Marcie's Nicaragua

There is a girl out there who is aspiring to bring new life into Tamarindo. Where is that? How is she doing it? It all began with a little dream, a little hope, and a little Nicaraguan retreat.

Read more about her pursuit: 


Galilee Fresh

Let me remind you where I am. There is a place called the Holy Land and honestly there is no place like it anywhere else than where I am right now. Part of the amazing experience I have been living was a prolonged field trip to Galilee. There is an inside meaning for 'Becoming a True Galilean,' but I would like to share with you the more...sincere definition for it. My eleven days in Galilee were everything I could wish for, including the delicious breakfast we had every morning! I hope you will have a small, private place for Galilee yourself after 'feasting' on my too-large post.

Bonnie and Letty climbing up to the acropolis at Beit Shean on our way to Galilee.

Makara and Mark enjoyed themselves while sharing their expertise on...columns. 

Since we were the best-looking group to come to BYU Jerusalem not only was the new tour movie made with our help, but we had BYU's best come take pictures for the new catalog. Just kidding about the catalog, but I am sure he got some great pictures of the Holy Land.

Sharin' the John the Roman way. I guess if you used marble for your toilets huddling up would have been a good way to stay cozy. And there is none of that awkward talking thru the stall walls - you can actually look you comrade in the face.

Kailee and Natalie showing how to get the most out of all the sightseeing one would do in the Holy Land.

Jake and the Roman theatre.

Our next stop was Nazareth. We visited the Churches of St. Joseph and the Annunciation.

Church of the Annunciation is in my top three churches that I have visited in the Near East.

Ashley and I sending our best to our Bishop, Papa Camp. Outside of the Church of the Annunciation.

Mount Arbel was our last stop before we arrived at our hotel. The view could have been amazing, but the amount of fog slash haze stalled it.

Dani and Bro Harper meditating. Niether is asleep: Dani's blood flow probably kept him up and Bro Harper, well, you could not catch him unawares - he probably sleeps with his eyes open.

Our resort and the Sea of Galilee at Ein Gev.

The next day we went to the Mount of Beatitudes where our good buddy Mussolini built a cute little chapel.

St. Peter's Primacy commemorating the spot where the Resurrected Lord fed Peter fish and called him to 'feed His sheep.'

Mark and Grace were matching so I couldn't resist...

So we actually only look tired, but in reality we are ecstatic to be here!

This was one of the highlights of Galilee. We took a boat out into the middle of the Sea and had a private pow-wow. After a spirited talk by Bro Harper we took a few quiet minutes before the boat captain cranked up some Christian rock.

Something we never do is stay quiet for longer than ten minutes. What can we do? Our God is an awesome God!

We went to a fish restaurant to close off a fabulous day so I got fish and its tail, and head, and a lemon. Surprisingly, not as good as it may seem in the picture.

On our next field trip we conquered a couple of ancient settlements in the Golan Heights. Here we climbed to the top of Gamla.

Running past a sign that says 'Do not climb!' Exploring takes a little bit of adrenaline sometimes.

Than we took over Hippos (means 'horse' in Greek, by the way) for a few minutes. Apparently the columns fell that way during an earthquake.

The Romans knew a lot of things including that if you pave your road with stones at a 45-degree angle the carriages will have an smoother ride through the city. They did make people pay taxes so I guess this was a way to please the people.

At Hippos they replaced the 'Do not climb!' with something that supposed to work even better.

Smile! Courtney and Jenni cannot contain their excitement wherever we go.

Waterfall - Peoplefall. Everyone made it safely through our hike in the Golan Heights. Our weathered guide, Eric, made sure we were safe.

Daredevils: Puppy and Megan.

Taking a minute out of there hectic schedule for a picture: Bailey, Megan, Ashley, and Shealeigh.

White Falls at the Golan Heights.

Man's best friend = My best friend

A couple of the evenings were set aside for bonfires and marshmallow toasting.

Church was in the Tiberias branch. We stopped at the Jordan River on the way there. Believers from all over the world left their personal testimony of Christ's baptism. Makara feels most at home with her Hawaiian friends.

Davis rocked the crocks. Thank the foot!

Yeah, he wouldn't stop starring either.

Matching with Tucker for our field trip to Mount Tabor.

An impressive Catholic church of the Franciscan order commemorates the Transfiguration associated with Mt. Tabor.

Dr Seuss probably visited the Holy Land for some inspiration. But then, who wouldn't?!

Same day, we visited Tel Megiddo. You might have heard of it in Greek - Armageddon.

We cooled off in the natural springs in the Gan Hashlosha National Park.

Tea time.

Hazor was another quick stop. Tel Hazor boasts as the largest and richest archeological remains in modern Israel.

Ancient city of Dan. This northern most city in ancient Israel has been uninhabited since a few centuries before Christ. 

Dr Jackson and Bro Harper

An area associated with the Garden of Eden.

Banias is definitely one of those places that would have been a site to behold during its glory days. The Romans built this place up with temples and palaces, but like with everything else the stuff just does not last.

Checking off another place from the tour of the Bible places.

Banias Falls

Nimrod's Castle gave us quite the show. The clouds were ominous, but the Turkish castle was a giant playground so nothing could dampen our spirits.

In just about thirty minutes we poked around every stone and tower. We even found a zip-line, but decided that we didn't want to hike all the way back up if we took the ride.  

Har Bental


Sepphoris left quite a few mosaics for our viewing pleasure. In this city the ancient Jews started acclimatizing to the Hellenistic art and architecture.

The remains of this synagogue included a collage of Hellenistic-type mosaics and a horoscope.

We also visited the ancient city of Acre or Akko. I guess I can stop using 'ancient' with each description. You get the picture anyway (no pun intended).

Akko Crusader Fortress was more of an underground city.

The Mediterranean Sea

Dan poses to add to the great salty air scenery.

Sunsets at Ein Gev.

The next day began with another mountain. Mount Carmel celebrates Elijah dominating the kind of fake god, Ba'al and his eccentric and lively priests.

People come here from all over the world, including Estonia. A shout-out to Elder Falk and the rest of the missionary crew around the world.

Since our bus broke down we had time to put on a 'fiery' play and to sing some raps. Our fire crew, Crystal, Amy, Grace, Mark, Claire, Natalie, Shealeigh, and Megan (naturals), were part of a JC production of 'Show Me What You Got, Ba'al.'

Caesarea Maritima was our last stop on our way home back to the JC. Built by Herod the Great about 25-13 BC. These aqueducts are from the glory days before earthquakes and tides picked the port city apart.

What makes this picture is simply the classiness of the people. Thanks Courtney Britsch, Cam, and Makara.

This ten-day field trip marked the end of our exploring beyond the bounds of the city of Jerusalem. If I had only the sum experience of Galilee, Turkey, and Jordan to represent my semester abroad in the Near East I would still be forever indebted to everyone who made it all possible. I have loved seing, learning, and experiencing the places that just a few short months ago seemed so very far away. Yes, sometimes pictures of columns and rocks seemed to blur together into one long panorama, but then it is these little things that make each place a site, and not just a place.