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    Email's to home from Tel Aviv describing our trip to Israel.  The first email is at the bottom, last
    one is at the top.  
My last day here in Herzliya, more trip notes from Israel:

It was just announced here this afternoon that the terrorist group Hamas just won the Palestinian elections.  Their only party platform is
to destroy Israel.  I will tell you more about the Arabs in Israel when I get home.

On the news, they are showing the Hamas and Fatah people rioting, fighting & shooting machine guns in the air and at each other in
several places, tonight is a good night to leave.  The Palestinian PM and Parliament all resigned.

There is a big storm over the Mediterranean Sea right now, there are crazy surfers out in  the cold water.  The wind is so strong it is
really cold.

We are done with our training here.  I have worked with Air Force, Army, Navy and MOD.  I have met some colonels and a Navy
commander, it has been good marketing week also.

I would like to visit here some time on a vacation, it does seem safe and there is certainly enough to see, especially if you are
interested in ancient history and politics.  I would recommend visiting during spring or fall.  They said April, May & September are best
times.

The people we have been working with all seem very sad to see us leave.  Maybe Joe Blanton will move to Israel some day.

I'll be here online about 6 more hour then leaving to come home.  Hope you found these notes as interesting as I did.

Don
===============================================================

Don Stone <stonedog_4@yahoo.com> wrote:
Felicia, the tahini is sesame seed paste with olive oil, lemon & garlic - it is like bean dip, very tasty and I suspect very fattening.  Scoop
it up with pita bread or your fingers.

Tonight I had dinner with three Israeli guys & Joe Blanton.  Two of the three wore Glock 19 pistols out to dinner to make sure we got a
good table -- sort of scary.  When we left we got a 1 hour night tour of Tel Aviv (100 years old) and the old seaport city of Jaffa (> 3500
years old).  Jaffa was called Joppa in the Bible and was founded by Noah's son after the flood.

Going to bed now, tomorrow afternoon we pack up and come home.  We have some letters from ELTA to try and get us out of the
airport security easier.  It took Ron and Time 30 and 45 minutes in security area.

Love Don

==================================================================================

Felicia Stone <FStone@Telstrat.com> wrote:
What is tahini?

Felicia Stone


-----Original Message------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
From: Don Stone [mailto:stonedog_4@yahoo.com]
Sent: Wednesday, January 25, 2006 11:43 AM
To: Felicia at home; Felicia Stone; Bobby Lee; Don at home Stone; Margaret Stone; Victor Stone; Susan at work; Susie & Larry
Subject: Fwd: Re: adventure of the day
life in Israel -

here are some of the things I have seen in Israel --
•        I already mentioned that Hebrew is written from right to left
•        the currency is the shekel, right now worth about 4 shekels to a dollar
•        there are almost no pickups in the country, but there are many small European cars with loud horns
•        they drive much better here than in Egypt, but are very aggressive
•        almost everyone in Israel lives in apartment houses, 10-12 story high is typical
•        motorcycles drive between cars at high speed if there is 2 feet of space
•        by every door of every house and hotel room is a holder for a parchment.  The parchment has a prayer for the
  house, must be written by certified scribes
•        Every big sign on the roads is in Hebrew, Arabic and English
•        Water is OK to drink, unlike in Israel
•        People are all very nice and very curious about us and what we think of Israel
•        Most of the people I work with have done much traveling abroad
•        Everyone <50 years old seem to speak very good English, movies are spoken in English with Hebrew subtitles.  There is a
  kibbutz up north whose job it is to put the Hebrew subtitles on all of the movies.
•        The beach around here is very nice and seems to be endless
•        Local beers are Goldstar and Maccabee - draft beers are Carlsberg and Tuborg
•        Fish is very popular, chicken, steak, kebab - no pork of course
•        Food is very good, many fresh vegetables and fruits, mainly Mediterranean dishes like hummus, tahini, pita bread,
 pickles, olives, rice in grape leaves
•        Tahini is sesame sees paste with olive oil, lemon & garlic - scoop with pita
•        Hummus is chickpea paste with olive oil, lemon & garlic - scoop with pita
•        falafel  is deep fried balls of mashed chickpeas
•        kebab is ground meat grilled on a skewer
•        picked veggies are at every meal - pickles with the hummus and the tahini
•        best desserts are baklava and ice creams
•        the neighborhood that I am in is where the ambassadors to Israel live, they work in Tel Aviv even though Jerusalem
 is the capitol
•        gasoline is very expensive here, about 4x price in the US
•        our room here is very expensive also, about $280 a night.  
•        There are security guards at our hotel and at the mall with metal detectors to wand down suspicious looking characters
•        Today the Palestinians are voting and the 2 groups running are the Fatah and the Hamas.  They are running
  their campaigns based on who will kill the most Jewish people using guns, bombs.  Yesterday the Fatah people
  killed one of their own people who is running.  They have machine gunners at each polling booth, and of
  course Jimmy Carter is here to help out ..

