1st week in Bat Yam:
I’m in love with Bat Yam. I have been to the beach almost everyday to read, run, or just walk around. Today Jessica Katie benji and I actually went in. it was nice once we actually got in to the water. Our tops might not have actually stayed on…
I found out my placement for volunteering—Yad Mordechai, an elementary school literally right behind where I live so I have a tiny walking commute. We, Anna and I, only went for one day because now everyone is on their Chanukah break. Simon who had gone home for something will also be volunteering with us. For our first day of volunteering we helped the children, 5th and 6th graders, learn about Chanukah in English. It’s weird because back home in the states the holidays were always an excuse to learn about something in Hebrew. Alona, the English teacher, and our advisor is really nice and showed us around and where the teachers lounge is.
This past Shabbat was a Shabbat Biyachad, it was relaxing and different from Jerusalem. One of my observations about the difference between Shabbat here and Jerusalem was that more people take the buses in Bat Yam and because the buses don’t run on Shabbat they are forced to keep Shabbat. I don’t know if they want to or not. We had a few peulahs on Chanukah and an Israeli update all led by the madrichim. We have four madrichim, two female and two male. The females are Israeli and the two male are American. I haven’t really formed opinions on them yet. But Noa, our madrchia, is really nice and helpful. We had our first apartment meeting this morning and we passed our cleaning inspection!
Tel Aviv is about a 30-40 min bus ride. I went once with Shir and Jessica to go read in a park that was down town. There was a dog park there, so we spent most of the time watching the dogs. There are many more dogs here than in Jerusalem. It was a beautiful day out. I love just walking the streets. We ran into the fashion track girls on their way home from their internship. Instead of volunteering they have an internship with a famous designer. We also went out Thursday night for David and Stephanie’s birthday. It was fun.
Tel Aviv and Bat Yam is definitely different from Jerusalem but it is lots of fun. And the ocean is very calming to be around.
Happy Chanukah everyone! Chanukah has been the first time that I’ve felt a little homesick. I miss Seth’s latkas, playing poker with gelt with my cousins, and all the other family traditions. The kids are all out from school and you can see chanukiot in the windows of most families. Lighting candles has been a little bit of a challenge because no one smokes in my apartment. Hahah
We are living with Tsofim, Israeli Scouts (similar to Boy and Girl Scouts in the States but much more popular here and its coed). They are our age, and this is their gap year program before they head off to the Army. They are volunteering the whole time and they stay in Bat Yam. There are 16 of them. It is really nice being with them so that we have a more authentic Israeli experience. Shir is our Tsofa. She and her parents are really nice. Her parents brought us some plates and extra tupperware.
It has been very interesting....can't wait to experience the rest of Bat Yam.
Okay well hope all is well,
And see I can write more often.