I can’t believe how long it’s been since I’ve updated my blog! Here’s a summary of what I’ve been up to:
We had a seminar in Jerusalem, we said goodbye to the first group of Zoom, Trail and Israel Corps participants, I traveled to Haifa to stay with some family friends, learned to knit, had some house guests, housesat/dog sat for one of my student’s family, met the new group of Zoom and Corps, had a seminar in the North, lost internet for 2 weeks, got a boyfriend, hung out with my cousin, had a Purim party at my school, received a year’s worth of chocolate, celebrated Purim at Shlomy’s house, went to a Purim party in Tel Aviv, watched a Purim parade in Netanya, and have been tutoring and teaching.
The theme for the seminar in Jerusalem was advocacy so we had a lot of lectures but the best part of the seminar was hearing a comedian (who went to UT!!). His stand up was based on observations that he, as an olim (immigrant to Israel) made about Israeli culture and society, especially compared to the U.S. It also turns out that we know some of the same people from home, and it was really comforting to meet another longhorn! Hook em Horns!
In the middle of January, I went to Haifa in the north of Israel to stay with some family friends. Their names are Dina and Gideon, and Gideon got his Ph.D. in criminology from Ohio State. My grandpa was his Ph.D. mentor, so he and Dina knew my grandparents really well and they knew my mom when she was a kid. It felt so nice to have a home cooked meal and to get a tour around Haifa. They are so sweet and I am so happy that I got to go see them!
We had a seminar in the North about a month ago and it was pretty chill. We went to a chocolate factory where we got to make our own bars of chocolate, went to a wine tasting, toured a date farm, saw Tel Chai (a historical battleground), went to Metulla, went on a hike around the North, and just hung out. The scenery up there is so breathtaking!
This weekend was Purim, and there were so many parties! We had a carnival at school (I dressed up as a clown) and all of the kids dressed up in such amazing costumes! Maddie-if you’re reading this, remind me to send you the pictures of Harry Potter and Dumbledore! For Purim, it’s customary to give baskets of sweets, called mishloach manot, to each other. I’ve decided that Purim should be named the holiday of Diabetes. My amazing host teacher, Rozit gave me a huge basket full of chocolate bars, cookies, and snacks, so I think I have enough chocolate to last me the next year. I love Rozit so much! Not only did she give me that basket, but she lent me her Purim costume and invited me over to her house for lunch a few days ago. She’s amazing! And she has the cutest little kids, so I love going to her house to play with them! 2 days ago there was a huge street parade in Netanya and we could see everything from our rooftop. That night, Shlomy invited us to a Purim party in Tel Aviv that his university threw and it was so much fun! I dressed up as a flamenco dancer turned vampire. Sounds weird, but it actually came out pretty cool. I didn’t get home until 5 in the morning…it felt like I was back in college! Shlomy had some room in his car so he drove Curly, Emils and me home. We had the best dance party in his car!
So that’s it for now…there’s more to come soon hopefully!