Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Arad 4

Weds, (4/7/10), Jordan, Cara and I wake up early, 6 am! to grab a bus to the CBS to go to BeerSheva to go to Arad. Shai had told us that we needed to be back by 10 am for an apartment meeting. We were pushing it to get back on time. we get there at 10:20 and fine, whatever, we will be late. we get home and no shai. the others don't know about the meeting so we called shai, he just wanted us back in town. ughhhh...shai. So we all rest up, change and try to figure out the taxi situation to go to the Dead Sea. We are 7 people, Jessica, Katie, Michal, Leah, Jordan, Cara, and I. b/c we are 7 and not 6 we can't fit into the big taxi so we took two taxis. We went to the mall to the taxi stand and ran into our friend Eitan. I don't see him for months and then twice in one week (ran into him in jerusalem)...

So we finally got to the Dead Sea and we tried to go do the Crown Plaza to go to the pool but we got kicked out. we did go to the bathroom before we got kicked out. we then tried to go to another hotel but got kicked out of there so eventually we ended up at the public pool. We all went into the dead sea and took silly pictures and just floated around for a while. we ate our packed lunches and just hung out. Eventually we made it back to arad, where i passed out on the taxi home. We had 10 mins before we had to go to class, Jessica showered and i didn't have enough time so i didn't. jordan stayed in and relaxed and showered while we went to our last intro to Tanach class. In class i came up with the subject for my final --Rachel Imanu. (I'm working on my paper now, even though it was due the 18th but i was at a conference for a long time, will talk about later). We came home from class, made dinner-quinua, what a surprise, hung out and then some of us went out the Muzas. I had a beer and Jordan had a milk shake. She got to meet a lot of my friends. We went home kinda early b/c we were so tired and we had to get up early the next day for tel aviv....

to be continued....

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Arad 3

Pesach Break...(3/27/10)

...we all tried to get rides. We had made some friends with the intention of getting rides with people to Jerusalem. We got 5 rides. We were 6 people. Because some people were stressing over traveling, I became the lucky one who got to travel back on the group bus to arad and then to Beer sheva and then to Jerusalem. (After weekends or siyyurim we are promised to be dropped off at a central bus station b/c getting out of ARAD is soooo difficult.) I make the bus to Jerusalem with only 10 minutes to spare. I was really worked up and nervous about making it, because originally we weren't supposed to make it to Beer Sheva in time. So I get to Jerusalem and I meet up with the girls on Yafo. We walk into town and then finally make our way back to Jerusalem.

So the first day of break, Sunday, we all go to Beit Ar El to work on our finals for Medical Ethics. (b/c Jordan was coming at the end of break i knew that i needed to get a nice start on my paper during break.) So we spent the day hanging out with Section 2, madrichim, working on our papers and doing laundry. During lunch jessica and I went to get 15 sheck laffa that was delicious.

The sedar was monday night, so people left at all different times to get to their respected places on time. I left sometime on monday to go to Moty and Efi's. At the CBS in Jerusalem, katie, jessica and I couldn't get over seeing bread in Israel! but it was kosher l'peseach bread! Moty picked me up at the CBS in Raanana. We relaxed in their home and then changed and went down to Ashkelon to Moty's older brother for sedar. It was a really nice sedar. Sedars in israel are a lot more relaxed and joyful than back home. I read in hebrew in the Hagadah. The sedar was all in hebrew of course, and I followed along pretty well. We drive back to Kochav Yair. I called home to say Chag Sameach and then went to sleep. I started to not feel well that evening. In israel the chag is only one day...

Tuesday, Moty woke me up and we, with some of his neighbors, drove to the Carmel. We had a picnic and went on small hikes, saw some water falls, flowers, animals and what not. It was a really nice day. I love the Carmel. It was just beautiful. We drove home. And i began to feel worst. Moty and Effi take good care of me and I decided to stay another night at their place instead of returning to Jerusalem when the busses started to run again, like the others. I went to bed early and got up early to return to Jerusalem. So on Monday, Moty received the bad news of his friend's mother passing away. So on Weds, they dropped me off at the bus stop by the airport on their way to the funeral. I waited for over an hour for a bus b/c all of the busses were full. Some drivers were nicer than others and let people pack on. When I finally got on a bus, on Chol Hamoed, which is so not a good day to travel to jerusalem, I had to stand the whole time. Luckily the driver played really good music. The bus ride should have been about 30 mins, instead it was over a hour. There was horrible, horrible traffic. At one point on the climb upto Jerusalem an ambulance needed to pass so all the cars just angle outwards and it drove between the two lanes. I finally get to Jerusalem and meet the girls on the way to the shook to buy stuff for Boombamilla! We return to Katie's and make matza pizza. the JRKs go to Ir David and do Ezekiel's tunnel. But since it was Chol Hamoed most of the country is on vacation so people do the touristy things then. so there were a ton of religious people doing it. so you have religious boys, three girls in short shorts, and then more religious boys. i'm sorry if we touched you in the dark tunnels where you can't see a thing. Afterwards, we changed in the bathroom and met up with cara at the kotel. Katie left to go see a play with Ale. We return home and i think just chill.

