So BFL ended Saturday night but I did not return to Arad b/c I needed to be in Jerusalem for Monday (Boaz gave me permission). Katie, Julia, Leah, Naomi, Elana and Jessica were also in Jerusalem--Katie talked to her MOL group, Jessica was with her Boaz others were with others.
Sat night 4/17 - went back with Judith to Beit Ar El waiting for Julia and Katie, Leah was at Derek Chevron. I talked to some friends on skype. i was exhausted and wanted to go back to katies but they weren't there yet. and when they did come we had to go visit emma and mike. we stayed in mike's room till past midnight. i got music from him and he look at my essay, it was good to have fresh eyes look it over. we finally took a taxi back to katies.
Sunday 4/18 - I was in a bad mood so I had to get out of the apartment. I grabbed a bagel and Katie joined me on the way. We wondered around Jerusalem. We went to Ben yehuda, over to yad lakashish, walked around Mamilla, tried to go to the David Citadel to sight out their pool to see if we could go in---not happening. Katie and I went back to the apartment to grab swim suits to try other hotels but it wasn't going to work so we stayed in the apartment. she started to work on her tanach final. somehow or another i got the new alice in wonderland on my flashdrive--mike didn't give it to me, and i have no idea how i got it--so we watched that. others came back and we just hung. We went to Emek Refaim for a local ceremony. Afterwards we went to the Kotel where we could see the soldiers that are staying watch for the 24 hours. We walked home, but Katie and Jessica took forever to walk home so we split up.
Monday 4/19 - Yom HaZikaron - So instead of walking from Katie's to the Supreme court (30 min walk) and then grab the shuttle to Har Herzl, we walked to the CBS (45 min walk) to grab the bus from the Arad kids, where we were a couple of minutes late so we get yelled out. Har Herzl is completely packed. Young Judaea, sec 2 and shevet/fzy are handing our flowers, water bottles, and candles for people. this place is packed!! i was giving out flowers, when i was almost out i grabbed jess and took her around. (during the first bfl weekend we had an amazing tour of har herzl so i showed her some of those spots) we placed some flowers at different locations. (if i had told my dad that we were going he would have told me about his friend that is buried there and i would have visited him). so there were different ceremonies all over the mountain. the main one was at herzl's grave but that one you needed tickets for. all of us were split up but we kept bumping into each other. the ceremonies started just before 11, when we heard the siren. everything and everyone stopped. no sound, except for the occasional cry. the siren ended and the ceremony commenced. people talked about the different wars and people that they have lost, brothers, sister, fathers, sons, daughters, friends. graves were overflowing with flowers and candles. people come at all hours visiting their loved ones. so any soldier can be buried there. and the amazing thing is that standard soldiers are intermixed with generals and everyone's plaques are the same. the graves look like beds, with a stone pillow and grassy blanket. after the ceremonies we all met up where we had the option of visiting Michael Levin or Roi Klein. Michael Levin was the first Lone Soldier to die during Gaza. Roi Klein was a soldier that through himself on a Rimon (Grenade) to save his fellow soldiers, before he did that heroic act he said the Shema. We then were either allowed to leave or go on a tour of the mtn. I continued with the tour even though we were hungry. We were taken to places I had been before but Har Herzl is probably the most beautiful cemeteries around. it has so many trees and plants and the lay out is really nice. At the exit we met a MOL group that we talked to for a bit and then we left and went back to Katie's.
We rested up a bit. Went to Beit Ar El for Maariv with the Shalem kids then Shevet went out to dinner in Talpiyot. It was so nice seeing the Marava kids and hearing of their adventures. Others went back to Katies but Julia and I went to town. I needed to see Carolyn Berlin (from last year's MOL) before they left town. I got to catch up with her and meet the other chaperones. Apparently this year's group of kids is much more well behaved then we were. Julia and I met up with a bunch of kids, got ice cream and just watched the fire works. Town wasn't as crazy as I thought that it would be but it was still a lot of fun. Jess Katie and I somehow lost the others and we ended up getting a shot of Absinth. Boy does that stuff sting. We all got split up but somehow Cara and Katie ended up together. I hung out with Sammie and Jessica was with Boaz. Cara explained about 4/20
Tuesday 4/20- Yom HaAtzmaut - We walked to Beit Ar El for the BBQ with section 2. It was nice hanging out with them and see the marava kids. A bunch of us then walked to the Kotel through mamilla. throughout mamilla was a live museum of israel's history. it was very funny to watch. We wanted to get to the kotel while the march kids were still there. some were but mine weren't. so the others got to see ppl from home.
So we were all supposed to go back to Arad but Katie's apartment had some issues with the plumbing and ceiling. b/c it was plumbing i was not going to let katie leave without fixing it. so i stayed Weds 4/21 with Katie in her apartment all day with the plumber and then the roof guy fixing it. We made it back to Arad by midnightish. And then we had to pack for Yam L'Yam that Michal, Naomi, Jessica, Katie, Judith, Monica and I were going to do that coming weekend.
Thursday 4/22 - IDF Siyyur - So we went to a Nachal base which is in Arad and we have a lot of friends at. a lot of Lone Soldiers are in Nachal b/c they take good care of them there. We had a talk with some Lone Soldiers. Yael from San Diego was there, she made aliyah a year ago with Garin Tsabar, which Cara and a bunch of others are doing. I recognized her from a YJ convention or something that I was at. So the Panel of soldiers talked to us about their experiences and answered some questions. We then had some pastries and then went into a fake shooting range where everything is electric. the M16s were real but hooked with sensors so that on the screen it recognized who was shooting where. There were different sets of people. The last set had the soldiers and Kaitlin(who happens to the 3rd National shooter in the States) needless to say she kicked everyone's asses. We then went to see some soldiers do a shooting drill, without the shooting part so they just kept yelling aish, fire, over and over again. After we went to the air force museum, which reminded me a lot of home. we got to see old planes and eventually we were allowed to go in them, where jessica and i had too much fun.
the yam lyam girls were dropped off in beer sheva.....
to be continued with jessica. (its going to be good)