Wednesday, December 29, 2010


This is the soup/ratatouille I made last week. It's nice. Samantha and I shared this big pot and it lasted us over a week! 

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas 2010

Roi and me on Christmas night before we went shopping for presents at BIG! He is wearing the sweater I bought him last March (finally) and he looked sooo handsome! 

My family at the Indiana Dunes beach on Christmas! You can see Chicago in the background! They all look wonderful, especially Jack! His first Christmas at the beach!!!!! I miss my family so much, but even more on holidays! 

Hadassah Optimal

I went to Hadassah Optimal while I was in Jerusalem because I want to have laser correction surgery on my eyes. After a lot of tests (which I had already done in the US) they told me I was eligible for the surgery. Then I listened to an hour speech about the procedure in Hebrew (and no, my Hebrew is not good enough to understand must of it.)

It's still expensive and I would also have Wavefront and Lasik, not PRK. I am hoping to have it done in April after football season, because God forbid I got hit in the face with a ball.

Any suggestions? or opinions?

Some things never get old.

Me and my wonderful roommate Samantha at the kotel. This was Samantha's first visit and I was honored to share the experience with her!

Brazilians in my ulpan!

No matter how many times I have gone to the Western Wall, I still love it. I love praying there, I love watching the people, I love the emotions it provokes in me, I love thinking about my family, I love breathing there.

We went on the rampart walk, unbelievably, I had never done it before. It is mostly of the Armenian Quater, but the views are still lovely.
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Monday, December 13, 2010

Back to ulpan!

I had an entire week off from ulpan for the holiday. It was too much and I was too lazy. I reffed two football games, went to Akko, and relaxed with Roi in Beer Sheva. Although I got stuck there in a horrible sand storm and had to miss Sunday of ulpan! But today is back on schedule and I went to the gym and made ratatouille for dinner. Actually, I don't know if it was ratatouille, but it tasted great. I put carrot, onion, red pepper, potato, zucchini, and eggplant together in a big pot on the stove and boiled everything then added a huge can of tomatoes. I let the extra water boil off the top for a while. I added salt and pepper and paprika and dried red pepper. It's pretty awesome, I can't wait to eat leftovers tomorrow!

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Roi and me in Akko!!!

Roi studied really hard so he would have an extra day to come see me up north! We went to Akko. It was a beautiful day, not hot at all. We went into a mosque, ate humus, played backgammon, drank tea and ate baklava. It was a perfect day. =)

Mediterranean Sea

On the wall surrounding Akko

Port of Akko

Very seriously picking out baklava!
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Saturday, December 04, 2010

Tour Guide

I am applying to be a tour guide for NFTY in Israel this summer. Part of my interview is to write a two hour tour of a site.  Most of the tour guides are Israeli though, so most likely they have been to the places. I am writing about Rosh Pina (one of the first moshavs, farming communities in Israel), which I can only visited once, with NFTY, last summer. It is quite a difficult task for me, but I am trying my best.

Devastating fire in the Carmel near Haifa

Despite aid, Israel unable to check deadly wildfire
By Janine Zacharia
Washington Post Foreign Service
Saturday, December 4, 2010; A06 

