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Friday, April 3, 2015

The Holy Land Day 3 Part 2

This afternoon, we looked down at the DM, demilitarized zone and learn that ISIL rebels consider the UN infidels. They have killed a Syrian mayor, and captured UN soldiers, though thankfully, those soldiers escaped. We're on our way up a hill to see a UN OP, observation post. 



There are several vendors selling jams and honey, and while some of the group have purchased it, some of leery of the safety of the preserves. They offer cut apples to dip into the honey and since I am allergic to apples, Allan and I decline all their wares. 
In the distance, we can hear Israeli artillery firing. It's just like being back at CFB Shilo again, though back then, our pictures on our walls would rattle. Here, only a few nerves get rattled. Above, contrails made by Israeli fighter jets circle the sun. 



It's just an exercise, but it's oddly comforting to me. It's not that it takes me back to my army days, but rather, no one is going to attack a country in the midst of its major yearly exercise. 
At the top, we met a UN soldier who spoke to us about the history of why they are there, and the recent events. A disturbing reminder of the instability in this area of the world. 
Later, we flipped things around to more capitalistic ventures and visited a diamond factory in Tiberius, which features a mock up of the Breastplate of Aaron, with its twelve tribes signified by twelve precious stones.



58% of the world's diamonds travel through Israel, and most of the world's best diamonds come from Canada, they tell us. The showroom floor has the usual high prices, $12K $37K for various pieces. Too rich for my blood. 
When we returned to the hotel, I discovered the lobby was nearly bare, and this allowed me to use the internet. It makes you appreciate the wifi in your own home. As per the exercise, a warning siren sounds late in the evening. My feet are swollen from walking so much, but tomorrow will be better. It's supposed to rain then, a good thing in this arid country. A blessing, they say.

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