Don Stone <stonedog_4@yahoo.com> wrote:
========================================================================
Date: Sun, 22 Jan 2006 11:40:05 -0800 (PST)
From: Don Stone <stonedog_4@yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: adventure of the day
To: Victor Stone <vstoneii@austin.rr.com>
Vic,

don't worry, I am about as cautious as you can be, always watching out where I am and who I am with, but I also think I want to see as
much as I can when I travel because I may never be here again.

I will be here until Friday morning & I am ready to get home.  They are very interested in how the Palestinian elections will come out and
they think that it looks like the terrorists from the Hamas party will win - which will only mean more trouble for Israel.  Israel has
elections in March or April and election of even more radical people to the Palestinian government will probably affect who gets elected
in Israel.
I will be home safe in 4 more days.  Look for pictures of Israel on my website in a few weeks

Donald

=========================================================================

Victor Stone <vstoneii@austin.rr.com> wrote:
Don,
Just curious if you are planning on being in Tel Aviv next Wednesday while the Palestinian elections are being held? Might be a little
more cautious then.
Does the rent car have license plates that a native might recognize as a rent vehicle rather than just a local vehicle?
I know you know what you're doing and I have always been very, if not to much so, cautious when in new locations and surrounded by
people I'm not familiar with.
There have been about three times when my overcautious attitude has saved me in Mexico and other places. Had to speed to the
border one night. Several of us.
What I'm trying to say is stay cautious and aware and be careful when not at work in the compound.
Victor


----- Original Message ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
From: Don Stone
To: Victor Stone ; Felicia at home ; felicia at Telstrat ; Don at home Stone ; Margaret Stone ; Susan at work ; Susie & Larry
Sent: Sunday, January 22, 2006 9:02 AM
Subject: Re: adventure of the day

No long trips for today,

I finally had to go do some work after being here for 6 days.  I have a rental car in my name even though Joe won't let me drive.  He
drives like he's lived here for a while, so I am OK with it.  Overall the Israelis are pretty aggressive and rude drivers.  We had a 1 hour
drive from Herzliya on the north side of Tel Aviv to Ashdod which is 20 km south of Tel Aviv.  Joe says that today was the fastest drive
time he has seen in a week.

The traffic signs must be expensive - all over the country they are written in Hebrew, Arabic and English.  Sometimes they do not
translate the sign as right so instead of spelling out "post office" in English, the spell the Hebrew work like it sounds in English so that
we can read the word but not know what it means.

Most people I have met speak English, some are a little hard to understand with the accents, but I am probably the same way.  Hebrew
is also written from right side to left side.  I think anyone here who can read and write in Hebrew, Arabic and English must be pretty
smart.  Most also speak another language like German or French.

At work today they made us leave at 4 PM.  They do this every day as most people ride buses back to Tel Aviv and the buses leave at 4:
30.  Some many are leaving, the prohibit the cars from leaving for 15 minutes, so all cars should be gone by 4:15 for safety.  It is a good
way to beat the crowds out on the freeway.

The place I am working, the ELTA division if Israeli Aircraft Inc., is a large compound that seems very safe.  They have an outer fence
with many guards carrying Uzi machine guns.  They then have an inside security fence and guarded entrances.  No trouble here.  ELTA
is writing us a note to give to airport security as the first 2 of us to leave had both had to spend >30 minutes being questioned and who
we have been with, what we were doing and where we have been.  This letter should let us get out of the country easier.

In Hebrew, "Ken" means yes and "la" means no which is the same as in Arabic.
Some first names are Lior, Ronen, Hanoch, Rotem, Gershon, Samuel.

Margaret, I tried to call you several times but the line is always busy!    Hello anyway.