JERUSALEM - The worst fire in Israel's history showed little sign of abating Friday, and after two days the unchecked blaze had killed 42 people, consumed more than 7,000 acres and nipped at neighborhoods in the northern city of Haifa, Israel's third largest.
The fire had also destroyed a large chunk of the Carmel Forest, one of Israel's natural crown jewels and a popular tourist and vacation destination that is known as Little Switzerland because of its beauty.
By Friday, the flames had engulfed several kibbutzim and were racing down hills toward Israel's heavily traveled coastal highway. At least 15,000 residents were evacuated.
In a country as small as Israel, where territory is at the heart of political conflict, every inch of land is especially precious. Nevertheless, Israel has neglected to invest in the equipment and personnel needed to effectively combat wildfires that have become pervasive in recent years amid unseasonably high temperatures and periods of drought. In a country of 7 million, there are only 1,500 firefighters.
This winter has been one of the hottest and driest on record. Jerusalem rabbis this week held a special prayer for rain at Judaism's holiest site, the Western Wall.
Fires this year ravaged parts of the disputed Golan Heights and charred nature preserves on Jerusalem's outskirts. Israel used its entire 200-ton stock of fire-retarding chemicals to battle those outbreaks, so it had none on hand when the latest fire erupted.
The country boasts the region's most powerful military and is often among the first to send rescue teams to disasters abroad, but it could not handle this fire alone.
"Our firefighting measures cannot provide an answer to forest fires of this magnitude, especially in the face of such winds. We do not have such equipment,'' Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Friday.
The fire has sparked a rally of international support at a time when Israel has felt isolated diplomatically. Turkey, which has had a strained relationship with Israel since Israeli troops seized a Gaza-bound Turkish aid ship in May, sent two planes. Britain, Greece, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Russia and Jordan also sent help. Turkey and Greece set aside their political differences and flew sorties together to douse the flames.
The evacuations in the north recalled the mass flight of Israelis south to escape Katyusha rocket fire from the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah during a 2006 war. Acknowledgments by authorities Thursday night that they had no control of the fire raised questions about Israel's readiness to cope with another such barrage, analysts said.
After the 2006 war, a national inquiry found that Israel's fire services were underfunded and unprepared and recommended an investment in firefighting aircraft.
But even as Israel prepares to acquire hundreds of millions of dollars worth of advanced fighter jets, no budget has been allocated for the much cheaper aerial firefighters.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

First night of Hanukkah and chicken noodle soup!

I would make my mom, grandma, and great-grandma proud! I really did a number on this soup!

Also, Hanukkah in Israel is beatiful because there are candles in so many windows. It's really magical in a way. Although, it's still 80 degrees in the day, I feel like there should be just a little snow at least!
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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Chocolate cookie presentation!




Israeli ingredients. 

For my presentation in ulpan I taught the class how to make cookies, and I used a power point. So, here are some of the pictures from my presentation. 

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Loren and Maccabi Haifa!

I went to Loren's army base, north of Karmiel to see his graduation ceremony! He graduated from his army ulpan and the first stage of his service. He will be placed into his "real" company later this week! I am really proud of him and I was happy I could attend his graduation and support him!

There is an article on Ynet if you can read Hebrew about this graduation and the army base:,7340,L-3988463,00.html

Then I zoomed back to Haifa to go the Maccabi Haifa vs Hapoel Haifa (a derby game). It was my second soccer game in my life, the first was when I lived in Istanbul and went to the BESIKTAS game!!!!!!!!! This was really exciting too. Although I only stayed for the first half, and I was happy I did because the end score was a tie of 0-0!!!!!!!!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Sunday, November 14, 2010

IFL on CNN!!!

This is incredible that the Israeli Football League made it on CNN!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am really proud to be a part of this league!

Roi comes to Haifa

Roi came to Haifa last weekend. Originally he was going to come to help me move to the new apartment, but I wanted to move so much that I did it myself with the help of a few friends, (and Rachel's car.) But he came to see me and my new apartment anyway! We had a wonderful weekend. We walked to the Baha'i Gardens and met with Dima, one of Roi's best friends from the army (who was home, near Haifa because he broke his leg) and Roi helped me organize some of the mass amounts of paperwork that I have been receiving from life in Israel. Roi really liked the gardens and Haifa. When Roi was in Haifa during his army period, it was always down by the port where is it hot and dirty, not in the center at the top of the mountain where it is cool and beautiful. =)

I liked that the kid took his bow and arrows with him. But obviously they became too heavy and his mother had to take over carrying them for him.

