Today was rough - I'm definitely ready for the weekend! The digging had been getting easier every day - until today, when my bad back finally caught up with me. It's really a miracle that I've gone this long without pain in it, but this morning the strain of hefting the buckets full of dirt UP and out of the hole proved to be a bit too much, and I spent most of the morning with a headache. Darren, one of the Canadian team and who is also in my square, found the top of a column, which is looking promising. And we stopped digging a little early, so Arther Segal, the head archeologist overseeing the entire dig talked to us a bit about some of the history of Hippos, and that was pretty cool.
When we got back to the kibbutz, we were introduced to another aspect of communal living - communal laundry! We had left our laundry in bags on our porch in the morning, and when we came back, the laundry from three dorms was all in the common room in piles - pants, shirts, socks & underwear, sheets, and towels. Thankfully I had the forsight to make a list of what I'd put in the laundry, and managed to find it all, but it reminded me of being at a garage sale!
I can't remember if I've mentioned this, but every afternoon we spend about 30 to 45 minutes cleaning the pottery that was found that day. A lot of people don't like it, but I really enjoy scrubbing off 2000-some years of grime to see what's underneath. When we find the pottery shards in the dirt, they're dirt coloured, but after a soaking and a bit of scrubbing, the original colour and detail is revealed. I like it. :)
We got some vouchers for the kibbutz store today - the dining hall is closed for a few meals over the weekend, in honour of the sabbath, so we needed to stock up on food. It was really neat to look around the store - some things were quite recognizable, like Coke and Doritos, even though they are labeled in Hebrew, but some things were so foreign I could only begin to guess what they might be. I did buy an amazing ice cream thingy - it was like a fudgecicle dipped in white chocolate, with a chunk of white chocolate running down the middle. Yummmm....
So I've been away for a week now, almost exactly to the hour. It's gone really quickly! I haven't managed to have a decent conversation with Trevor yet though, because of the time difference and the internet connection issues, which really sucks. We've never spent more then 10 days apart, in the entire (almost) 9 years we've known each other. So that's becoming more and more rough as the days progress, but thankfully we're so busy here I don't have time to mope much.
Tomorrow we're off for the day to see three sites around Galilee - one of which is a 45-minute hike each way, so that should be interesting and exhausting! Then we're going to experience a traditional Shabbat meal at the kibbutz dining hall, which I'm really looking forward to.
Pictures continue to be put up in my web album - check them out!