So I don’t know what you have been hearing about what is going on in Israel, if you have even heard anything. I want to say that I AM SAFE. There have been rising tensions andattacks in Jerusalem. I would recommend reading up on what is going on here in some of these news sites, they are from all sides,: Jerusalem Post, Haaratz, The Israel Times, and Ynet. It is not the best situation, but we keep going and keep up with our normal actitvites, just a little more aware. My program and MASA has our best interest in hand and is following everything closely as well. I wish things were different obviously, but I AM SAFE and more aware.
October has been turning into quite a month. I ended the crazy season of Jewish holidays in Hertzalia with one of my counselors from OSRUI and right outside of Jerusalem with some of the Israelis from OSRUI this summer. It was so much fun seeing them and spending sometime with them. I love having these connections in Israel. (Thanks camp for lifelong friends). When I was right outside Jerusalem we went to a few natural springs that we went in. It was so cold but so fun! Then we went to this really old town and got some of the best chocolate ever and I remembered being at an amazing restaurant there when I was on EIE, small world. I have figured out a few things about Israelis, 1. They are the best hosts and want people to come and spend time with them. 2. They make the best food that just keeps coming and coming 3. They love to drink (lots) 4. When Americans talk English really fast they are lost, and when they talk Hebrew really fast Americans are lost. (I know understand what it is like to be an outsider. I wish I knew enough to keep up with the conversation, hopefully soon enough).
After my wonderful holiday season I FINALLY STARTED SCHOOL!!!! I was so excited to start and finally do what I came here to do! Sure it is somewhat of a challenge because my Hebrew is not the best, but I have enough to get by and communicate with the kids I am teaching. I have started off simple with get to know you games and using words that are in their books. I love playing games with them and having them use English as much as possible. I am starting to think of ideas that I can use to make learning English fun. One of the ideas is being pen-pals with kids back in America. I know Ashley, she did this program last year, is teaching about English and we have started talking about become pen-pals. (If anyone else would like to do something like this let me know.) I am excited to progress my ideas as the school year goes on. The kids are so cute! I get hugs from basically everyone. I feel like a celebrity at school, it is crazy. I love it! I want to just take them all home with me.
Well on my wanting to become fluent in Hebrew, we also started ulpan. The first lesson was fine, I knew everything that we were doing so I did a different worksheet. But it was so great seeing people who might not know Hebrew at all be excited about learning and understanding what was going on. I loved seeing everyone smile and be excited for it. I am excited to see where ulpan takes us.
Our Ramla friends came to have Shabbat with us. It was really great! I loved having them here. We had a big dinner that everyone (well mostly everyone) made something to eat. It was so good! I made BBQ chicken and baked these amazing bars that I have decided to call better than sex bars. They were chocolate chip squares with salted carmel and melted dark chocolate on top. I really have missed baking so I am glad that I could show my skills and release any stress from the week. We took Ramla out to some local Ashdod bars that are open on Shabbat. And of course how could we forget the beach? We showed them our wonderful beach! All in all it was really great.
I am looking forward to the following weeks to see what is in store. Miss you all!