Saturday, March 28, 2009

"Coffee in a Cardboard Cup"

Hey All,
So this has been a really long week, and as I sit here on my bed writing my new blog post on a Saturday instead of a Sunday I starts thinking about how long I have been in Israel. It has been about 11 weeks since I was on that airplane coming to Israel to study abroad. I have been here almost 2 months and 3 weeks, and I only have 2 more months left. This seems so crazy to me, I feel like last week I was home sitting on my floor with my friend Kristina picking out clothes for me to bring while I am away. Which is probably why I can't remember what I did last week. I guess I can try to remember though considering that this is the reason that I have a blog in the first place.

Sunday and Monday we very slow. I had a field trip to an art museum on Sunday morning for my Biblical Figures.... course. It was really nice to take a break from sitting in a room and taking notes about a million different slides. The room that we went to was filled with classical and modern art all representing "the binding of Isaac" (the part in the Torah where G-d tells Abraham to kill his only son Isaac to show how much he respects G-d). It was absolutely amazing, I think I was standing in front of each painting for 10 minutes each just taking in the art piece as a whole. I had a feeling that not everyone in the class was as into it as I was, but then again that's what happens when you come from a small town art community and artistic family from Pennsylvania. After the museum we went back to school and I had my Judaism course, and that was it. Monday was also a very slow but kind of fun day. My internship was rescheduled for Thursday night so I didn't have to leave my Holocaust class early. Plus, we didn't even have a real class that day. We had a field trip to a movie theater to see the movie "Defiance" as a class. It is the story of the Bielski brothers, and how they hid Jews in the forest and created a community while hiding during the Holocaust. We had to read the book for class and then our professor bought the entire class tickets to see it in the movies. It was absolutely amazing!!! The movie was really well made, and held true to A LOT of the book and the actual history of the Bielski brother's and what they went through in order to survive. I would recommend it to anyone that like true historical stories, and if you haven't seen a good holocaust movie since Schindler's List or Life is Beautiful.
Tuesday was really nice because after my classes I got to hang out with Shaina's Mother and Brother who came to visit her here for a week. After they settled into the Bed and Breakfast that they were staying in, we went to the old city and walked around the Arab quarter. From there we walked down to the Kotel (the western wall) for a bit. It was such a site to see. We got there and there was a graduation ceremony for the soldiers that had just finished there training before doing their service. They were all lined up in the center, right in front of the Kotel and their commanders were yelling instructions to them and they had to respond. After going to our separate sides of the Kotel to touch the wall and pray for a bit (there is a men's side and a women's side to the Kotel, they are not allowed to pray together, and the womens side is A LOT smaller then the men's side) we headed back up to the Arab quarter so that we could catch a cab to Ben Yehuda street. As we were leaving the soldiers were still there waiting for the end of the ceremony I guess. It then started to rain a bit, and got a little cold, good thing we were on our way to get some dinner in a nice warm restaurant. We went to Foccacia Bar for a good meal, even thought Shaina's mom and brother were so tried from the trip that they could barely keep their eyes open. Shaina and I were also pretty tired because of the weather and the busy week we had a head of us.
Wednesday morning Shaina's family came to our dorm room for breakfast before we went to classes for the day. e had some cereal and fruit, it was actually really nice because normally Shaina and I are so tried in the morning that we barely talk, and just kind of drag ourselves to class. That morning we were a little bit more peppy, and up, and ready to go. After my classes on Wednesday I came back to the room and started reading/studying a bunch of articles in order to start writing my first paper for my Holocaust class. I think I sat for a good hour in silence just reading and highlighting and taking notes on the material. The paper is due next Wednesday but I really needed to get started early because I had absolutely no idea how to write this paper (and the professor was not all too much help in that department either, everything that he told me to do was completely broad and impossible to understand).
All of Thursday I was reading my articles again and barely paying attention to anything else. At the end of my day I had to go back to school to go to a meeting about possibly singing for a Yom Hashoah remembrance event (Holocaust remembrance). I got there and told the main person Amichai that I had to leave early because I had my internship that night instead of the day that it is supposed to me on. He was fine with it because all he needed from me was to hear me sing so that he could get my voice type. I think he really liked me, and my friends in the other room could hear me and were also really impressed. He said that he would find something for me to do, and he did. My friend Margot told me that night after my internship that he wants me to sing a duet in Yiddish with one of the other girls in the group. I was so excited, I couldn't wait to get started the next week. internship that night went really well, not all the girls were there again, but the ones that were there had a great time, and they are really making a lot of progress, and I am very sure that they are ready to go to London for their dance re-treat with no problems.
That night I met Margot, Leah, Ariana, and Sarah N. at a sushi bar called Japanika. We had a great dinner, and it was nice to hang with my girls before having to work on my paper ALL weekend. After dinner we went to out for a couple of drinks, and some girl talk. We had a great time listening to fun Israeli music and being in the center of some great Israeli culture. We ended up staying a little bit later then we wanted to, so we got into some cabs and went right home to go to bed to get ready to stay in my room for the entire weekend to study and write my paper.
Friday I sat in the room reading, and studying, while Shaina and her family went to the shuk to get food for Shabbat dinner. When they got back we just hung out in the room for a little bit, and then started making dinner. We made chicken fajitas with veggies, chicken, three different cheeses, and laffa bread (large pizza type doughy bread, usually you eat it with shwarma). It was really good, Shaina and I are definitely going to be making it again in the future. I am also thinking about buying some extra veggies and chicken breasts so that I can make chicken soup (which lasts for a long time). After dinner we ate some ruggala and watched a movie on my computer. Shaina's family then went home to get some sleep because they were going to be getting up early the next morning to go to Tel Aviv. The rest of the night Shaina and I were just doing some work on our computers, and then got ready for bed.
The next morning, Shaina got up early to meet her mom and brother to go to Tel Aviv. I slept in for a little bit longer then started typing my paper. It is really hard to decide what information is the most important because to me everything that I have read proves my ultimate point. So by the time I got to four pages I had finished talking about the first article out of four that I was focusing on. I have a feeling that this paper is going to be longer then six pages long. I just hope that my professor notices how hard I worked on it so that can get an OK grade (I have been told that he is a really difficult grader, and that he is sometimes unpredictable when it comes to grading papers).
That's all for this week...I just have one more week to go before I go on Pesach break. Next Sunday I leave for Cyprus for my three day cruise. I am soooo excited, and I don't think I am going to be able to concentrate ALL week. Wish me luck!!!
Much love!!!


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