Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Outside the Center

In response to Amy's request, I'll tell you a little more about what exactly the Center is all about. 

The BYU Jerusaelm Center has been opened since 1987. It is an eight-story building with housing for around 180 people, including professors, service volunteers, and their families. Each Monday we have a day-long field trip to somewhere in the Jerusalem area that concerns something we are studying that week. Tuesdays through Fridays we have classes, some limited free time, a forum address, sports activites, and other student-planned events. Saturday is the Sabbath (after church we usually walk into the city, go to the Garden Tomb, or the Garden of Gethsemane to read scriptures and sing hymns). Sunday is our free day, when we can plan whatever kind of trips or activities we want.

Mill stone in the Center's garden

At the center of our activities is, of course, food. The Center is fully staffed with security personnel, maintenance, and of course, a few cooks. Three times a day we have meals prepared for us that we eat in the Center's cafeteria--The Oasis. The food is surprisingly delicious, consisting mostly of pitas, hummus, fried vegetables, and pretty much anything else that the chef decides to prepare that day.

A picture in front of our university sign, just for mom ;-)

We also have opportunities to host tours for visitors, and serve in the community. For instance, today I spent the afternoon teaching English to pre-schoolers at a nearby Arabic pre-school. Reminded me of my days in Ukraine! I serve on a humanitarian committee, and my main responsibility is to help recruit students to teach at this school. So far it has been a great success and positive experience for both our students and theirs!

Hopefully that helps paint a better picture of our day-to-day life in Jerusalem!




  1. Thanks Uncle Mark! It's fun to hear about what you're up to day. That sounds like a great opportunity teaching those little kids :) I think your Sabbath day sounds awesome too. To be able to study the the garden of gethsemane, etc... What a great experience! Love you and keep your great updates coming!

  2. I agree with Amy's comments! Thanks for posting a bit more about the Jerusalem Center, and your teaching at the school. Yes, it reminds me of your Ukraine days! haha Great memories! :-) Love you! xoxo