So first and foremost, my apologies to my extreme lack in blog postings. It is a new years resolution of mine to be better about posting. (we'll see how long that lasts)
First to try and update you about things that happened during the last part of my first semester. Uncle Dennis came and visited and we had a great time. Unfortunately he came right in the middle of midterms so I wasn't able to go and do things with him, but he was able to keep himself occupied. We did go up to Tel Aviv and Herzalyia for a weekend and had Shabbat dinner with and old friend of his. That was nice for me to be able to get out of Jerusalem for a while. I was very excited when he brought me a World Series Champions shirt that I was able to sport around...my friend Ryan who's brother is the GM for the Rangers i am sure was less then thrilled. After uncle dennis left I had to get ahead in all my school work to prepare for mom coming!!!!
The followings weeks were pretty uneventful minus the trip we took to the a Kibbutz. A Kibbutz is a community that lives together. They also eat together in a dining hall and all work on the Kibbutz and usually whatever is being made there is used throughout the country...for example there is a Kibbutz in Israel that provides the milk for most of the country (obviously there is more than one milk company but they are the best). On our trip up to the Kibbutz we stopped in Tzfat. Tzfat is a small community, one of the 4 holy cities of Israel and got a tour. We walked from the top of Tzfat to the bottom and were lucky enough to stop at a kabbalistic art place along the way. This man, Avraham, who talked a lot about his name, created some of the most amazing pieces of art. I bought 3 pieces (one for me, one for mom, and one for Dmitry) If you want to see the art work I got mom just ask her and I am sure she would be more than willing to share it with you. There is an explanation that goes with the art but it's similar to a yin and yang idea with what you give and what you get, as well as the idea of conditional vs. unconditional love. Once we got to the Kibbutz I was not feeling all that well but regardless, again, it was nice to get away from Jerusalem
Then, MOM CAME! it was a very emotional moment when I saw mom entering the "family waiting area" also for her since her last leg of the flight was not the best (and that's putting it nicely). I had a nice that said, "mommy, welcome to Israel!" as well as a little teddy bear with a blue sweatshirt on and an israeli flag. Mom loved it! From the airport we went right to my apartment and were the 2nd people dropped off. This was really exciting because usually I am one of the last people. We got to the apartment mom quickly unpacked a couple things and then we were off to Ben Yehuda street. Ben Yehuda street is a very popular touristy area. Tons of shops with little nick nacks. She LOVED it! From there we went to dinner and then went to bed. Lets just say the first night of sleeping was not the best for me. But by the end of the two weeks we were able to work it out.
Some other highlights of mom coming to visit were: she came to school with me one day and joined my Hebrew Class at the Italian Synagogue. I tried to translate what the guy was saying because he was speaking all in Hebrew, but if I started telling mom then I would miss the next thing he said and wasn't able to tell mom, so after a while i just kinda gave up. Mom also came to T'fillah one day which she really enjoyed. We went to Tel Aviv one night. We were supposed to walk around but I accidentally had us get on the bus that goes to the northern part of Tel Aviv rather than the stop right when you enter the city, so we were sitting in traffic for a while and just ended up getting milkshakes and dinner at Yotvata, which is right along the beach. The food was well worth the journey. Also, once weekend we went up to a cute little town in "wine country" called Zichron Yaqov. I love this little town and was glad that I was able to take mom there. Other than those bigger trips mom and I stayed around Jerusalem and explored the city. We went into the old city, the Cardo (arab market) and the Shuk. Mom was very lucky to meet Muhammed. She thought he was very nice and good looking. I made sure to tell him this and he was very flattered. He also told me to say hello to all my friends and family for him... so "HELLO!" Mom and I ate at a different restaurant every night and finally by the end of the trip she started to get a little more experimental with the foods she was eating. She enjoyed every place we went, which I was really grateful for. On Shabbat we went to the park which was really nice. Mom was truly amazed with how everything really does stop. So, Mom, Nina, Sam and I all went to a park that is close to my apartment and had a little lunch and then Sam, Nina and I did a little studying for finals. Obviously mom met Moshe. SHe loved him :)
Then mom and I flew home. It was a long journey...especially since our flight from Zurich was delayed by 2 hours, but we were still able to make it home on time for me to sleep through new years!
My time at home was pretty amazing. It was nice to come home and see all my friends and family. It was exactly what I needed to make it through the next 5 months. There was a part of me that was nervous that I wouldn't want to go back after being home for 2 weeks but in actuality I am really looking forward to going back. I am anxiously sitting at SFO and soo excited to go back and see everyone. I made sure to bring everyone back something from the states. For all my friends that work in the shops below my apartment building I am bringing them Candy from Sconza's! And for Muhammed I am bringing him a cool San Francisco sticker to put on the bus... since his driving partner has so many up. So I am really excited to go back and see them all.
While I was home I did a lot of shopping, which was obviously very necessary :) Now I have 16 hours of traveling to figure out which outfit I want to wear to school on Sunday. I will definitely let you all know. I am really excited for the new semester because I have some new classes. I am taking an Arab-Israeli conflict class and a history of Jewish Music class, which I am really excited about.
I will try my hardest to keep you all posted about everything over the next semester. I am really looking forward to 5 more months of new experiences.
Love you all soooo much!!!
PS.... this new astrological sign business.... i am sooooooooooooo not down. (i just feel bad for all those people who got tattoos of their sign and now they're different... )