Days 56-58: Masa for Life

So I’ve been having fun and doing cool things. Yay! So now you have more interesting things to read, rather than just “I did nothing.” Hope you enjoy. I know I did.

The night before, I was chosen as the “Star Participant of the Week” for my program. They did a basic interview of me and asked me how my program was going so far. They picked me because one of our program directors and I spoke about how I had been writing for my company’s blog! Go me. I’m special. The feature is super short, but let me know if you’d like me to send it to you (if you haven’t gotten it from my mom already). Okay, onto the actual blog post!

Day 56: Sunday, 11/2/2014

So today, I went in to work a little bit early, and actually got a ton of work done. Why did I go in early, you ask? Well, I had to leave early for an event that we were going to (more on the event lower down). So I packed up early, and headed home for a few minutes to get ready to go to Jerusalem for the event. Due to my waking up earlier than normal, and the fact that I have not gotten used to the lack of Daylight Savings, I fell asleep on the bus.

When we arrived about an hour later, we were at MasaFest, an annual event Masa holds for all of its current program participants. There were hundreds of young adults in all sorts of Masa programs around the country! It was such a cool thing to see. I actually ran into another kid I went to high school with, who’s in a Yeshiva program in Jerusalem. Another example of a small Jewish world.

So I’m sure you’re asking what exactly this event was. Well, that will soon be revealed to you. While we waited for the main events, we sat in a theater and a DJ played music. We took some cute excited photos.

Bibi giving his speech. Look at him with that empowering fist
Bibi giving his speech. Look at him with that empowering fist

Alright, Main event #1: Israeli Prime Minister, Binyamin “Bibi” Netanyahu! Yes, the freaking Prime Minister came to speak to us! I was nowhere near close to him, but I actually had a friend from another program who got to shake his hand. Unreal! He spoke about how we needed to show that Israel was our home, no matter which country we were from initially. It was pretty moving.

So you’d think that would be the highlight of my evening, right? Wrong. He honestly just spoke for like 10 minutes. Next up: Idan Raichel Project! For those of you unfamiliar with the band, they are extremely popular in Israel and produce a ton of music from many countries. Their songs have influences from Israel (duh), Arab countries, Africa, Spain, etc. I’ve known a few of their songs for years, as my dad gave me their CD a while back. It was such a cool concert. I stood up and danced for nearly the whole thing, and actually sang along at a few points! Sorry for the blurriness of the photos, I was pretty far away.

We got home after midnight, and all of us were on a pretty big high from the event. So awesome. Thanks, Masa!

Day 57: Monday, 11/3/2014

Another day at work. I actually went in later today, as I was pretty exhausted from the event (don’t worry, I told my boss beforehand).

L to R, if you can’t recognize these faces that are covered in the masks: me, Natalie, and Deborah
L to R, if you can’t recognize these faces that are covered in the masks: me, Natalie, and Deborah

That night, I headed to Deborah’s house for a girls night sleepover! It was the two of us and Natalie. Deborah was a wonderful host and made us dinner, as well as providing us with cheese and chocolate for dessert! I brought the wine, a wonderful Moscato, because what else do you serve at a girls night? We gossiped, did face masks, and watched a movie. It was delightful!

I fell asleep a bit late, but it was nice to sleep in a bed that wasn’t super tiny.

Day 58: Tuesday, 11/4/2014

Work, again. Then we had an enrichment (activity with the group) at night at Tel Aviv University. It was the first time I’d been on a college campus since I graduated, I realized as I was walking around. To be honest, I didn’t fully understand the point of our activity. I was super bored and felt like there were many better things I could’ve been doing with my time. After an hour and half, we were finally done.

Obligatory “L'chaim” moment. I got a mango margarita, Daniel got horchata
Obligatory “L’chaim” moment. I got a mango margarita, Daniel got horchata

I realized earlier in the day that I hadn’t had any Mexican food since I’d been here, and I was craving it. So a group of us ended up going to a place called “Mexicana” after the program. It was great! I had tacos and a margarita (my version of Taco Tuesday, which I desperately miss going to in SLO…), and lots of guacamole: THEY DIDN’T CHARGE EXTRA FOR IT. It was seriously the best service I’d had in Israel, and that’s saying a lot. Service here is nothing like in America, but this restaurant came really close to American service. Like seriously. It was awesome. Definitely fulfilled my craving.

The placemats had these adorable “do and don'ts” of Mexican food. This one was my favorite. For those that don’t read Hebrew, it says, “Don’t dip your tortilla in salsa. It isn’t hummus.” Classic
The place mats had these adorable “do and don’ts” of Mexican food. This one was my favorite. For those that don’t read Hebrew, it says, “Don’t dip your tortilla in salsa. It isn’t hummus.” Classic

After a fun evening, I headed home (in the rain. Hurray).

See! I told you my posts would be more fun from now on! I’m doing things! Go me. I’m proud of myself. Our internet has gone out AGAIN, so my next post will probably be delayed once again. I’ll try my best though! Just stay tuned.

-Girl in Israel 🙂

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