Some of the lovely trees of Haifa, which definitely don't exist in the south. (and the incline too.)
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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Portage instructor named Indiana art teacher of year

PORTAGE | Portage High School art teacher Paula Wiese has been named the Secondary Art Educator of the Year by the Art Education Association of Indiana.
Wiese, a Chesterton resident, received the recognition during the association's convention last week.
Wiese is the PHS art department chairperson. She has received several grants, including the A+ for Energy Grant, which provided her students the opportunity to create Solar Powered Ceramic Fountains.
Wiese also coordinated the Empty Bowl Project, which involves students making and selling ceramic bowls. Portage students raised about $3,200 for the local food pantry over the last three years.
Wiese was nominated by fellow art teacher Cynthia Stojic.
"The one thing that makes Paula stand out is her willingness to help other students get on track their junior and senior year. She helps students with college applications, scholarships and financial aid, meets with parents and gets the job done," Stojic said.
PHS Principal Caren Swickard said Wiese showcases her students' artwork in the community and participates in many exhibits. She also has served in many leadership roles in the school.
"Mrs. Wiese is a master teacher, a school leader and a great individual," Swickard said.

My mom is really a wonderful mother and an incredible person! She is really so deserving! Way to go mom, you're one of a kind! 

Monday, November 08, 2010

To the End of the Land

Most of my life I didn't read much, then I just read chick books, or school books. Obviously, last year during my masters, I only had time to read for the degree.

So I just finished this book To the End of the Land by David Grossman.  Summary here. It revolves around Ora, an Israeli mother of two. The story recaps her whole life which spans three wars.  The main conflict is that the younger son went on a dangerous mission in the IDF and we don't know what is going to happen to him.

The character development is quite remarkable. Like I said, I'm not an avid reader, but I was really sucked in.   But I'm not sure how I feel about the ending. I feel like I almost made up my own ending to appease myself.  I would still recommend the book though.

Let me know if you read it. I would like to know your thoughts. =)

Monday, November 01, 2010

Some very nice updates.

So, I did well on my Hebrew test, 92%. I thought I had done better, but I am still happy. My goal is so have every grade in the 90s.  I think it's doable.

I am pretty much moved into the new apartment. There are still a lot of boxes for me to move, but my friend Rachel who has a car is going to help me. I am with three other wonderful people, a married couple from Brazil and a lady from Brussels, Belgium. We are an international quad! Everyone is young and excited about life and our new experiences as we're all new Israelis.

I am much happier here! =)

Oh, and I received two cards in the mail today, one from Katie and one from Jack. It really made my day!!!!!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Big Hebrew test tomorrow! She said it was small, and then said it was over everything we have covered so far...hmm...we'll see! =)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The one picture of me in the Diaspora Museum!

Yay Hebrew! "א"  is for אנדריאה!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Article translation

Andrea Weiss, a new immigrant from the United States, was on the line pre-season game in IFL: "I grew up on football, fun to try here"

Israeli Football League is preparing to open the 2010/11 season, and already underway with the preparation games.Judean rebels on Saturday won the champion Tel Aviv - Jaffa Sieveers 26:46, but the big story was recorded precisely on the lines, Achslotamoddot assigned judge, Andrea Weiss.

Weiss, 25, immigrated to Israel a year ago and studied at Ben Gurion University, where he held a introduction to the black swarm of Be'er Sheva, a group which joined the league last year. "I met a number of players from the team," she says, "I played with them and I thought even the participation in the game, but I got it because I did not want to get hurt. Then I met Ofri Becker (league leaders - fundraising campaign in Michigan and then rolled jurisdiction."

Weiss grew up in Indiana, not far from Chicago. "I come from a very competitive when love all sports. My parents are fans the Bears and Green Bay, so that we have a lot of rivalry at home. When I got here I was surprised when I heard that there football and told myself 'how much fun I do not have to give it up in Israel," .

It was Weiss's first game zebra uniforms. "I was excited and I was very nervous before the game began, but after I felt it was fun. I got very positive feedback."

