Ok, well, I realized yesterday that I'm super behind on paperwork. Nuts. So this is just going to be fast. So I can work on paperwork...and eat lunch.
This week was crazy and made all our heads hurt. We're tremendously farther along now than we were this time last year. I've already found two possible Hellenistic dog burials and had to remove them. They would be I think the third and fourth ones found on Southwestern's exhibitions on Tel Gezer. Dever's crew in the 70's found a couple, too. But my burials have no context with them, so we can't really tell when they date to. We're actually barely a half meter down...but we may be reaching some mudbrick detritus! Yay! We had a super super awesome exciting find the other day, but unfortunately I cannot talk about it here. It's a severely important find and anyone could happen across my blog and read about it. It would be fine for me to talk to my intended audience about it in other forms of communications. But the next morning after the find, Steve and Sam were already getting phone calls from other experts about it, which means that it has leaked out. This also means that I won't really be discussing our significant finds and ESPECIALLY not putting up any photos of them here, where they can be stumbled upon. I apologize, but I will have pictures upon my return that I can show and share.
Monday started off with some mistakes by most all the assistant supervisors, things moved quite fast all week. But we were lucky enough to have cloud cover and cool breezes all week. Which was weird. Sunday it actually looked like there were storm clouds and that it would rain at any minute. It was super bizarre and creepy. But the clouds stayed with us all week, much to all our relief. Lesley and I have found that Marcella can talk to GOD! Yes, because after Monday's lovely clouds, Marcella prayed for them again on Tuesday. And they were there! She forgot to pray for them that night, and sure enough, there was a significantly less amount of them and they only lasted until second breakfast. Wednesday night she prayed for cloud cover all morning AND a cool breeze, and we got both. haha. We told her that she has to keep this up. Someone said she should try for snow, but we decided not to test the Lord Almighty. Marcella also fears that she just doesn't have faith large enough to produce a snow storm. haha. But despite this relief, it was still a horrendously strenuous week. We didn't get our chance to go to the grocery store on Wednesday, the bus driver refused to take us. Monday they refused to drive us right up to the site and we had to walk 15 minutes. Tuesday they were 30 minutes late in picking us up in the morning, too. We've been having a very difficult time with the bus company. After a lot of arguing, and even a bit of shouting on Sam's part, we were able to get to the store on Thursday, but we had to leave 15 minutes earlier, which meant the end of the day was packed. Wednesday also Dan promised to take Lesley, Marcella, and I to Elvis Burger, but pottery reading was super backed up and ended up going all the way to dinner at 6:30. Elvis closes at 7, so we couldn't go.
Paperwork has really been bogging me down, but I'm trudging through. We've decided that it's exactly like being back at school with homework, except that our homework has to be as close to 100% correct 100% of the time. haha, that sounded like a line from Anchorman: "60% of the time it works every time..." lol, good movie. We've had cereal and milk for breakfast now and I had some during the first week and went to drink the milk from the bottom and said, "Wait...milk was a bad choice..." Those of us who'd seen Anchorman laughed.
Concerning our food supplies, we decided to give our budget a severe break by having Dennis and Terry (our "Den Mothers", even though they're both guys) go out and buy our food themselves instead of ordering it through the grocery store. Not only has the USDollar lost significant value over the past year, the cost of living in Israel (and especially food) has soared, and Steve and Sam had decided not to increase the cost of the dig, in case they lose volunteers. This has put quite a large financial strain on our budget. Despite all this, Dennis and Terry have managed to reduce our food budget so well, that yesterday Steve announced that he could not only give the paid staff a bit more a stipend, they could also afford to give the assistant volunteers a small stipend of 100NIS (New Israeli Shekels)!!! So now it's as if I haven't spent any money at all since I've been here! That was extremely kind of them to do that, and we're all quite grateful.
Thursday night was our 4th of July BBQ! It was fantastic! The music was an amusing mix of 60's and 70's with today's hip hop, and HAIR the musical...weird. lol. The food was delicious, especially the FRIES!!!! MMMMM!!!! And a rowdy and severely amusing game of Frisbee mixed with soccer ensued, and half the staff joined in, too! Many pictures and video of this to come...
Yesterday was filled with paperwork, so will today, but tomorrow...tomorrow! Marcella, Lesley, and I WILL go to the BEACH in Tel Aviv!!! We have the bus schedule!!!!!! Yay! So we're going to make sure we have all our paperwork finished for tomorrow.
But now I'm absolutely FAMISHED and will go stuff my face in the dig house, where we have saved more money by not purchasing our weekend meals from Neve Shalom's guest house cafeteria.
It was nice to see everyone last night during the Skype meeting, even if I was too sleepy to engage in any real conversation. Love you all!!!