floor-length black dress at Forever 21 yesterday that should work perfectly for most occasions. Women are also required to cover their heads when entering some holy sites, so I'm bringing along a pretty, light-weight scarf for that purpose. I also plan to buy scarves there.
Our itinerary is still being finalized, but some of the places we plan to visit include the Milk Grotto and Church of the Nativity, the Basilica of the Annunciation, the Garden of Gethsemane, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the hill of Calvary where Christ was crucified, and of course, the River Jordan.
Garden of Gethsemane, where I'll be on Thursday!
Right now I only know about 3 or 4 of the other pilgrims very well, but I'm much looking forward to getting to know all of them. I anticipate that we'll all come back from Israel very close friends.
I will try to post pictures of my trip during the week.
Thank you for reading and wish me luck!