It has been a month and a half since I moved to Israel, and I love it! Since the first day I got to Israel, it immediately felt like home. I remember meeting Ivo in the sherut from the Ben Gurion Airport to the University of Haifa. He had participated in the summer Ulpan and was returning to campus from a trip. When we arrived to the dorms on campus he immediately introduced me to his friends Lorena, Tony, and Mona. They were really friendly and started talking to me in Spanish as soon as they found out I spoke Spanish.
After meeting them, I went and got settled in my dorm room. I quickly unpacked and went back to the dorm entrance to meet up with everyone I had been introduced. We sat around talking and getting to know each other for a while. Then, we decided to go to the off campus event our Madrichim had planned for the international students. During that event, Lorena, Tony, and Mona introduced me to many other international students that they had met during the summer Ulpan. I also met other students that had just arrived to Israel that same day. Attending the event helped me build friendships as soon as I arrived to Israel.
Since that night, I felt like this is where I belong. I have been to many different countries but none has made me feel so at home like Israel has. Many of the people that I met that night are now my close friends. If it weren’t for that sherut ride from Tel Aviv to Haifa, I would have never met such amazing people upon my arrival to the University of Haifa.
After waiting so long for my first visit to an archaeological site in grad school, I finally went to Rosh Zin in the Negev. I went this past Thursday with Professor Dani Nadel and other school members to clean up mortars and photograph the site for a 3D photogrammetry reconstruction.
I participated in cleaning out the inside of the mortars so that detailed and clear photographs could be taken from different angles. I was a little frightened that a snake or scorpion would appear out of nowhere while I cleaned the mortars out, but that made it a little bit more exciting. I made sure to use the flashlight on my phone to look down into the mortars to make sure there were no dangerous creatures before I began to clean. Cleaning the mortars on the site took about two to three hours. We made sure that each mortar was completely visible.
Right after preparing the site, Eli, one of my class members, photographed the entire site with Professor Nadel. They took organized aerial photographs of the site with a camera pole. This took approximately one hour to complete. Then, the mortars were photographed individually for the reconstruction. It was interesting trying to get the proper lighting for each mortar. The sun was very bright and kept causing shadows, so we had to improvise and use a bed sheet to block the sun from each mortar that was being photographed. Eli took photographs of each angle of the mortar to make sure he could get a full 3D reconstruction of the site.
Even though it was a long day out in the sun, it was wonderful day exploring a different region in Israel while doing archaeology. I learned a new way of reconstructing sites and how to prepare a site for detailed photography.