Sunday, 23 January 2011

Just another week in Karmiel

On Monday morning the high school kids we teach English to had their 'bagrut' exam so we weren't needed. After a nice long lie in kyla and I dragged ourselves out of bed to the supermarket to do the main week food shop which took us approximately 2 hours, fun times. We got home only to discover our afternoon tree planting activity had been cancelled due to the rain, leaving us with pretty much an entire free day. We proceeded to spend the next 4 hours watching old gossip girl episodes on someone’s laptop in the dark because we had yet another power cut due to our idiotic boiler. We also found a note pinned to our door telling us that we weren't in fact teaching at the Arab school the next day but we had to be ready to leave for shlomi at seven thirty in the morning.

It turned out that what was described as an Israel Advocacy session turned out to be the entirety of modern Israeli politics in a morning. It was a session run by Neil Lazarus, a British guy from mill hill, which was really interesting and informative if a tad confusing. Tuesday evening was a random singsong ceremony/Seder which didn't make much sense followed by a discussion pretty much telling us to make aliyah by a conservative rabbi called Reuben Rivlin.

Wednesday as always was trip day. We started off in Hula Valley Nature Reserve. We spent the morning 'cycling' around the reserve. Bizarrely it turned out that the guide leading us on this particular trip day was Yaron, my Israeli tour madrich from 3 years ago.

I got to hold a cute little bird, it didn’t want to fly away.

Thursday was another pretty uneventful day, except that I made plans to COME HOME next week!!So excited to see everyone and sleep in my own bed :)

On Friday morning our closed weekend officially began with a 3 hour session with Mark Rosentein our favourite educator. It was based on Pluralism and communities in Israel and was sadly our final peula with him. Back at the house we sat in our little communal area outside in the sun to have a ma'amad which consisted of a bunch of favourite songs and quotes and was really cute and sad. That evening we headed to shul for a Tu B'shvat Seder and the presentation of the Netzer siddurim we made to Yedid Nefesh the Reform community in Karmiel. We each went to our separate host families for dinner and then returned home promptly at 10.30 for a surprise evening kef peula. We got home and were sent straight upstairs to pack a bag bizarre overnight stuff before being summoned downstairs with whistles. We were then blindfolded and led on a treacherous journey around Karmiel that lasted about 45 minutes. When we returned to the house we found the downstairs living room converted into sleepover central with mattresses, pillows and duvets covering the entire floor and posters everywhere 'welcoming us to 8th grade'. We spent the evening in true sleepover style eating munch and playing games finishing with, classically, a movie.

Saturday morning began with chocolate chip pancakes and scrambled eggs for breakfast and whilst everyone was still half asleep a short ma'amad. As most people weren't visiting their host families that day for various different reasons we started watching movies. After the first movie and an impromptu emergefah about our last weekend in Karmiel I went to my host family for lunch and the afternoon. At six thirty we went to meet the others to go bowling which SOMEHOW Kyla won! After bowling we returned to our house (still set up in sleepover style) to play GANGA-SHNAT. It was an evening kef peula run by myself and Sofi Shall. At the end of the game Sophie Dorfman may or may not have been sick. That's all i'm going to say.

So a new week begins this morning with a day ahead of ulpan and volunteering. A new week and now my last full week. I hope it's a good one...

S x

Sunday, 16 January 2011


שלום למשפחה ולחברים שלי

So, as is my way every so often I may have forgotten to write for a week..or two. So I am just going to give a brief outline of the time I missed....I do warn you its very incoherent and a tad unreadable :) 

Thursday 6th January
  • move to תל אביב/הרצליה-drove south with mamma and pops
  • Grabiner family dinner in TA- FRS clan meets Alyth clan
  • byebye to mamma and pops
  • went to Noush's דירה to stay for the weekend
  • went out to see debs and mica

Friday 7th January
  • sleep in :)
  • went to casually see a movie in Dizengoff square
  • sushi and גלידה with Anna

Saturday 8th January
  • sleep in...agan
  • Ru and Gabs came over for an NLCS girls night in reunion

