Well, none of those things happened to me on this particular day. Today's disorientation was provided by seeing a person we love, far from the land we know him in. One of our favorite people in Israel (and just favorite, period) is Dr. Gabriel Barkay; one of Geoff's professors at Hebrew U, and leading archaeologist in Israel.
We've talked about him a few times, both on this blog and on Travel the Text. Good people are like that. They come up a lot. Well, today he turned up in Belton, TX. Not Jerusalem where we are more accustomed to seeing him, but right here in my little ole hometown.
Let the disorienting feelings begin. Just when I think I've gotten over the fact that we are not in Israel - BOOM! Two very different parts of our world collided. But you know what? It was AWESOME!
I just love this guy. He is such a wealth of knowledge you can feel yourself getting smarter just being in the same room with him. Way better than any Holiday Inn Express commercial. I might not be the sharpest knife in the drawer...but I did talk to Dr. Gabi Barkay today. Stay smart, talk to Gabi.
He is doing a speaking tour around the U.S. right now and has officially seen more of this country than I have. Today we got to hear him at the University of Mary Hardin Baylor and then Geoff and my dad followed him for one more round enjoying his afternoon session at Baylor in Waco. He was happy to see us saying, "it's good to see known faces," as he greeted us with his broad smile and poetic, rich accent.
Born in Hungary he immigrated to Israel when he was young. He tells a story of his life coming full circle when he found the oldest recorded text ever recovered. The verse on that text, contained on a small, silver amulet, is the priestly blessing from Numbers 6. This is the same verse his father would bless him with each day, placing his hand on his young head. It was the find of a lifetime, for so many reasons. For more on this find, pictures included, you can check out a blog I wrote earlier this year HERE.
It was a great day, and we're so thankful for the disorientation. Check out Dr. Barkay's speaking schedule to find out if he'll be coming to a town near you on the remainder of his speaking tour: http://www.gabrielbarkay.com/2012-2013-speaking-schedule.html