- You will have a problem judging the Be'er Sheva?

"Why? Maximum catch more shouting."

Sunday, October 24, 2010

My first IFL game!!

I am already famous in Israel. Yesterday was my first time to referee an IFL game. They had another referee there with me in my position to help me. It is still pre-season, but the regular season starts next week! It's a lot to look for at one time, but it was also so exciting! I loved being on the field, although I think I would still rather be playing. =)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Small achievements

Yesterday, I went to get my "Teudat Zehut" or ID card. I thought it was one of the last things I had to be in the long list of filing papers. Well, I was missing a paper, and I was in the wrong office, which was a blessing, because they helped me file some back papers, which I never would have known about. Then, after getting a bit lost, I went to Maccabi Insurance and filed those papers, that was easy and the lady was really nice. I pay an extra 51 shekels (11-12 dollars) a month for extras. Things like getting my teeth clean, and I'm sure lots of other things, but they are all in Hebrew, so I don't really know what they are yet! So this morning, I got up extra early to go back to get the ID card. The woman had set my things aside and just told me to come in and not wait in line (nice!) Well, when I got there, she wasn't there. So one of the other desk guys was searching for my stack of papers, which he eventually found. He took my papers without looking at it and sent me to another window. Then.................I finally got it!! It really makes me feel Israeli. I'm pretty proud of myself, I have been doing a lot of running around and things are finally coming together, just a bit. =)  

Monday, October 18, 2010

If I ever wanted to feel Russian...

I should have moved to Haifa a long time ago. When I go into a building and ask where something is in Hebrew (broken Hebrew, of course) they answer in Russian! When I went to Misrad Hapnim, they handed me a sheet of paper in Russian with instructions, until I handed it back and started speaking English. It's really amazing. And entertaining, and I'm sure eventually, it will be annoying. 
This is the view from the ulpan classroom window. Not too shabby! They put my in kitah bet/gimmel. It's a good level for me!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

My first walk to the Baha'i Gardens!'%C3%AD)

The actual shrine is covered, usually there is a beautiful golden dome, but you can't see it now. They are replacing all the gold tiles. This place is truly amazing and there aren't many gardens in the world to rival it. I plan to go back many times during my stay. It is about a 15 minute walk from my apartment! 

Awesome email from MAPMES

Dear Andrea , 
Congratulations, you are about to become a MAPMES alumni/alumna! Having received all your grades we can now officially process your degree.

For procedural purposes, please send me ASAP an email message requesting to process your degree. Please include your first and last names to appear on your diploma. Your name will appear in the diploma in Hebrew as well, so if you wish that your Hebrew name be written in any specific way, don't forget to specify.
In the same message, please specify your passport number, permanent address, email address and phone numbers.
We will send you an official transcript in about a month. Your Master's diploma will be issued next academic year (June).

Please note: once you degree is processed, grades may not be subject to any changes.
The degree will be processed only after all dues to the university are settled.

My best wishes

Friday, October 15, 2010

Downpour in Haifa!

My whole body is aching, particularly my legs. I have no idea how many stairs I ascended and descended yesterday, but it was quite a few. Roi and I picked up the car in the morning, we were suppose to have it at 9, but we didn't actually get the car until 10. We took everything out of Wingate and packed the Fiat that we rented. I couldn't believe all of the things I had accumulated in just one year. Roi drove to Haifa, he stalled the car 3 times. I didn't stall it at all ;-) But Americans do drive much more than Israelis and though I was quite the backseat driver, I think he liked driving since he doesn't get to do it very often. 

We found the apartment fairly easily. It's on the main road and is really a great location and it will be easy for me to get to the ulpan on the Carmelit, which is an underground funicular that goes up and down the Carmel mountain that is Haifa. We started moving everything inside and started sitting up everything and putting things away. I am in a very little room which is really an enclosed porch.  It's above a gelato shop, which could potentially be dangerous during late night studying.  

