Thirteen of the PSR contingent to Tel Akko are sitting here in Gate C8 at the Tel Aviv airport waiting for our flight to Philadelphia, then San Francisco. Hal is staying for the post tour, and Aaron will be heading back in a couple of days.
We have been hard at work closing down the excavation over the past few days. Yesterday we had a blast moving hundreds of bags of dirt by lining up and handing or tossing the bags down the line. Everyone got filthy. This morning, a small group of volunteers went back to the Tel to finish up. I got to help Yachim clean out the shed where are the tools and gear are stored, then put everything in for next season.
Getting to the gate at an Israeli airport can be a very lengthy process. At several points along the way we had to show our passports and answer questions posed by security officials. They are very thorough. The questions might be about where we were, why we were in the country, whether we have relatives in the country, what our religion is, and many more topics. More than one official might ask the same questions to try to trip up people who are not telling the truth. They also separate members of the same group to question them separately. Because we were all given Tel Akko t-shirts, most of us had our checked bags searched. Mostly what they saw was a lot of dirty, stinky clothes!
As we have approached the end of our trip, a common conversation theme has been what we will eat when we get home. I, for one, am looking forward to returning to my practice of eating at least one ripe, creamy, California avocado every day.