Thursday, April 30, 2009

Ready for my second weekend this week...

Hokay. So. On Yom HaZikaron, we got up early and were outside at the bus stop when the 11am siren went off. I wish we'd gotten on the 4-A so that we would have been on a bus when it did! Because in my area, there are a lot of Arabs and apparently other non-observers, so in my video (which hopefully will work for you--outside link is there are a lot of cars still driving by. But to the "left" you can see across the street, people at Aroma (the cafe) were standing, a bus was stopped, and on my side of the street there were a bunch of people standing proudly outside the hospital. Down to the "right", if you could see what I saw, there was a taxi stopped on its way up the hill. After it was the siren, which almost brought me to tears, the bus started up and went on its way with a screech, and our bus soon showed up. 
Em, Sarah and I headed downtown, we wanted breakfast and needed a pharmacy stop on Ben Yehuda. Got bagels and some gelato, then did the pharmacy thing, em had to buy some wine, then we headed to the shuk. Sarah didn't really need anything there, so she headed home and Em and I kept going. Our main stop was Marzipan, which is THE place in Israel to get rugelach. they are OUT OF THIS WORLD. We were planning a picnic for weds night (last night) and i'd promised some of this...$8 for a kilo, it's totally worth it. We walked through the shuk a little bit, because I'd promised Kimo i'd take pictures of the gummy-sellers so he could choose what he wanted me to bring home for him :-) Then em had a headache, so we headed home. 
We chilled out and watched Queer as Folk for the rest of the afternoon, then Em had to get ready to go over and cut this guy's hair, so she did that...I had dinner...then me and Sarah decided that we wanted to try and see the fireworks and meet up with Tammy, who was in town already. And here starts the fun! We went outside at around 9:10, and waited at the bus stop, hoping that the busses were still working. There were two Israeli guys there, and I don't remember who initiated it, but somehow we got to talking. Their names are Uri and Ofel, they also live in our dorm complex, and they're really sweet and funny. They kind of attached themselves to us! It turned out to be a good thing, because a) they know their way around and b) they are army graduates and are good at pushing through crowds. And OH MAN Ben Yehuda street! It was a different world than earlier that day! There were people doing capoeira (sp?), selling noisemakers, big inflatable squeaky hammers, cotton candy and hot dogs, and shaving cream...they use shaving cream like american kids use silly string, except it's MUCH harder to clean up when it gets on you! We were lucky enough not to get slimed, but when we finally got to the top of the street and met up with Margot, Tammy, and Leah, they said they had. So yeah, we met up with them, dithered about what to do for a while, and after much craziness ended up heading to our favorite bar, Goldy's. I ain't gonna tell you how much I/we had, cuz you don't wanna know! Suffice it to say, we had a great night. So much fun, and we got two awesome new friends out of it!
Yesterday, we slept in, then Em headed out with her friend Larissa and I stayed in and did some very necessary HW. Around 6:15, we all headed up the Kfar, where we met the other girls (Margot, Leah, and Margot's cousin Maddie) and started setting up a feast...i mean picnic :-) there was a lot of food! Pita and tuna and pasta salad and regular salad and hummus and other stuffs too. You can guess what I had! We were joined by a bunch of others who came and went, including Uri, one of our new Israelis. There was singing and chatting and general fun. When it started to rain, some people went home, and the rest of us went up to Margot's apartment, and continued to hang out and have a general good time until after 11pm. Ofel came and joined too :-D we had a lot of fun. The conversation just flowed, massages were given, wine was drunk, rugelach were finished. Good times. 

Today was a blechy 3-class day. I was zonked. no fun. made it through though...then i had a little downtime, then Aran came over and we started work on our presentation for our Art class, which we have to give on the 17th. We're talking about the Iconography of Ruth. It's quite interesting! Glad we got started though, there's a lot of text in our source article that we need to get through...Now i'm just hanging out, reading...Em's out to dinner with Margot, I may or may not go to meet up with them, depending on how lazy I am/whether i want to go out when I really don't have money to buy even one drink. :-/ we'll see. 
Adrienne is coming to Jlem this weekend, so hopefully i will get to see her one of these days! Em will be gone though this weekend, I may just hibernate. Hehe. after last weekend I think i'm allowed!

Monday, April 27, 2009

A special note on erev Yom HaZikaron

A little over half an hour ago, a siren went off across the entire land of Israel. Everywhere, cars stopped, people sat or stood in silence. My friends and I paused our DVD and sat quietly until the last echos faded away. 

