Monday, August 31, 2009

First mail and other great things!

My sister sent me my first letter in Israel and it arrived today! She said she mailed it about a week ago, so if you mail it today...I can have more mail by the 8th of September! ;-)

My address is:
Ginsburg- Ingerman Overseas Student Program
Ben Gurion Univesity of the Negev - P.O. 653
Beer Sheva, 84105, Israel

It is great getting mail, it's a little bit of home right in my hands! Of course I hung it on my wall of people and things I love!!

Also, today I met with Dr.Rubin who is in charge of my MAPMES department, and get this, his speciality is OTTOMAN history!!!!!!!!! And he speaks Turkish! It's the perfect place! He is really nice and of course we talked about Istanbul!! He spent a great deal of time in Gulhane at the archives near Topkapi. He writes about Ottoman legal codes.

I am starting to think about my thesis and maybe a PhD if I don't get into school in England. But those are big decisions for another day.

ULPAN today was great! We were suppose to have a quiz, so I studied sooooooo hard! But then we didn't have it and I was disappointed because I knew everything! But then during class, I understood everything because I had studied so much! It was a really satisfying class and I am very motivated now to keep studying!!!!!! Hebrew will come quickly! Insallah!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Former Israeli PM


So, I went to a "big" grocery store today, and their selection of yogurt was fantastic. I got a variety. I already ate the cherry and pineapple, and it did not disappoint!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Kitchen and living room.

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My apartment...

Cabinets in my room.

My desk and mirror.

My bed.

View from the entrance to the kitchen.
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Friday, August 28, 2009


So, there was a bike left at my apartment when I moved in. This seemed to be rather convienent until I actually tried to ride it to the gas station to get air in the tires. The seat was so low that my knees were at my chest and this morning my leg muslces were so sore from the bike not fitting me properly. BUT, I rode it to a bike short for them to adjust the seat and handlebars. I also bought a new lock, since I didn't have the key to the one left on it, and I bought bike gloves because the grips were ripping up my hands. Now, it's AMAZING!!!!! I can ride all over this "city." =)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

My new washer!!!!!


Just in case anyone is confused as to where I am right now, I am posting some maps.

You can see the Middle East is in light blue.

Israel is in the Middle East, it's the tiny purple country south of Syria, between Jordan and the Mediterranean Sea.

I live in Beer-sheva, which is capital of the Negev, which is like a state, in Israel.

Tutor and washing machine

So, I got a tutor for Hebrew, which I desprately need since I started late, and it's FREE!!! The registration for the ULPAN pays for it, which is awesome! =) So maybe I really will get to catch up!

I got a WASHING machine!!!!!!!!!! I am thrilled! I remember trudging up the (f'n) hill in Istanbul carrying my laundry! And now, even though there aren't hills here, I can do laundry in the peace of my own home! Although, I don't have a drying rack yet, so there is laundry neatly draped all over my apartment! Pictures will come soon!

Today, after class, I waited for the washer to arrive, did some laundry and then went to play basketball with some new friends. After sweating out all hydration in my body, I jumped in the pool! It was beyond refreshing. I rode my bike to get fill the tires with air, which is free in Israel! There is a problem with my bike though, the seat is too low and my knees are almost hitting my chest, so I am going to find a bike shop and get it tuned up! It's worth the investment for the whole year, this town is not big, so a bike is very useful, as long as it works well!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

ULPAN update.

So, the first two days were a little two efficient I guess, things have slowed down, although I get to stay in the ULPAN, which is great news. But it won't be for credit or a grade, which is good because I would fail since I'm so far behind! But I am still learning a great deal despite that. Hopefully I'll be ready to start the first Hebrew class in the Fall semester. I am getting a tutor, so I am pretty sure I'll be ready, I'll do whatever it takes. Although the class moves very quickly, I am confident I'll be able to do it, I am very determined. =)

Monday, August 24, 2009

2 great days!