Time to go eat & drink some beers.  Oh, and I walked down the beach when I got home from work.  Tough life but I am ready to come
home.
Love Don

================================================================================

Don Stone <stonedog_4@yahoo.com> wrote:
Saturday Jan 21

Today Joe Blanton and I were picked up by our friend Ronen Schatz who we have worked with for several years.  He lives in Tel Aviv not
far from where we are staying.  He has been promising for 2 years that he will take us around Israel whenever we come to visit.  We
stayed out all day and got back at about 8 PM.

We drove north from Tel Aviv up the Mediterranean coast and saw a lot of places that are mentioned in the bible.  We went past
Samaria which is a group of hills, up the coast to Ceasarea then headed NE and drove right past Nazareth where Jesus was born, but
could not go into the town safely as it is under Palestinian control.  We went around Tiberius which is also under Palestinian control
and then drove north along the Sea of Galilee.  We kept driving north and spent an hour climbing on the ruins of an old castle built by
the Crusaders when they came to Jerusalem in the 1200s.  Kept going north and drove through a town that had been attacked 2 weeks
before by missiles sent by the Hezbollah from Lebanon.

We then went to a kibbutz on the northern border between Israel and Lebanon.  Kibbutz means "gathering" and these were communes
or settlements made by the earliest settlers in northern Israel during the 1930s through 1980s.  People lived and worked and went to
school in each commune and all of their money and time were for the kibbutz.  These are all now small towns of about 500 people.  
They all have razor wire fences, guard gates, guard towers and bomb shelters.  They are self sustaining little towns and this was how
the Jewish people settled the land even before Israel became a country in 1948.

Ronen's grandmother and grandfather lived in one of the kibbutz's that we went through and he played there every summer when he
was a kid.  Since most of these are right on the border with Syria and Lebanon, they were and still are attacked and shelled by
Palestinian & Hezbollah terrorists.  We went through the Golan Heights which are the small mountains that Israel had to take away
from Syria to keep them from shooting and shelling the kibbutz's on the valley floor.

We kept climbing higher and higher until we reached the highest mountain in Israel, which it shares with Lebanon.  We drove up to see
the most northern border of Israel  - no crossing into Lebanon! - and stopped at the foot of the ski mountain.  It was too late in the day,
so even though I had been dreaming of getting to go skiing in Israel, I will have to do it some other time.  The snow there sounded
better than in NM right now!  We ate a traditional Arab lunch of hummus, tahini, pita bread, olives, pickles and other veggies.  Joe and
Ronen had lamb kabobs, I had some chicken.

If you look at a map of Israel, we went from its most northern point just about 5 miles away and drove south down the border of Syria.  
Again, crossing into Syria is not allowed and Ronen told how evil the Syrian government was.  We drove down around the Sea of
Galilee and saw the Jordan River which is the border between Israel and Jordan.  It is OK to cross into Jordan to visit or sight-see.  We
then had a long haul back to Tel Aviv.

You can drive from the coast across Israel in a little more than an hour.  It took us 3 hours to drive from Tel Aviv to the far north point of
Israel.  It is not too big of a place.  Again today, I was impressed by how much farming there is here, how they save the little water that
they have and how green it is.  We saw some very big trees - pine trees and eucalyptus? and many miles of orange groves.

Work week here in Israel is from Sunday through Thursday.  Today is Saturday, the Sabbath day and it is interesting what they do - no
Jewish person can work so most of the stores, shops, restaurants are closed, including in the hotel.  The Sabbath starts at dark on
Friday and lasts until dark on Saturday.  They turn off the elevators and they lock the revolving door in the hotel so that we have to use
the open door.  Did I mention in yesterday's email that when we went to the Wailing Wall  in Jerusalem, we had to wear a little Jewish
cap on our head?  That will be a weird picture to put on our web site.

Tomorrow I have to go to work and we leave our hotel at 2AM Thursday so I guess that will be all of my traveling around.  We have been
working about 1 hour south of Tel Aviv in Ashdod which is on the coast about 20 km from the Gaza Strip area where there is so much
trouble with the Palestinians.  They all say we are perfectly safe and so it seems that we are.

I miss you Felicia, see you on Friday!  Love Don

=======================================================================
Victor Stone <vstoneii@austin.rr.com> wrote:
Are you OK? Heard on TV last night about the Tel Aviv bombing and just found out yesterday you were over there. Stay away form the
buses and take the cabs that you are currently doing. I don't have to tell you that you are in a very dangerous part of the world. It's not
quite as bad as it used to be. Be especially astute and observant when out.
Take care and be careful
Victor


----- Original Message ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
From: Don Stone
To: Felicia Stone ; Felicia at home ; Margaret Stone ; Susan at work ; Susie & Larry ; Victor Stone
Sent: Friday, January 20, 2006 1:11 PM
Subject: Re: Trip

Felicia and Susie,

Joe Blanton came and fixed my wireless LAN connection so I have connectivity for now.  It is 10:30 PM on Friday night.