Before we knew it it was 10pm and I was getting cranky, (go figure) because we hadn't eaten a real meal all day, just some snacking here and there. We went out and found a really nice restaurant called Magnolia and we shared a Mediterranean salad and a marinara sauce pasta.  I had chia after. It was really a wonderful meal after a hard day's work.  We stopped on the way home so I could pay the rent. 

When we got home I signed the contract which said "no overnight guests". Since it was already after midnight, I wasn't going to kick Roi out, where was he going to go anyway. And even though they said he could sleep on the couch just this one time, it was with reluctance. So we grabbed my camping/hiking bag and headed to the beach! 

We saw a nice spot of grass behind the sand and thought it was better to sleep there than on the sand. So we set up the tent and my sleeping pad and sleeping bag and climbed inside. We had tied up the sides of the tent so we would have a nice breeze coming through and then we fall asleep to the sound of the ocean. 

At 3:30am I woke up as it started to downpour on the beach! As a came to from being hit with water I remembered that I was in Israel and it couldn't possibly be raining in Haifa in October, (at least it's rare). I finally realized that I was being sprayed by sprinklers from three directions. Roi and I struggled through the laughter and water to undo the ties on the tent to release the flaps. We managed and when we were safe inside the tent we couldn't stop laughing. I did enjoy listening to the sound of rain (or the closest I will get while in Israel) on my tent. 

When we woke up in the morning all I could see was old people wading into the Mediterranean. It was a beautiful first site. (The sea, not the back side of the elderly.) Although, we were both exhausted from our sprinkler surprise, we had a great day. We put the supplies in the car and walked up and down the boardwalk. The water was calm and crystal clear. We had fresh squeezed orange juice and then headed out to get some more water and fill up the car before taking it down to Avis.  

Avis was in the port area of Haifa, not quite in the city, so we had to take a couple of modes are transportation to get back. We took a bus, and Roi got on the train to go south and I took the Carmelit back to the center of Haifa.  I went to the store to get some food before Shabbat (but lots of things in Haifa are open on Shabbat, it sounds like an American city on a Friday night, people at cafes, and car horns honking. Not like Jerusalem where you would rarely see a car moving.) 

The internet wasn't working at home, so I headed out to a cafe after a shower and a nap to rejuvenate myself.  I checked and sent some emails and then I heard a big group of Americans walk in. After 10 minutes I went over to the table and sat with them for about an hour. They were all volunteers for the Baha'i Temple in Haifa. I had never met someone who was Baha`i before, especially not a group of 10 who were close to my age. It was really fun and I was glad to meet some Americans.  The more people I meet the better. But I need more people who speak Hebrew! Since that is the goal for the next few months! 

Shabbat Shalom!! 

After a long day of moving.......

Before our break around 10pm when Roi and I finally went to eat dinner! Really exhausted and hungry.
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more from the way to Haifa.

You can see where the desert ends and the trees start.

Funny little guy.

A lot of our trip we got to drive along the sea.

My apartment is above the last little shop, which happens to be gelato.
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To Haifa

This is the Fiat all packed up from the back.

And from the side...

Roi is ready to go!!!!!!!!!!!

Goodbyeeeeeeee desert!!
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Monday, October 04, 2010


Jack and his mommy!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Me and Jack!!

I had a really wonderful weekend with my family and grandma and seeing Sevgi! It was wonderful and I'm going to miss so many people. Especially Jack because he changes so much everytime I see him and this will be a very long time before I see him again. I have a feeling it's going to be very difficult not seeing my little man.
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Saturday, September 25, 2010

The past few weeks.

In Indy I saw my AWESOME friend Adam from Ball State. It was soo great to catch up!

Wanda and my mom!! Two incredible art teachers. Portage High School is so lucky!

My dad and I after his birthday round of golf!! (I played great, better than my dad. ;-)

I saw Billy Elliot!! I really liked it! It was a nice treat.
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