This post will have a bit more substance than the last one, I promise.
Day 14: Sunday, 9/21/2014
Back to Ulpan classes today. Our field trip was to Yafo (Jaffa, if you’re saying it in English). It is at the very south point of Tel Aviv, and it is a beautiful area. Before each field trip, everyone in my class has to learn about a specific part of the area we’re going to, and when we’re actually there, we need to describe what we’ve read (in Hebrew, obviously). On this particular field trip, I learned about the Bridge of Wishes, which was closed, so I don’t have a picture of that particular Yafo landmark. But please enjoy a few other pictures:
Yafo is definitely a place that I would like to visit again, and actually spend a significant amount of time exploring. That blog post will hopefully be coming to you soon, but it hasn’t happened yet so just be patient. Continuing on with my day, I went with Yael to Dizengoff Center so that she could (finally) get herself an Israeli phone number. I mentioned I have one, right? Well if I didn’t already say it, I got an Israeli SIM card in my phone. I need my Google Maps, people. I get lost all the time. It’s kind of embarrassing. Although I’m starting to really get my bearings around Tel Aviv. Anyway, moving on…
After we went to Dizengoff Center, we went back to the house and made dinner. We invited over our friends Deborah, Starr, and Sharon. Deborah brought us some wine and Swiss chocolate (as she is from Switzerland) and we had a wonderful girls night filled with bonding and good food. Overall, a very fun day!
Day 15: Monday, 9/22/2014
That morning, I met with our program coordinator, Sonya. She and I talked about basically the same things I’d been asked 17 times before: tell me about yourself, what are your expectations, etc. I mean, maybe my expectations could have changed in the past few weeks since I’ve been here, but come on. It’s a little redundant. But either way, we had a nice talk and then I once again had Ulpan class.
After class, we had a Rosh HaShana enrichment activity. Basically, we talked about what Rosh HaShana actually was and how basically everything is closed and it’s super difficult to get to places. It lasted like 15 minutes, we had apples and honey, and then we were done. Not knowing exactly what to do with our free time, a few of us stuck around and listened to country music. No joke, country music. I felt like I was back in SLO. The only thing missing was my pair of cowboy boots (thanks, mom!). We talked about country music and life in general and went on our way. A very fun afternoon.
Day 16: Tuesday, 9/23/2014
Today was another Ulpan field trip day, but this time it was just to Rothschild Blvd., a place I have frequented many times already (once before on our tour with the program on our first day!). It was nice walking around the street, but a bit unnecessary, I felt. We were also missing someone from our dual-level group (Bet and Gimel are grouped together for field trips since there are so few of us), so it was just 5 of us walking around with a tour guide. She was actually a really sweet 22-year-old religious girl from Jerusalem. We played “One Truth and One Lie” and “Never Have I Ever,” in Hebrew, of course.
After our field trip, we headed back to our house to get ready, because today was another program birthday! It was for Fjodor (pronounced Fee-oh-dor), who is from the Netherlands, and one of the apartments was planning a big party in his honor. It was definitely a crazy night! We arrived at around 10pm, and I kid you not, I did not arrive back at my apartment until 6am. It was such a blast getting to know everyone even more and just having a good time before Rosh HaShana began.
Needless to say, I was beyond exhausted by the time I returned home. I was actually early enough in the morning that the buses had started running again, so I guess that was convenient…? No matter what, it was a very fun night full of many great memories, which I’m not going to fully disclose to you. Too many things, not enough interest from you all.
So yes, much bonding ensued in those few days. I’m really loving getting to know all of the amazing people on our program. Everyone (well, mostly everyone) is really making an effort to all hang out together. I’m interested to see how the group dynamic will be once we all start our internships and won’t be seeing each other every day. I’ll let you know in the near future, as I’m starting my internship on October 1st! So soon! 2 more blog posts to come. It’s hard to catch up. Also sorry if the pictures are not of the greatest quality. It’s for some reason taking FOREVER to post them, so I’m uploading at a lower pixel value. I’m sure none of you actually care. Check out my Facebook album for more pictures not included in the actual blog posts! The link is above under “My Photos.” Enjoy!
-Girl in Israel 🙂