1) my luggage showed up after I had bought expensive pants, shirts, socks and underwear, razor etc.  I can use every thing but the
pants as it seems like I bought some hip huggers that are too tight.

2) Tel Aviv is a big city and has a much bigger skyline than Dallas does.  It is very young, maybe 80 years old and is spread out along
the coast.  It is very green here with large tree, much orange growing, shrubs, etc.  That last for about 20 miles along the coast until the
mountains.  It is a very dry desert on the other side of the mountains.  The Jews seem to live side by side with Muslims here and it
seems like a normal large city.  I am parked at a resort on the beach of the Mediterranean for 2 weeks, not so bad

3) No, we did not get blown up by the suicide bomber in Tel Aviv.  I am in Herzliya which is a suburb of Tel Aviv.  Yesterday I took a taxi
into central Tel Aviv to switch out airplane tickets for Joe Blanton and we did hear a loud noise, but I doubt it was that bomb.  That
dummy hurt about 33 people but the only one who died was the Palestinian.  Weird how 2 of my last 3 trips to the Middle East I have
been in town when a suicide bomber attacks.

4) Today at 8 AM our tour guide picked Ron, Joe and me up at the hotel and took us on an all day tour of Jerusalem.  It was a very good
tour and we saw a lot of history and a lot of bible places.  

All of Jerusalem is in the West Bank which is Palestinian controlled.  We drove through Ramallah where the Palestine Authority is
headquartered and it is all fenced off by the Israeli Military.
We started out at the Mount of Olives and had a good view of Old Jerusalem.  We went to the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus
slept and where he sometimes stayed and where he was betrayed by Judas and maybe some other things?  We saw where King
Davids Temple was, went into Old Jerusalem.

The old city is walled all around by a 25 foot tall wall that have been built up over 3000 years.  Jerusalem is thought to be over 5000
years old.  Old Jerusalem is split up into the Jewish Quarter, the Muslim Quarter, the Christian Quarter and the Armenian Quarter and
we went to all of these.  The streets are very narrow since they are sold old and there is not much room to drive or make mistakes so
we walked for hours.

We walked down the Via de la Rosa which is the path Jesus walked while carrying the cross to be crucified.  We saw where he was
crucified, where his body was moved to after he died when Mary Magdalene changed his clothes and saw where he was buried.  
Some of these spots are still being argued about but we went to what the church traditions show as the spots.  We also went to the
Wailing Wall which is the most sacred spot for the Jewish people.

Jerusalem is considered the most holy spot for the Jews, for the Christians and for the Muslims and there is one church, now a
Mosque that all 3 major religions consider the most holy spot.  US government travel tips recommended not going to this spot on
Friday afternoons as Friday is the Sabbath day for the Muslims and the Imams sometimes get radical guys too exited and there are
fights.  Well, we showed up right when the Muslim services were over, but there were about 100 armed Israeli Army & policemen there
to prevent any violence.

We walked through miles of shops in the Jewish and Muslim Quarters and I bought some souvenirs.  We took a lot of pictures, bought
food from street vendors and ended up eating dinner in a Middle Eastern restaurant before driving home.  The company that we are
here working with, ELTA, paid for the tour for us and it was a most excellent day.

Tomorrow my friend Ronen, whom I have known for several years, will take Joe and me sightseeing to some other places in Israel.  I
have to go to work on Sunday (the work week is Sunday through Thursday.

Although I miss my wife and kid, I have been having a good time and things are much better here than I expected from watching the
bad stuff on TV

========================================================================

Felicia Stone <FStone@Telstrat.com> wrote:
Good morning, or evening to you.

Thank you so much for the flowers! They are so pretty. Carrie thanks you because she is the one that got to pick them up at the front
desk.
Now everyone here knows you are out of town whenever I get flowers. Just like AMX was.
I hope you had a good day at work today. And so glad your luggage showed up.
Well it is 9:00am and I should do some work.

Kendra has her field trip today. It is COLD outside.

I love and miss you so much!

Felicia
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