Well, so much for my resolution to blog more…it’s been way too long since my last post!
In the past month(ish), I went to Greece, Gilad Shalit returned home, got a new camera, met up with my cousin, started legitimately teaching in a public school, started Ulpan (a Hebrew immersion class), traveled to Jerusalem with some friends from my program, and GOT INTERNET!! Woooo!
Over Succot, Gwen, Emils, Ellana and I took a cruise to Rhodes and Samos! We were on the cruise for 5 nights and I’m really happy I experienced it with those lovely ladies! We ate ourselves full of the most delicious baklava that I’ve ever had – it’s a miracle my clothes still fit! While we were on the cruise ship, Gilad Shalit returned home! We all crowded into the one room on the ship that has a TV, and everyone was crying from relief and jubilation. It was an amazing experience to be surrounded by Israelis when he was released back into Israel.
I took about 250 pictures from the cruise… of touristy things like a our amazing dinner in Rhodes and a wine tasting that we found in Samos, and of not so touristy things like when Emils and I wore our blankets like capes and had a running contest. Unfortunately, my camera went M.I.A. the last night of the cruise and I still don’t know if I dropped it or if someone took it when I wasn’t looking. But it’s ok, cause I just got a new Israeli camera, so I’ll finally be able to upload some new pictures soon! The cruise ship had a pretty awesome cafeteria and I definitely ate way more than I should have. One morning, while standing in line (a.k.a. getting cut by 5 people in line), I started speaking Hebrew to a lady and we were able to talk for about 15 minutes! I was so excited that I could hold a conversation entirely in Hebrew for so long!
Right before Halloween, Ellana, Emily and I ventured to Tel Aviv to meet up with my cousin Mike, who I haven’t seen in a really long time. It was really great to see him again! He’s living in Tel Aviv and he was nice enough to invite us to his friends’ Halloween party. The party was fun and it was nice to see some new faces. We ate dinner at a place called Benedict that serves breakfast all day. I had some delicious white chocolate espresso pancakes. I even met Mike’s girlfriend, Des who seems really awesome. Apparently there’s a Mexican restaurant in Tel Aviv that Mike said is pretty good, so I told him that next time we meet up we should eat there. I’m having some serious Mexican food withdrawal, but the amazing hummus helps make up for the lack of guacamole.
The school where I teach is amazing! There are 2 English teachers, Rosit and Arava. My host teacher is Rosit, although I spend a good amount of time with Arava as well. They are both so sweet and I am really really excited to be working with them! The kids are all really smart and they seem like great kids. There’s one boy in particular that I’ve been working with a lot, and I have definitely developed a soft spot for him. He usually acts out in class, but I think that all he needed was someone to give him some extra attention. I think the fact that I set expectations for him motives him to study and get his work done. He had a quiz on Thursday and he did so well! He was able to read and comprehend the sentences and he answered most of the questions without my help! Rosit and I were so proud of him! The fact that he has improved so much in so little time makes me very excited to see how much more he and his classmates will improve!
Ulpan is going pretty well so far. There are 2 levels and I’m in the more advanced one since I took Hebrew in college. We’ve only had 2 classes so far, so we’re reviewing a lot of stuff that I already know. It’s pretty cool that I am able to sit through 3 hours of Hebrew lessons and understand what’s going on! I had a fever last week so I had to miss a class but thankfully I already learned the material. I am enjoying the classes, but I really miss not having Eric around to study with. I guess I’ll just have to think of ways to remember vocab words all on my own.
I’ve been in Israel for 2 months and a few days ago, we finally got INTERNET on my floor! Up until now, whenever I needed to get online, I’ve been camping out in the hallway on the floor below mine. But thankfully now I can hang out in my room AND use the internet simultaneously! Woot woot! You know what this means: I can talk on the phone/skype with everyone and not have to worry about my computer dying or about my butt getting sore from sitting on the tile floors! And it means I can finally show y’all what my apartment looks like! I’m so excited!
Well, that’s it for now. More to come soon!