July 19, 2006

Another Recap: Monday through Wednesday

We had several more alarms throughout the day on Monday. The time between when an alarm sounds and when the rockets hit is very short. Sometimes we heard a missile hit before the alarm. We didn't go to the bomb shelter on Monday because we were worried about going down 17 flights of stairs or taking the elevator. So every time we heard an alarm, we went into our closet which is the most protected room in the apartment.

This is what we saw out our window after one alarm. A missile hit a building down near the water.

Bat Galim

Scott took this video so that we could remember how loud the sirens were. Scott took this just as an alarm was ending so you will notice the sound trailing off. Scott stuck the camera out Tyler's bathroom window to take the video.

Siren (video)

During the time we weren't hiding in our closet, we were organizing our things so that it will be possible for the movers to pack if we don't get to go back to our apartment. We made piles in almost every room and made a list of what to pack. The kids watched lots of TV in our bedroom and also drove us nuts because they were so sick of being cooped up.

Piles of stuff

After we were mostly packed, we decided to go visit the Abbotts. Driving through Haifa was strange; it felt like a ghost town. A few minutes after we got to the Abbotts, there was another alarm (about the sixth of the day). Fortunately, their shelter is just one floor beneath their apartment. We chatted with their neighbors until it was time to return to their apartment. We think this was when the missile hit a street a couple of blocks away from our apartment, but we didn't find that out until Tuesday. Even though it landed in the middle of the street and didn't do any damage, we were glad we weren't home when it hit. The Abbotts fed us dinner and we enjoyed the time we had to relax.

Abbott's bomb shelter

We had planned to go to the Tel Aviv area Monday night, but we still had several things to do. We put the kids to bed and then organized the kitchen and repacked our suitcases. The last alarm of the evening was around 10:30 pm.

On Tuesday morning, we ate breakfast, packed the car and left the apartment. We wanted to drop some things off at the house of Tyler's friend Or. We had fun visiting them, but we got to spend some time in their shelter when an alarm sounded. It was pretty comfortable though because Or's room is the shelter and there were lots of toys and a TV.

Afterwards, we went to Intel to talk to Scott's manager and some friends. We ended up staying for a couple of hours. Several of Scott's co-workers were all working in a secure room. They let Tyler play on their computers and Efrat got hula hoops and balls from the gym for Brooke and Tyler to play with. We also stayed for lunch - packaged sandwiches, salads and soda. While we were there, a missile hit the side of the mountain behind the mall across the street from Intel and started a fire. Fortunately, the area is open and undeveloped.

Fire due to missile strike

After we felt things were calm, we drove to Herzliya. We first visited Tiffany's dentist to prove to him that we were safe and then we went to our friends, the Earls. The Earls have two boys, one two years old and the other turning four years old. It was so nice to relax and let the tension dissipate. The kids loved being able to run around in the Earl's yard and playing with their toys. Scott drove to the Intel site in Petach Tikva, which is south of Herzliya. Scott had several meetings by phone and tried to catch up on his email.

We had a wonderful night's sleep. It was so nice to sleep without the fear and stress of alarms and missiles. The Earl's extra bedroom is even in their bomb shelter in their basement, so we felt extra safe!

The Earl's son Ethan is turning four and he had his pre-school birthday party on Wednesday. Tyler and Brooke got invited too. We had a little scare because the power went out and then we heard that power was out to much of the country. We discovered later that it was unrelated to the current situation in Israel, but instead a technical problem at a power station that provides one-fifth of Israel's power.

Ethan's party

After the party, Scott went to the Intel site in Yakum. Along the way, Scott passed several tanks on semi-trucks headed north.

Tank headed north

In Yakum, Scott met with several people and got some work done. Then after returning to the Earl's house, we had pizza and put the kids down to bed.

"Do you want me to run home and get my squirt gun and shoot at them?" - Tyler comforting the Abbotts by telling them that he would take care of the missiles.
"Please tell them to stop shooting missiles because we are up here in our closet and we want them to stop." - While praying in our closet during an attack.

"That one" - Brooke wanted Tyler's red cereal bowl.

Posted by sjbowden at July 19, 2006 11:18 PM

This letter should win a Pulitzer!
Great stuff!

I'm glad you're out of it now, though.


Posted by: Ann Hansen at July 20, 2006 12:10 AM

Thank you for the updates!We're thinking about you constantly and axiously wait for emails. I'm glad you're safer. What about the Abbotts? What are your plans for Europe? Let me know sometime the flight number home. I will plan on coming for you! Stay safe!

Posted by: Jacki at July 20, 2006 1:54 AM

hi I am a Haifa resident my family are all Israeli and I am a friend of Anns . We are working abroad in hi tec in England and our thoughts are with you as we know what you are going through .Take care .I hope you dont mind me emailing you but I know it helps when people care .

Posted by: susan at July 20, 2006 12:20 PM

I live in Alabama in the US I can't even imagine what it is like to live a life of uncertainty and fear of war. I am touched by your strength and your attitude. May god bless you and your family and that whole part of the world.

Posted by: Michelle Williams at August 18, 2006 7:56 PM

Hello- I know this may seem weird but I have been searching online for old friends. By typing in my roommates name (Cami Bowden) along with , BYU I came across your little website and saw the wedding picture of her brother. I am curious if you have information on how to get in touch with Cami. I am her old roommate from our freshman summer semester. If you wouldn't mind passing my e-mail address on to her so if she would like to contact me she can. She was a great friend and I would like to get back in touch. Thank you for your time.

Posted by: Mary Kathryn at January 14, 2007 5:53 AM