As some of you know, I've been feeling kind, lately. I want to come home. I am done with this semester, I am done with Israel for the time being. The culture is different from home, from anything familiar, and basically nothing here has been like I imagined it. Part of that is, of course, due to the fact that I'm away from my boyfriend for five months, which is a long time by anyone's standards. But there are so many other things I miss about America (my fam, my biffle, my bed, Target, Stop and Shop, etc), and sometimes lately I've been losing sight of how much I really have always wanted to be here, how much I've always been connected to this land and its people. 

But the Yom HaShoa (Holocaust rememberance day) and Yom HaZikaron (Rememberance day for fallen soldiers) sirens kind of bring me back. Can you imagine the entire country of America stopping at the same time? People taking a one-minute break from their day, stopping in their commute to work or back, being a minute late to pick the kid up from school? I didn't think so. But here, with very few exceptions (Palestinians, others who are not directly connected to this State or who don't believe in it), everybody is so, I don't really know how to put it. But there's just this unity of spirit that is unlike any other country in the world. Such fierce dedication to the preservation of the state, and such respect for the amazing army that makes it possible for me and for thousands of others to be here in this land, safe and sound. And on Wednesday, the entire country will party it up, much like Purim except with the sole purpose of celebrating that WE ARE HERE. We have made it another year, Israel still exists, we are strong, we are determined to stay. There will be picnics and fireworks and dancing in the streets. Just like the 4th of July, actually, except in America, it's just not quite the same. Nobody denies that America exists and has a right to (or at least I don't think they do). 

Days like this make me remember that yes, I love Israel. I believe in its utter right to exist, although I know that is a broad statement and does not encompass the many, MANY issues that I and many other have with HOW it exists and what it has done to other peoples who also have claims to this land. It should exist. Maybe not precisely as it is now, or has been in the past 61 years. But in some form or another...and I believe it will. Am Yisrael Chai, the People of Israel Live. 

I love this country, even though right now, I have come to realize that it is a vacation spot for me, a place to come for a few weeks, and that it is not a long-term home for now. It will always have a spot in my heart, and I hope to come back often in the coming years. But I am not like my friend Tammy, who plans to make aliyah next year and join the army. I need America too much, I want my children to grow up in a Western system of thinking, to have discipline and order and cleanliness and a really truly good education. Someday though, I may return to this, my second home, for good, when I am ready to go with the flow and relax. We'll see. 

Tomorrow, the sirens will go off again at 11am. I plan to be outside, near the street or on a bus, with my camera in hand and recording, so I can share with everyone how eerie, heartbreaking, breathtaking, and truly powerful it is. 

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Adventure! Real adventure!

So! Wednesday didn't really have anything exciting. 
Thursday, classes, blah. Was getting sick. Yuck. Then! around 6, Sarah and I headed up to the Kfar to have a planning session with Tammy. We hung out in her room and figured out the most amazing plan for the weekend...I had looked earlier online for a hostel and found...........MONGOLIAN TENTS. Yes, you heard me. Mongolian tents. In the Golan (the mountains in the North of Israel). Sweet. We called the lady, got info, called some boys to invite them to come with us so the price would be lowered...and got a tent! and a plan! And then we listened to Tammy read her amazing amazing novel in progress to us, and it is amazing, and she should be published like NOW even though it's only four pages long. the girl's got talent! and an amazing reading voice. anyways. after we left her we were supposed to eat with Leah but she cancelled on us, so Sarah and I went by ourselves to Domino's and got cheesybread (me) an
d pizza (her). Then we walked home. And watched the first two episodes of House, season 1. Happiness.
Friday morning I got up, showered, packed, ate...Sarah and I caught the 11:15ish bus to the Central Bus Station, although the others missed that one and caught the next one. We got to the station and bought Challah for Shabbos, then walked around a little and then found our platform for the bus. We waited and waited...finally Tammy, Uriel (Argentinian) and Hebi (Chinese) showed up, though there was no sign of Tessa (Australian...ain't we a multi-cultural bunch?). The others left me with the bags and went to buy tickets. Then I went to pee. Then we got on the bus, but still no Tessa!!! She was coming from 
Talpiot and I dunno what happened, but basically the bus was supposed to leave at 12:15 and somehow Tammy made them wait and Tessa got there at like 12:16. It was scary! But crisis #1 was averted, and we all settled in for the ride. 
A few hours later, we passed the sign for Givat Yoav, where the hostel was located, and I was kind of worried, so Tammy called the lady and basically we had missed our stop. We got off at the next one and the lady, Sara, was super-nice and came to get us...All six of us piled in, Tammy on my lap, Tessa in the trunk with the to the tents, Sara showed us around and then took everyone but me and Sarah to the supermarket to buy foodz for the weekend. like i said, she was super-nice. They came back, we settled in and munched on food and read our books. Then Tessa went in search of internet for a project, and the rest of us headed off on a walk. it was AMAZING. There was the most spectacular view of the Kinneret, or the Sea of Galilee, and the sun was shining in such a way as to make a piece of the lake SILVER. here, look!

