Saturday, April 23, 2011

Back at it

OK so I'm going to try this again!
Sending huge ass messages to everyone with all my life details is getting tiresome so I figured its time to go back to the blog.  Also my friend here has a really kickass blog and its pretty inspiring.

So obviously by this point I'm all settled in here.  I honestly cannot tell describe how amazing it is here!  I am in love with Israel and sort of never want to leave (although clearly I'm going to..I recently moved my flight to the very beginning of October!)

I've decided to go work on a kibbutz when I'm done this program, probably only for 2 months just to get a taste of the kibbutz life.  It should be interesting thats for sure seeing as I'm not the most outdoorsy gal.

My job is pretty awesome I am loving it.  Sometimes it gets really boring but my coworkers are sweet and my secretary and boss are also pretty great!  They're super young: my boss is 25 and the secretary I think is 24.  My boss is really fun but also quite strict.  So even though we sometimes get in trouble, it is worth it for the opportunities we get and the people we meet.  The MK who I work for (MK = Member of Knesset, which is the same as an MP) is really outspoken and often disagrees with the Prime Minister who is from the same party as him, which actually means he's really going places.  I think he's amazing at rallying support its so cool watching him speak, although half the time I don't understand because its in Hebrew.  We did get to go to an English speaking event though where he talked.  Anyways ya its just super cool that I work for/ sort of personally know such a successful MK who may just be the next prime minister! (Well maybe not next but somewhere down the line...)

By this point we have had quite a few tiyuls (weekend or day trips) that have been really interesting, like a dialogue seminar with Israelis at Ein Gedi, which is by the dead sea.  I went to the so called "beach" there but didn't go in the water...I remember last time I was here I was disgusted by it and it was painful because its so salty so I definitely dodged that.  The seminar was really cool though, I met some really nice Israelis!  It was great to meet locals and hear their stories because I mostly hang out with people from abroad.

Tonight I'm going to Poland on a Jeff Seidel trip.  It will be really intense and really sad but most definitely a life changing experience.  I'm going to see a lot of concentration camps, the Warsaw Ghetto, the factory from Schindler's list, and more.  So I'm getting excited for that for sure.

Hmm what else to tell.. I've been spending lots of time at the beach, it is getting really hot here.  I got the worst sunburn ever recently on the back of my legs it was horrific but it's gone now the peeling has stopped.  OH i also went to Jerusalem the other day and went to the kotel.  It was just insane because it is Passover and I guess loads of people want to be in Jerusalem for Pesach (who knew?) so I had to push people to get close to the wall and be able to put a note in a crack.  It felt sort of weird being so unholy but you gotta do what you gotta do.

O also I should mention that I had a super cool Passover experience for the seder.  I went to my friend's family friends place for the seder.  They live on a former kibbutz near Haifa.  The seder was fab!  They made their own Haggadahs which I thought was really cool, and there were a lot of lone soldiers there.  It was interesting to hear them talk about their army experiences.  Also for the afikomen, they organized a scavenger hunt instead of just hiding the matzah in any random spot.  It was a lot of fun!  He also gave us all notebooks afterwards, as well as scratch cards, and I was the only one to actually win anything from the scratchcard!  I won 20 shekels!  So exciting!  We stayed overnight after the seder, and spent the next day there.  The dad gave us a tour of the kibbutz, and took us to see the cows that they have.  Sooo gross.  I was clearly not a fan and quite frightened but it was still interesting to see!

OK I should get going I still have some Poland prep to do.  Oy vey.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Tel Aviv update

