By Giovanni Flores

When finding good food persistence is key

Israel has laws that ensure that restaurants and other food serving establishments follow the rules for Kosher food. This generally means that most of my favorite foods are unavailable here. My favorite source of protein, pork, is simply not served at any restaurant I’ve been to. Pork also cannot be found in the local food market. You also won’t find any melty cheesy sandwiches except for the grilled cheese or the grilled cheese with assorted vegetables. Shellfish are also eliminated from the menu nearly everywhere.

What you will find are foods like: hummus, cheese spreads, a type of Greek yogurt, any form of carbs you can think of, lots of creative ways to eat sesame seeds, and plenty of eggs. While the ingredients get quite repetitive it is not a terrible diet. First and foremost, the way vegetables are served is creative and tastes much better than eating the same veggies in a salad. Eating healthy has never been as easy for me as it has been in Israel. The only struggle is getting sufficient protein without getting tons of carbs and sugars. I would say that the cuisine of Israel is tasty although it is not for me. The laws of kosher eliminate many of the foods I have been fond of for many years and the lack of pork makes the prolonged stay in Israel saddening. However, for short visits of 2 weeks or less I believe that the cuisine is more than adequate. For anyone without the deep-seated love for pork or meat and cheese in the same meal as me, I’m sure you will find Israeli cuisine delicious. For my pickiness I still find the cuisine to be good, I just don’t think it is better than other cuisines around the world. This being said the fish restaurants are amazing especially Uri Buri and Shakshuka is one of the best ways to eat eggs I have ever had the pleasure of eating. While the cuisine as a whole may not be for me, i believe there is at least one or two dishes you will find you love in Israel.

By Giovanni Flores

My first impressions of Archaeology as an Engineering student

My first week at Tel Akko has been an interesting and new experience. Coming into the program I knew there would be a significant amount of physical labor but the shape the labor would take was still a mystery for me. After this first week on the tel I realized that the labor was going to take the form of a lot of sweeping dirt and wheeling wheelbarrows. The work is quite intense and is a bit lackluster. However, it is still an enjoyable experience and there is always something to do which is perfect for my personality type. I was never bored or sitting idly around. The work environment is very relaxed and calm. On the tel you don’t feel like you are at a normal job, the supervisors don’t hover over you looking for more productivity. It is the opposite; they walk around making sure you have had enough water to drink and are resting when you need it. They try to have work conditions be favorable for people, meaning we work in the shade when the sun gets hot and deal with anything outside of the shade before the sun gets hot.

The dig site is not particularly efficient for getting work done but it is efficient as a learning environment ensuring that everyone gets a chance to participate in every job there is on the tel. Even though I am not an archaeology major or related field I am treated equally and am given equal learning opportunities. I just started actual excavation and it seems much more engaging than cleaning up the site. There is more thought required and more need to be gentle and careful while digging. The entire experience is enhanced because the people we dig with are all amazing and wonderful people to talk to and spend time with.