Saturday, November 28, 2009
Maura and me with Jerusalem in the back.
The Bethlehem Gate...you can see part of the security wall that is around Jerusalem. Only 3-5% of the wall is cement like this.
Most of the wall is a fence like this, with a road running along it. The fence is heat sensitive, so if there is activity near of on the fence, there security is alerted and the guards can come to the part of the fence and see that's going on.
Maura and meeeeeeee =)
Thursday, November 26, 2009
The real picture of Roi and me. I used the timer, which is why it's a little blurry. =)
ALSO...props to Rick for setting up my Hebrew typing on my keyboard, it will forever be remembered that you helped me because it's in my blog!!!
And...I got to talk to all my family today for Thanksgiving, it was so so so great. I love and miss them so much!!!!!
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
It really rained this morning!!! Like a common Midwestern down pour!! I was sitting in Hebrew class listening/watching it come down. The sky was brownish and the thunder shook. I know for everyone at home, this is a normal occurrence, but this is the first time I have been in a thunder storm in Beer Sheva. And, it was awesome! =) Also, for the sake of drought and living in the dessert, I hope it continues all winter!
After class, I went to the gym, even though I am a little sick, my throat has been sore for a few days, but nothing serious!!! I came home and made chicken soup for the first time in my life. I really wanted soup yesterday, (which Roi made for me!) but then I realized I wanted my mom's soup, which is obviously impossible to get. I realized I would have to make it myself. So while I talked to her over Skype last night I reviewed the "recipe" and tactics. It's kind of cute because she always said it was how grandma Dora made it, which I am assuming is how her parents made it. So maybe it's a Jewish way, or Russian.
Now the soup is on the stove and it smells really really good, so hopefully it'll taste that way too!! (There is real chicken in it too. And if you are wondering, I have started to eat much more chicken. One, it's kosher here and nature, and two, I am going to the gym everyday and I have to make sure I am giving my body enough energy and protein.) But don't get your hopes up, I'm pretty sure I will still be a vegetarian in the US.
I have a presentation tonight in my Iranian Revolution class. I was suppose to go last week, but we ran out of time and now this week, my partner is sick, so I will have to present alone!! Bummer!!!
Friday, November 20, 2009
This week flew past. I was busy as usual and tried to squeeze in too many things. So an uneventful Shabbat tomorrow will be nice. I haven't talked to my mom in two weeks, which is also killing me!
I am really getting use to my schedule, so I had been getting a lot more reading done, which makes my classes much better!!! (obviously, because I can participate!!) Also, I got my first paper back and got an 80%, (which is what almost everyone received.) And I am really thrilled. If I get all 80s when I'm here, I'll be really happy. I'm not here to set records, just to learn and receive my degree. It felt good to know that I am normal and in the middle of the group. I completed my paper, but I didn't kill myself doing it and I didn't put tons of effort into it, so to "earn" an 80% seems about right to me!!
Yesterday, I got up really early and headed to Tel Aviv to go to the American Embassy!! Thanks to some helpful friends and my brain's awesome GPS system, I found it very easily. Although the bus took 2 hours because of traffic, I was there by 9:30. I had to pay 10 shekels to store my bag, which was a new experience. They took my passport and told me to come back at 3:30...which I didn't expect, so I went to the market, bought some DVDs, did some Hebrew (for three hours at a cafe), bought a tiny crochet needle and yarn to try to make a kippah (I will let you know if I am successful! I really haven't crocheted anything since my grandpa died, so it's good to try this.) and bought a purse/bag that I have wanted for a while, and went to a camera store, but I didn't buy anything, but it's good to know where it is in case I have to go back!!
I went back to the embassy at 3pm, paid 10 more shekels, got my passport, went back to the central bus station, took the 607 bus to Jerusalem to see the Black Swarm get their asses kicked by the Jerusalem Kings and froze my ass off too!! Jerusalem is so high, it gets so cold compared to the rest of the country!! By the time the game ended at 10ish, I was exhausted!!
This morning, Roi went home and I got to meet his sister, brother-in-law, and niece!! She's so so beautiful!! =)
Monday, November 16, 2009
I found my old website I had to make for undergrad to graduate from Ball State. It was so much work. I wanted to murder that project.
It seems so insignificant now. Funny how things come and go. One day something can be so important, and the next, it doesn't enter your mind at all.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
We did not stay here, but it was a very beautiful hotel. =)
On the Eilat beach waiting to go snorkeling! (Unfortunately I don't have a picture of how awesome I looked with a snorkel on my face.) We sat and read our readings on the beach...not too shabby. Except, it was a little rocky and I am spoiled by the Dunes' sand which is the best in the world!!
Kariem was tired and took over Maura's bed!
Maura and her friend from summer camp in the US, her English was great and she was so so sweet!! It was nice to meet her and have a relaxing Saturday bumming around Eilat!!
Snorkeling was beautiful, it was short, but the water was so clear and we did see a lot of reef and beautiful fish!! It was nicer than I had expected. =)
The start of the hike, nice and flat...
Maura and me at the top! Although there isn't any scenery, I promise we made it all the way up!!
View of Eilat from the top of the mountain.
So, MASA had another trip for us, this one to Eilat and of course, we had to go hiking. But this wasn't a normal hike, we literally had to hold on to railings put into the mountain because it was so vertical. Going up wasn't so horrible, just some nice hurt in my calves, but bad was awful because the rock would slide out from under our feet. It was really dangerous and a few people fell. But no one was seriously hurt.
It took us so long to get down the moutain we barely made it to the hotel before Shabbat started!!
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
One of my best friends here, Matt, (who I went to Egypt with) got a puppy!!!!!!!! His name is Shoko, like chocolate because he is all black!! Look at Matt's blog http://mattinmideast.blogspot.com/. I just saw the puppy for the first time today and it makes me want to get a puppy too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Friday, November 06, 2009
I know I am spelling her name wrong, but I met Nasreim at BGU through a dean of students who wants to help Arab students improve their English and become more integrated on campus. There is still a lot of discrimination to Arab students, maybe not outright, but it's subtle and can be heard. But I really hit the jackpot because Nasreim is awesome. She is 32 and beautiful and has three kids, below, and is now going back to school. Her husband is a doctor and they have a clinic very near their home. She's an incredible woman and I am happy that I get to spend time with her and her family. The little girl, Roa, talks to me in Hebrew like I understand everything she says, and obviously that is not the case, but it's really cute and it does help my Hebrew. They all speak Arabic and they go to school in Beer Sheva so they speak Hebrew at school. Nasreim didn't learn Hebrew until she was older and she is aware how important it is for her children to speak Hebrew. They are also learning English, of course. I had a great afternoon and I can't wait to go back and visit!!!
I just had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. It is by far one of the best foods ever invented.
I am writing my first paper for Islamic Civilizations today. The topic is: "Trace the changes of social structure in Arabian society - from the pre-Islamic period to the early Umayyad. Present the major changes and the reasons behind them.
Totally exciting, no!?! ;-)
Monday, November 02, 2009
Yesterday was crazy...my weather iGoogle literally said "sand." And it was right! The sky was a weird color because all the sand flying around I only wore my contacts for a hour before I couldn't take it! And even then, there was so much sand in my eyes when I walked to class. But today seems calmer and I am very pleased about that!
Also, I have a Hebrew quiz today and she only gave us one day notice, but my awesome friend Roi helped me study and I hope I do well because it was late when we finished studying and he probably didn't do his homework so he could help me, so the least I can do is do well on this quiz to make all the studying worthwhile!!! =)