Thursday--the first day of Boombamilla(3 day music festival between the beaches of Ashkelon and Ashdod). Katie, Jessica, Ale, Naomi, Orly and I wake up early and grab the bus to the CBS. We meet up with a bunch of other Boombamilla people that we recognize and load the bus. There is lots of dispute about where to get off and after a soldier decides for us we get off, walk to the other side of the road and wait for another bus to take us to the beach. After about a half hour the bus comes loaded with the people who hadn't gotten off at that stop but waited till the end. So it turns out that it really didn't matter where we got off. We get off at the right stop and walk to the entrance of the road that leads to the entrance to Boombamilla. People are trying to get rides with others, and there are taxis who are overcharging the 10 min drive b/c we are Americans and what not. After Katie talking to the driver and ending up calling him crazy we arrive at the entrance of Boombamilla. We then have to go through security where they confiscate any alcohol (we didn't bring any) and get our bracelets. We then get on another bus to go to the actual beach. We find YCers and set up tent. It was a ton of traveling that day but everything worked out in the end.

Boombamilla--lots of beach time, music, dancing, tanning/burning, sleeping, bathroom in nature, mud pit, crazy hippies, meeting new people and other good stuff!!!! It was so much fun!!! We always went to bed early b/c we were just so tired, you party during the day so you don't really need to at night. There were different stages set up with different kinds of music. My feet and legs got pretty toasty. I got really tan. Ashkelon has the shelliest beach i have ever seen. and strangely a lot of the shells have perfect wholes in them for necklaces (i think from water erosion?) so jessica and i both found the right ones and added them to our necklaces. Shabbat was really nice. We went to the "Village Prayer" and brought in Shabbat all together and ate with them. Getting out of Boombamilla was almost as eventful as getting in. We packed up and waited in line to get out of the beach. We started to walk with new friends along the road and then got some rides the rest of the way. We were waiting for a bus to take us to the bus that would take us to the bus back to Jerusalem but the inner city buses weren't running yet. so cara, katie, jessica, and i tramped together to the bus stop. it was funny to see people in clothing again. and some of our new friends were americans and they had joined the army so they had all changed into their uniform so that they could travel for free--that was very funny to see. We got to Katie's and put our things down and went into town for a little bit.

Sunday, we recovered from Boombamilla and went to Beit Ar El, again, to do laundry and work on papers. I left early to go to the CBS to go to the airport to pick up JORDAN!!!!! Jordan's flight was a little bit delayed and I had to get there early b/c of the bus schedule b/c she came in during chag. So she finally lands and calls me and I tried my best to direct her to the Arrival Gallery. She finally arrives to me and we hug and it was so exciting to see her!!!! We got on a Sheirut to Jerusalem. Stephanie and someone else from Section 2 were also on the Sheirut. So we caught up and explained to her things that we saw. B/c we were on a Sheirut it traveled around to different areas of jerusalem, so she got to see an arab village, and possibly a little bit of the west bank? we did go through a check point but i'm not quite sure. So we finally made it to Katies and as we arrived Katie and Cara were leaving to go to shul. Jordan was really tired but I wasn't going to let her go to sleep yet. We ate some soup and matza. (Jordan's first experience of Matza was at my family's sedar earlier that week). I keep Jordan up till about 10ish, we watched a movie.