It was...just...wowwwww. I took maybe 20 pictures of it. most gorgeous thing i've ever seen everrrr. we kept going for a while, then turned back and found Tessa. Hung out for a while more, singing and just chilling. Tessa and Hebi started cooking, but the main stuff--the barbecue stuff--had to wait til after 9, when one of the barbecues was free. Then we dug in! the center of the tent, the table and floor, were covered in was amazing and happy and great. After dinner we cleaned up and sang and I brushed Tessa's inSANEly long hair and it was amazing and happy and great. Eventually we went to bed around 1am. I didn't sleep very much, because the pillows were too hard and tall and people snored. Oh well. Around 9am we all started moving...Got up slowly, sat outside with our books and had a simple breakfast...well, all except Uriel and Hebi, who had eggs and eggplant and such. We then got our act together, and headed out on the trail! We hiked for a good four hours...We went off the real beaten path and waded through some weeds/wildflowers...Tammy and Tessa broke off in search of a distant path we could see, and the rest of us made our way back to a more beaten path. We ran into some other hikers, including this guy leading a group of kids who had a bucket full of ice water and let us dip our hats! so nice. We wandered, made some random decisions on which way to go, stopped and had lunch, got more lost, saw SPECTACULAR views...eventually, when we were running out of water and getting really tired, we found our way to the highway! From there it was easy to get back to Givat Yoav. There was a convenience store open, even on Shabbos, which was seriously heaven-sent. We had soda and used the facilities, then the other girls called and said they were back so we headed back to the tents. Once there we just hung out more, rested, ate some snacks, and figured out how to get home. At 8 o'clock a taxi came and picked us up and drove us to Tiberias. Even though it was dark, there were certain points on the way where i was like, oh, we saw this from the mountain today! it was surreal. we got to Tiberias and found where the bus to Jerusalem on with no problem...i sat with Hebi, who told me a lot about life in Shanghai. It was really interesting, I didn't know a lot of what he was telling me. He's a really cool guy, not even Jewish but decided to come to Israel because he liked the spirit. he got here last february, spent a few months on a Kibbutz, then started at Hebrew U...and he's already in level Heh (5)! He's quite amazing. He wants to go to college in Canada next year (he's only 19, hasn't gone to college yet besides this), because it is cheaper than the US, and unlike Uriel who got a scholarship to Yale, Hebi for some reason does not qualify for enough aid to make it possible. I listened to some music for the second half of the trip. We got back to the CBS around 11:15 i think, caught the 23 bus home, and yeah. Crashed. loaded pictures. ate a can of tuna in like three minutes flat. Talked to Kimo. then sleep.
Today I woke up late because I hadn't set my alarm right...Em came in from being at her cousins, and was like, shaina are you going to class? it's 9:53! and i'm like...guess not. I felt/feel like shit anyways, cuz i have a shitty cold. i called my boss at work and told her i couldnt come in, and she was very understanding. so i basically had a weekend day! I made banana pancakes which i'm sure were very yummy but i couldnt really taste. I took a shower, which hurt my sunburn. I wrote my midterm that's due tomorrow. I talked to the boy and the parents. I hung out with Sarah and made chicken and cheese sandwiches in her roomie's panini maker. i loaded my pictures from yesterday. good times.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


I swear I have been meaning to post!
Highlights of the past week...
-Dinner on Monday at Em's sponsor's house, along with a soldier named Ethan from Peobody who knows people I know from school. Twas fun.
-Dinner on Tuesday at my cousins' house in Talpiyot, with a lot of people! Including a girl from my program, Aliza, who I only vaguely knew, but it turns out her fam is really close to my cousins, and that i actually met her brother Shai when I was here after Birthright. Weird! She is really nice. We talked all night. We went to shul (synagogue), because religious Jews celebrate the last day of Passover just like the first day. I got a blister from my shoes :-( I like their temple though; even though they're very religious, they're not orthodox, so the men and women are not separated. It's gorgeous, too. Yeah. and then at the end of the night, I walked with the Romirowskys (the other fam) to catch me a cab...they were walking home, because they're also conservative and that night is considered like shabbos. The wind that night was INSANE. i thought Aliza was gonna blow away! Eventually we found me a cab. 
-Wednesday night Em and I broke Pesach at this place called the Focaccia Bar. I had almost an entire medium-pizza-sized focaccia by myself...SO GOOD. mmmmmmm. 

didn't do much the rest of break, i don't think...just kinda lazed around. lame, but there it is.

Sunday Em came back, and I got to meet her mom. She's really nice :-) Sunday night she took us out to dinner after our Yom HaShoah rehearsal. Then Em, Larissa and I got some hot drinks, then met up with some friends whose birthday it was and had a drink at this bar called Egon. Got home pretty late.

