After the service project in the morning, I decided to go hang out with some ILP's who were going to the Lavra. I think this is my second time going now, but I still haven't seen half of all of it. I DID get to see the catacombs this time though, and that was... an experience :). We waited in this big long line where people filed in and through the catacombs. We didn't have to wait long, but when we got to the front desk, this lady tiredly yelled at us about something (it seemed like she was having a loong day). We were all confused, but someone translated enough for us to know that us girls needed to cover our heads. I think it is really important to the people for some reason that the girls do cover their heads, though I haven't really learned why (except a little from Tevia from Fiddler on the roof).
This place we went to is a pretty sacred place for some people, and to them, it's respectful that the girls wear something over their heads when they're in those sorts of sacred places. Some of us didn't have anything to cover our heads though, so we had to get creative. Carly wore the wool-scarf I had stashed in my purse, and Hannah wore her extra cardigan over her head. Anyways we went down this really narrow hallway that we could only fit through single-file. Most everyone in front and behind us had candles that were basically our only light source for most of it. There were a lot of candles in the rooms though, so it was pretty well lit. Honestly, I didn't like being down there, it was too claustrophobic for me, and I didn't like the idea of these corpses just sitting right in front of me; even if they were holy people that once lived in those bodies. I think people really do find some sort of peace and comfort from the whole experience, but I was so worried about air-ventilation and the fear of getting stuck down there in those cramped rooms that I didn't really get that. I think if I had more knowledge, understanding and respect for the place it would have been a little bit different of a story. Mostly I can say it was pretty neat, and definitely and experience to be had. But for me, it's probably not somewhere I'll be returning again and again just for fun :P.