Monday- We got up early and I made turkey matza sandwhiches to take with us to the old city. We walked from Katie's to Shar Yafo, down the arab shook (where she bought a cute shirt for someone back home), over to the christian quarter. we had a map with us and i knew that we should just walk down via del la rosa and go see the church of the holy seplicure. we walked down and realized that we had gone to far so we hiked back up and found the church. the entire arab and christian quarter were packed. Silly me, i forgot that the day before was Easter Sunday. And where did we decide to go on the day after Easter? To the place where he died. I had never been there before. It was a beautiful church with lots candles, mosaics, the stone that Jesus's body was prepared on, a rock with someone's blood on it, and a lot of other stuff, most of which i didn't really understand. We left and went through the Arab quarter to the Jewish quarter which was pretty empty b/c it was chag and people were in shul. We roamed around, in and out of the other quarters and we eventually ended up by the Aish building and saw some beautiful views. We ate our matza sandwhiches by the menorah and then went down to the kotel. We were yelled out b/c i forgot that you can't take pictures on chag. We were also cleared out of the area (i have been there many, many times before and this had never happened to me), possibly a bomb threat? so we left, and walked through the armenian quarter to the exit of shar yafo. We then walked to Yemin Moshe, where i explained about the history of Montefoire and what not. We then napped in a park and then Katie and Cara joined us and we played cards. We wanted to go see the hotel the King David, but we weren't allowed to b/c they had to many guests at the time. so we went to the David Citadel and to go to the bathroom and then we wanted to get ice cream but all of those place were still closed so we went to the Mamilla hotel just to relax thinking that we would be there for a bit and then go get ice cream. We ended up just going back to Katie's. We made matza pizza, drank a little bit, went out and met up with some friends. Jordan got to experience "crack square" and all that good stuff. Jordan and I left pretty early b/c we would have another very busy day, the following day.

Tuesday--we got at like 9 or 10ish got bagels and grabbed the bus to the Israel Museum, another place that I had not been before. We looked and learned about the old city. My favorite part is how they say we just put the amphitheater here b/c we think that it would be a good location but we dont really know if it goes here, in fact we have stopped looking for it. we then went to the dead sea scrolls, which was a totally different exhibit from the one in Balboa. So when we first tried to go to this museum we tried to buy tickets. but the clerk's computer was down so she told us to go in and then pay when we come out. when we came out there was no one there so we just didn't pay. don't worry i gave some tsedakah to even out. We then grabbed a bus into town and walked to Yad LaKashish, where I used to Volunteer, It was my first time back since we left Jerusalem in December. It was really nice to see Rivka and Annie again. Jordan bought a couple things and we went back to town to have lunch at Timul Shimshon. We had a really nice, long lunch looking out over the street. Cara later joined us and we walked around town a bit. (Katie and the others had gone back to Arad early that morning, I was on a family day) We then went to the Psalms museum. Jordan really enjoyed that. We tried to go the Tico house but they had already closed so we walked home. We then just chilled in the Apartment. We were planning on going out to eat but we were too tired so we stayed in. We got a pizza pie, a bottle of wine and some chocolate. It was a really good evening. We then went to bed early b/c we had to get up crazy early to go back to Arad....

to be continued.....

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Arad 2

Hi Everyone,
Wow! I'm a whole entire month behind in blogging! OY VEY!!! I don't even know where to begin with catching up on. I've been too busy to even blog--even Jessica was really behind in her blogging.

I don't have a lot of time so I'll keep it brief--we went to Sderot today, so its appropriate to watch Unsettled tonight.

Okay so classes--they are finished and we already had our first day of volunteering. The Jewish Medical Ethics class was really interesting and really challenged a lot of my views on Judaism and the Medical world. I finished my final last night, which was about MultiFetal Reduction and IVF. Judaism has a lot to say about abortions, and is much more lenient than other religions. Our professor, Dr. Leavitt, was a Medical Ethics professor at Beer Sheva University, he lives in Chevron and has 5 kids. He is a very interesting character. He doesn't go to doctors. He lives in Chevron, and that certainly says something. His wife teachers the Mystical class. He is originally from the states. and made aliyah like 30ish years ago.
In my intro to Tanach class, every class we looked at a different portion of each book. We obviously didn't get through all 27 books, but I finally read and investigated a lot of areas other than the Torah that I hadn't studied before. I think that the Song of Songs by Solomon are my favorite. I have to write a character analysis on Rachel. We got to pick the subject. And the kids with people in the Tanach with our same names are typically choosing those people. It is due Sunday, but I dont have time to work on it since tomorrow I leave for another BFL weekend and I was working on my Med Ethics paper till last night. So I'll be getting an extension.
Having classes all day long was exhausting. So I haven't explored Arad as much as I've wanted plus I seem to never be here.

