“I Bring Order to Chaos.”

In which Tank and I finally visit Qumran and celebrate First Contact Day with a cake shaped like the Starship Enterprise.

Tank and Emily at Qumran
April 5, 2013
Enterprise-E Cake
April 5, 2013

First Contact Day commemorates the first contact between humans and aliens. In the Star Trek canon this occurs on April 5, 2063 (a mere 50 years away!). First Contact Day is my excuse to proclaim my love for all that is Star Trek; I love its positive view of the future, where humanity has evolved beyond the need for money, differences are celebrated, and exploration is mandated. I also have a legitimate excuse to wear all my Trek gear and watch First Contact.

Geeked out in my Star Trek gear
April 5, 2013

April 5 brought rain in Ramallah. Originally, Jon and I were going to head to Bethlehem for some sight seeing in the morning, but if it’s raining in Ramallah chances are it’s raining in Bethlehem. We opted instead for Qumran, a hopefully sunny spot in the desert.

On the drive down, I realized that I’m going to be quite sad when we have to trade in date palms for cornfields.

Palm groves
April 5, 2013

The ruins at Qumran can be found just south of Jericho. Flanked by the Dead Sea on one side and mountains on the other…

Qumran Panorama
April 5, 2013

…along what is now Route 90. (And if you keep heading south, you’ll hit Ein Gedi.)

Rt 90 in the background
April 5, 2013

The Essenes were a breakaway Jewish sect that lived at Qumran around 150 BCE. It was originally thought to be an all-male settlement; however, female remains have recently been found in the Qumran cemetery.

The Dead Sea scrolls, authored by the Essenes, include most of the books of the Old Testament and Apocrypha in addition to numerous proprietary texts that essentially outlined the rules for living in the settlement at Qumran. According to Josephus, their observance of the Sabbath was quite strict: even defecation on the Sabbath was prohibited to avoid impurity. Whaaaaaaaat?

I have never seen more ritual baths in one place in my entire life. Here’s just one of the dozen or so.

Ritual Bath at Qumran
April 5, 2013

Hey, look at all those lost hats inside this giant cistern. Sucks to be those guys.

(You can’t really tell, but Tank and I are doing the Vulcan salute here.)

Lost hats in the Qumran cistern
April 5, 2013

So, kind of the point of going to Qumran is so that you can walk into the cave where the Dead Sea scrolls were found in 1947 by a young Bedouin.

Well guess what? NOT TODAY.

Wadi closed for fear of flash flooding
April 5, 2013

Lesson learned: if you’re ever thinking of going to Qumran when it’s rainy elsewhere — don’t! The wadi will be closed for fear of flash flooding and you’ll be out 29 shekels.

After that crushing disappointment Tank and I weren’t quite sure what to do. “How about sitting over there and enjoying the view for awhile?” “Ok.”

Tank and Emily appreciating the view
April 5, 2013

Before too long it was time to hit the road — there was a cake to ice!!

On the drive home, we encountered this scooter gang?!?!? What?? Why? How?

Scooter Gang
April 5, 2013

I don’t know, but I did learn that scooters can have sidecars (!!). As Jon said, “This. changes. everything.”

Back home, Jon and I had a lot to do in order to finish the cake: (1) remove from pans; (2) cut into appropriate shape(s); (3) ice; (4) make it blue — ice the details; and (5) color and install the lights. The cake was served with Cremisan “Star of Bethlehem” red wine.

If I don’t say so myself, THIS CAKE IS AMAZING.

Cake 2
April 5, 2013

Jon originally got the idea to do an Enterprise cake from the Mom of 5 Daughters blog — but decided to improve upon it with lights. Delivery of the lights was facilitated through our friend Nick, one of the guys we met up with in Germany. Totally worth it? I think yes.

Cake Lights
April 5, 2013

Mo and Kathleen joined Jon and I for the cake and First Contact viewing — for Jon, Mo, and I, this was our second consecutive celebration of First Contact Day.

Second First Contact Day with Tank and Mo
April 5, 2013

After First Contact, we watched the Voyager episode Endgame — another one with the Borg Queen and time travel. Can I just say: Janeway is badass. She sacrifices her life to destroy the Borg and gets to say “Just enough…to bring chaos to order.” Baller.

Happy First Contact Day! Live Long and Prosper.

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9 thoughts on ““I Bring Order to Chaos.””

    1. I think so. Qumran was fun to see, but I don’t think I’d include it on any “must see” list for visitors.

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