So I made a friend, which has probably helped these past two days. Day one was so effiecent, I couldn't believe things got done so easily. I picked up my phone and ID, talked to the MAPMES office (Masters Program of Middle East Studies) and introduced myself. I can pick up my loan money tomorrow from another office, etc. For some reaon, that was not complicated like so many things when someone is abroad.

Today I went to the ULPAN (Hebrew language course) and discovered that yes, they actually are very far ahead of me. They are already three weeks into the course. But I also traveled to Jerusalem today and after talking to my new friend, who is pretty good, I can learn a great deal by myself. Even just today, I have picked up so many things. I can ask "Where is the bathroom?" Always a top priority for me!! So I guess I will take the ULPAN in the winter and start teaching/tutoring English as quickly as possible. Israel is much more expensive than Turkey and what I was expecting. Although, moving anywhere costs more than one thinks it will. Getting settled is not cheap.

My friend, Loren, became an Israeli citizen, so he had to go to Jerusalem to pick up his new ID. So I quickly invited myself along. I want to learn the train and bus system as quickly as possible! Getting his ID did not take long at all. We figured we would have to wait for a while, but they proved to be incorrect, so afterwards we toured some markets (that are extrodinarly like Istanbul, and made me a little homesick for my other city) and visited his friends in Jerusalem. The couple were American, the husband from NY and the wife was from Detroit! Small world. =) They had two adorable kids, one almost 3 and the other just over one. It was nice to relax with some real people.

So tomorrow is more errands and settling in!

Egg man.


Loren's friend's son! Because they're a religious family, they don't cut his hair until he is three years old.

Watching soccer, in every country. =)
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Nuts, just like Turkey =)


Covered bazaar.
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See the bees?

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Their new bridge.

Soldiers relaxing.

Just like the fish market off of Istiklal!!!
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Sunday, August 23, 2009

I love Katie Wiese.

My new university. =)

There is a drought outside, but not in the university! There is a nice little stream!

The guy at the library really liked my camera, so he took a picture of the other guy who was working, it was pretty funny.
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I like the kids crossing sign, it's universal.

Old fence, needs a little paint, although I like it how it is.

These are huge containers to recycle bottles. They smell though.

The street that Ben Gurion University is on, go figure.
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Pictures of my little area

A few shops that are across from my apartment. Old men play backgammon, there... =)

Just a few flowers in the desert.

Little girls are everywhere.

A normal looking street in the area.
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Saturday, August 22, 2009

Classes I want to take:


-Milestones in the Zionist-Arab Conflict 1881-1949

-Introduction to Islamic Civilization

-Economy, State and Society in the Middle East

-The 1979 Iranian Revolution: A Thirty-Year Perspective


-Selected Topics in the Geography of the Middle East

-Ottoman State and Society: Themes in History and Historiography

-Confluence of Cultures in Andalusia: Study Tour - Spain:

The course will deal with the history of the Muslims in Spain and their relations with the Christians and Jews. We will visit the mosque of Cordova and Medinat al-Zahra, which is close by, sites in Sevilia, Ronda and Alhambra. The course will include a series of lectures that will deal with political, social and intellectual history of the Muslims and their Christian and Jewish neighbors. It will also touch upon, to a limited extent, the fate of Muslims in modern Spain and Europe.

Sorry, no pictures yet!

So I made it safely to Israel around 3pm yesterday! It was a hassle and expensive trip, after paying for extra luggage and a taxi to the apartment, but so what? I had to get here. =) The apartment is nice. I really want to deep clean, of course. But once that is over, it'll be perfect. It's close to campus, and the pool (which is free for students!) We went today, since it is Shabbat and everythinggggg is closed. It'll be weird getting use to that, but it's okay, just part of the experience. Tomorrow I am going to pick up my phone and ID from the Overseas Student Program office and I should be set for a while.

The ringtones here are exactly the same as Istanbul so I have been having flashbacks to my first days there too. Actually, many things have been reminding me of my arrival. Hopefully it'll continue and be just as rewarding.

I'll try to take my camera with tomorrow so you can see the place!!!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

At Washington's Distillery

Mt. Vernon

Me and Cory and Melissa

Our group =)
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