The more time I spend here, the more I love this city!
Like I said before, Tel Aviv is amazing.  I live so close to everything.  I'm absolutely obsessed with the shuk, where you can buy the cheapest goods ever.  You can literally buy anything you would ever need at the shuk it is incredible!  Like random housewares, electronics, clothing, fresh fruit and veggies, meats, candy, baking, etc.
There is also a mall right up the way from where I live where there is a fab grocery store that I like to go to when I am too tired to deal with the evil shopkeepers at the shuk (they rarely speak English, and for the most part they are quite mean!  The only drawback with the market).
Today I went to go do my laundry at the laundromat (this is a first for me that is for sure) and oh. my. god.  Best discovery ever!!!!!
The laundromat turned out to be inside of this delightful little cafe just off dizengoff square!  The food was incredible they had a quinoa salad that looked amazing, alongside many other kinds of soups, salads, sandwiches, and baking!  My friend had a latte that looked incredible..topped off with a picture perfect rosetta.
I had nana is this Israeli tea that has fresh mint leaves in it alongside a normal tea bag..sort of weird but amazingly delicious at the same time!
I went for a walk along the beach tonight for the first time and it was beautiful I cannot wait for it to be actually hot.
Yesterday we also went on a tour of Yaffo and it was super cool.  It is mostly Arab, and the city is full of old, but beautiful buildings.  A lot of them were all crumbling though, as apparently the majority of the city's inhabitants are extremely poor.
Afterwards we went for dinner to Dr. Shakshuka, which apparently started the whole shakshuka thing over here and makes it the best.  I am not a fan however and mostly ate the bread and salads they served alongside it.  For all you people who have not been to Israel, shakshuka is an egg dish, which is made up of a sort of poached egg in this tomato stew thing, served in a skillet.  The tomato stuff is really yummy but as you all know I am not a huge fan of eggs.
Ulpan (Hebrew class) is going really well, I am learning lots and lots of Hebrew I feel like my Hebrew has already vastly improved and I've only had a week of class!
Tomorrow I'm going to go to Save A Childs Heart to volunteer after ulpan, where I will get to play with underprivileged children from 3rd world countries who've recently had heart surgery!  It should be super interesting.
OK bedtime we have to get up extra early tomorrow because of the volunteering!  I will update again soon hopefully

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Settling into Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv is amazing.
I am soo excited to be spending (at least) the next 5 months here!
I am living in a sort of crummy old building however it is about a 5 minute walk from the shuk (market), and is surrounded by various amazing shwarma and falafel shops, as well as random other electronics, home and clothing stores.  Basically we're in the center of the city and it is awesome!
So I may have told some of you that my internship fell through..however it is sounding like they actually did make space for me and that I'll just be working about 3 days a week.  So things are looking up!
Tomorrow I should be finding out what's going on with that.
Tomorrow as well we're going to this organization to hear them speak/have a look around that deals with migrant workers and refugees I believe which should be pretty interesting!
And on the weekend I'm going to Herzliya to visit Jenni for shabbat!
Anyways that is pretty much all for now!
Miss you all!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Shabbat Shalom!

I am still in Jerusalem and it is soooooooooooo rainy.  I did not bring any remotely appropriate rain shoes, so I had to wear my mocassins on our walk around the first Jewish neighborhood outside of the old city.  It was awful my feet were completely soaked through and now my feet are dyed orange.  Not a good look. Aside from the walk around the Jewish 'hood, we also went to the old city and sort of did a "3 religions" tour...we went to the church of the Holy Sepulcre (sp?) where Jesus was supposedly buried, so it is the most holy Christian site.  We also went to the temple mount which was super cool, it is sort of ill advised to go there by yourself so we were lucky to be able to go with the group.  Then we went to the kotel.  Unfortunately it was freezing this day as well and our tour guide was pretty terrible so I just sort of imagined what went on in these parts because it was so difficult to listen to him!  Ummm for you guys who have been to Israel before, the only place I have really eaten at is Aroma!  Soooooo good I am obsessed with the "345 calories of Good Health" sandwich there and the lattes of course.
It also sounds like my internship is a go, I still haven't had my interview but my co-ordinator basically said not to worry.  
I think that is all to tell for now.  It is shabbat and I'm being pretty BA by being on my laptop in the lobby!!!  

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

In Israel

Made it safe and sound to Israel!  I won't really have internet for the next few days so updates are to come!!

Monday, January 31, 2011

En Route

Hey guys!

So I did it!  I figured out how to make a blog!  After trying for hours (ok maybe not hours, more like a few minutes before giving up) to figure out wordpress.

Anyways, after a little mishap at the Seattle airport (I left my laptop at security...typical)  I have made it to Philadelphia!  I had a very chatty man on the plane next to me, which was nice for the first 10 minutes or so, but then I had to drone him out with some Lil Wayne.  The poor guy had nothing to do because he was counting on watching the in-flight entertainment, but this flight of course had none!  I was also counting on that to pass the time, but luckily I had my ipod and a few magazines handy!  Aside from the chatty man, the flight was fine.  No turbulence at all and the time seemed to go by quickly.

Now I have to sit back and relax for 5 hours, until I board the plane to Tel Aviv.  So fun!  I will update soon after I've arrived in Israel