...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.....