Now we will be volunteering twice a week, all day long. I'm volunteering in the Artist Colony by the Ulpan building. It is like a kibbutz in that it is a socialist living center but not for farming, but art stuff. I'm working in Orange Beam where they produce organic massage balms and other healing creams and what not. I'm not exactly sure what I'll be doing there, probably just packaging things but it seems to be pretty cool. I'm the only one volunteering there and a lot of people wanted it.

Shevet--We had a spiritual day in the Sand Dunes that was amazing. It was a very small group probably because there was a party the night before or something, i can't really remember. anyways...we drove like 3 hours and met up with this new yorker who had made aliyah a long time ago. he lives on Kibbutz Ketura--a kibbutz created in the 70s by a bunch of kids that were on year course that didn't want to leave israel. Year course made them go home but they all came back and created this kibbutz, paradise, in the middle of the desert. We learn about the biblical history of the desert, and the foundations of some old synagogues and then go on a 20ish min hike up a hill, and on the other side are sand dunes. the sand is the softest stuff in the world. you just melt into it. people were rolling down the hills and running around. we had all taken our shoes off. we then regathered and received a sheet with a question on it to be opened once we have all dispersed to our own place in the desert and meditated for a while. So after we all found our spots and we were alone with our thoughts we heard the shofar and allowed to open the sheets which asked how we feel about being in the desert and what we think about G-d and what not. I really enjoyed playing in the sand with the pencil and wrote about how nothing lasts forever, from the wind blowing the sand away the words i had drawn and how when there are obstacles in your way people either fall in the whole or move around the "pencil." the wind was blowing really hard so sand got every where...even into my camera:( and hasn't worked since. We then ran/walked down the hill and walked a bit to a truck where some kibbutz members were setting up a barbeque. There was dough that we pinched out to make pitas that were then baked on a bedouin dome thing that sits over the fire. we had difficulties starting the fire and keeping the pitas on the dome...mhmmm sandy pitas. we then added humus and filafel. it was very good. then we went to the kibbutz where we took a tour of it. hey dad, they had a chiropractor there! We then had two options--go water paint or shalack napkins onto ceramics. We were supposed to have a water lesson but they just let us go wild, which meant that katie and jessica painted on each other. We then relaxed a little bit and then learned about Judaism and the desert and the environment. every one has different opinions about the hierarchy between man and nature. it was very interesting. we then had a proper bbq with students who are doing their masters on the kibbutz on the environment. we then rushed to beer sheva where we made the bus to Jerusalem b/c we had desert queens in the morning(to be talked about later).

so we had a shabbat biyachad at the Ein Gedi Youth Hostel. We got up Friday morning and drove to a dead sea spa where we could go to the sulfur pools. Jessica Naomi and I walked the 15 mins to the actual Dead Sea. Jessica found actual mud--which is really difficult to do b/c Ahava and all the other companies have exported the stuff. We spent a while there and then grabbed the shuttle back to the spa, covered in Mud. We took some pictures then showered off and grabbed lunch. and then Katie saw us....she wasn't too happy that we went without her. We looked for her before we went but couldn't find her so we just went. We did feel bad about not going with her. So she through both Jessica and I into the pool which was really nice. Then we all changed and went to the Hostel to relax and get ready for shabbat. We see the Ausies, from the Desert Queens day, there. (will explain later). I'm in a room with Jessica, Katie, Cara, and Julia. It was a really relaxing weekend. The Rabbi from Jerusalem taught us a couple of times when we were Jerusalem so it was nice to see him again. Jessica Katie and I were supposed to give a Divar Torah during Kiddush on Saturday about Pesach, but Jessica and I had gone back to the room to go do something so Katie did it by herself :( so again she was pretty "mad" at us. During the Seudat Shlishit I give a Dvar Torah about this blind boy and his freedom when he was able to see--> which refers to Pesach b/c we are all supposed to relate to our own coming out of slavery. So there were a lot of people at the hostel from Jerusalem so a bunch of us tried to get rides to Jerusalem. (Pesach break started Sat night)

Pesach Break to be continued...thats all for now.
lila tov, guess where i'm going tomorrow, yep thats right Jerusalem. I have been to Jerusalem every week since Purim (february)...its getting to be a bit ridiculous but i have things to do there so thats life.