Sunday 9th January
  • back to כרמיאל
    • אולפן
    • English Tutoring – impossible! Nowhere near enough people and realy difficult because we don't have enough stuff to do with them and most of them don't speak enough english to have a clue what we're talking about
    • Asephah...with Jim...our week long addition to the כרמיאל משפחה. (actually a friend of Tamara's who is studying arabic at Cambridge)

Monday 10th January
  • Working at כרמימ high school...after a few hours the teacher forgot about us :(
  • Raya and Colin came to visit in the evening. Colin ran a programme on innappropriate behaviour (in free time) on Shnat Netzer and the input (or lack of) that the tzevet should have in 'punishment'

Tuesday 11th January
  • working in Madj el Krum (the arab high school) in the morning-we were teaching them english words for food
  • in the afternoon I went to Kef Li Aviv, an afterschool club for disabled children
  • we then atempted to go to the gym, but they kicked us out because our passes weren't right or times

Wednesday 12th January
  • הר חרמון -Hermon Mountains
  • Lebanon border where the soldiers were kidnapped
  • Underground Nahariya Hospital
  • visit from RSY – נצר movement workers

Thursday 13th January
  • כרמימ High School
  • אולפן
  • Shvil-niks arrive

Friday 14th January
  • Bus to עכו
  • wander around the עיר עתיק , שוק, נמל etc
  • arrive at the Habbonim Droor flat
  • Friday nght dinner and night out with the Habbo lot

Saturday 15th January
  • back to Karmiel
  • sleepy day

Sunday 16th January
  • Aaron left :(
  • אולפן
  • English Tutoring-little bit of spontaneous Hadracha
  • Walking home. In the Rain. I fell over.
  • Asefah

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Shalom 2011

So it's my first blog of the New Year – Shalom 2011 – and i'm going to completely ignore the 3 days I forgot to write about before chofesh and just write about my chofesh (holiday) time adventures. My chofesh began on Thursday the 23rd December. At five in the afternoon I hopped on a shirut, followed by a train, a bus and a taxi and three hours later arrived at beit shmuel to begin my holiday with the shvilniks. I spent the morning of Christmas Eve pottering around the shuk with Aaron (before anyone comments I didn't buy anything I just helped Aaron pick out birthday presents for his brothers) followed by a lovely catch up brunch with Ruth who has been studying at a Seminary in Jerusalem this year. That evening we decided to get the best of both worlds on Christmas Eve on a Friday night and went to synagogue first (Kol HaNeshamah) followed by an attempt at going to midnight mass in the old city in Jerusalem. We wanted to go to the church of the holy sepulchre but nobody told us that midnight mass started at ten and they locked the church when it was full. Instead we went to Christ Church near Jaffa Gate which is the oldest protestant church in the Middle East. The most bizarre thing about the service was not only did they introduce it in ivrit but at points during the service they said the Shema and blessings for the bread and wine as well! We were more than a little confused. On leaving the old city we went to investigate some carol singing and managed to bump into the Noam lot who had arrived the day before.

On Saturday morning we left for Ein Gedi, wanting to get there with enough time to look around and enjoy the place before the sun went down. We sat having a drink with the mountains behind us and the sea in front of us, it was stunning.

That evening we discovered what a treat we were in for when we sat down for dinner. The food was amazing and given our shnattie living circumstances we both stuffed ourselves to bursting (only to be repeated and each meal for the next two days). On Sunday we had passes to the spa so off we went to enjoy to sulphur pools, mud baths, dead sea and ice cold outdoor swimming pool followed by an ice cream and another amazing meal for dinner. We headed to Herzliya the next morning but even though it was a brief trip it was amazing and so much fun. It made us feel as if we had done something different and seen somewhere new - actually done something with our chofesh!

Herzliya consisted of a week of chilling a relaxing with a brief trip out for brunch with mamma and pops and off to a club in Tel Aviv to bring in 2011.

I returned to Karmiel on Sunday morning but continued being a bit unwell from chofesh so had a rather uneventful few days until mum and dad came up north for dinner with my host family which was lovely. We then went to their (rather bizarre) hotel in Safed were we spent my birthday pottering around the old city. We finished the day with a really lovely dinner in a fantastic restaurant not too far from the hotel.