The Holy Land team officially has their boots on the ground in Beit Jala, Palestine, our home for the summer. Our travels to Israel went well. We escaped the journey relatively unscathed. We left Orlando on time and landed in Frankfurt with a good six hours to spare before our flight to Tel Aviv, so we decided to head to our gate and pass the hours there. Flying to Israel always requires going through extra security, so I was not surprised when we found our gate sectioned off from the rest of the other gates at the airport. (Our assigned gate only caters to passengers flying to Tel Aviv.) In order to pass through, we had to put our bags through another scanner (and manual bag check if needed) as well as submit ourselves to a full-body pat down…and I mean it when I say ‘FULL-body’! The process took some time but we made it through with no problems other than the inconvenience of taking our boots and belts off again and repacking our carry-ons if they were manually inspected. We were at the gate early for our flight, so we got to watch the flight ahead of us board and take off to Tel Aviv. What I did not expect was that after that flight left, the area would become “unsecured” again because the gate attendants opened doors to the rest of airport, allowing anyone who had gone through the airport’s general security to enter the area. After a couple hours, we were asked to leave the area so that they could secure it again, requiring all of us to have our bags re-scanned as well as endure ANOTHER full-body pat down! The whole ‘early is on time’ thing did not go as I hoped it might for us today!! Being early resulted in more work! Other than that, the only other travel casualty was my REALLY nice travel pillow…my *cough, cough* husband left it on the plane. Am not bitter about the loss at all…;) All of our bags arrived safely too, which is always a huge relief! Today we are settling in and setting up at Hope School. All have enjoyed showers, and washed their clothes and anything else they want to purge the Boot Camp smell from. We are very jet legged though, so it will be early to bed tonight! A few of us have coughs, runny noses, and raspy voices. Please keep our team’s health in your prayers.