Yesterday...classes...quick fooding...back for more rehearsal, 6-9. Went really well. Then just hung out with Sarah, who is back from home and we're so happy she is! yay. 

Today had to get up absurdly early, had a 7:45am call for the Yom HaShoa ceremony. It went off realllly well, everything was beautiful and went seamlessly. LOTS of people came. It was really nice, very moving and meaningful. Then i skipped Hebrew, cuz, well, i was tired. Did laundry, lay outside for a little, then tookk a real nap in my bed. Now we're just hanging out. OH! today i finally got the package my mom and bro sent on FEBRUARY 19!!!! it made me happy. and i also checked our mailbox and there was another letter from my mom! and later this week i should get a letter from the Kimo. it made me really happy today, even though it's Yom HaShoah, which is a somber day :-/.  

Gonna cook up some chicken tonight...we have lots and i'm a worrywart and worry that it's going bad, so i'm gonna just pop a lot of it or all of it into some water and boil it deaddddd :-P then we can just save it for later and use it in sandwiches or quesadillas or whatevs. 

oh! another note: it's HOT OUT! like, 80+ every day this week! going outside at 8am and being warm in a sweatshirt! i love it. :-DDD

kay, that's enough. 

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Chag Kasher v'Sameach, everyone!

Hello! So as I'd predicted, monday and tuesday this past week WERE pretty tame. i slept a lot, spent a lot of time reading and going on the internet...A few things happened of note, though. Monday, I found out that my friend Sarah was still looking for a third to share her apartment next year. She lived there last year with three girls I am not on good terms with, who are luckily all moving out. Moving in will be this really cool skater-chick named Kelly who's friends with Sarah and whom I've met several times, and...ME! It took me a while and a lot of arguments before I convinced my parents that this is SUCH a good deal--less than $500/month, EVERYTHING, and i mean everything, included. big room. kitchen. 1 bathroom with bathtub! I'm sooooo excited. now i just gotta find a bed over the summer, and i'm set to move in in mid-late August. 
Also on Monday, i discovered that Jaime's ex-girlfriend Nadja was in town with her family for the holiday. We made plans to have breakfast the next morning. So tuesday i got up early, and headed down to the King David Hotel (ZOMG so amazing) and met her in the lobby, then we walked to Emek Refaim, a big shopping/food street, and got breakfast at HolyBagel. I got yellow cheese on a whole wheat bagel, toasted...and omg i need to not think about that during passover! anyways. you can see my DiTL (photo blog of that day) over at my other blog, Tuesday ended kind of crappy, as you can see from the DiTL, but all is well now. 
Wednesday, I got up pretty early to eat and prep for our few days at Emily's cousins' house. Made pancakes as my farewell to chametz...:-( She got back around 11:30 from her trip to Cyprus (which by all accounts was fun but very unorganized, and with its fair share of drama, so i'm almost glad i didn't go), and a few hours later we called a taxi to take us to her cousins'. Once there, we hung out with the family--her mom's first cousins Debbie and Shelly (who lives in Tucson), Debbie's husband Alon and their kids Avigal (21), Guy (20), Gil (16ish), and Shai (13). They are really, really nice people! Around 8, Alon's mother and sister showed up along with his sister's "boyfriend"...what interesting people! his mother is fine, really sweet actually. His sister...well. she's unique. let's leave it at that. and her boyfriend didn't even acknowledge me or Em. We eventually sat down for Seder...They're pretty secular Jews (Alon's sister, Dvori, said at one point: "you come to my house for seder, i give you bread!"), so they kind of zoomed through the first half, not even really doing some of the parts like Karpas or Urchatz (dipping green veggies in salt water, washing hands). After the meal, Alon's family left, and we never finished the seder. we just hung out, i think we watched a movie...The next couple days were just relaxing. i did not put shoes on for three days! we just hung out, read, watched tv and movies (including "Penelope", which i STRONGLY recommend for anyone!), played with the dogs...Alon's niece Shelly came over on thursday with her two dogs, bringing the house total to 3 teeny lap-dogs and one REAL-sized dog. she's pretty neat--taking into account her mother (the odd sister from seder), she's surprisingly cool. yeah. fun. That's...about it.
Yesterday, we got up and had breakfast and all, hung around some more...then around 5 or so we called a cab to take us back to school (Debbie paid both ways, which was really nice). Got back, chillaxed some more, watched "Blue Crush"--we borrowed about eight movies from Debbie :-) 
Today we went to Ben Yehuda street, because emily had american money to exchange and stuff she needed from several places around there. Then we went to the HUGE Mr. Zol that is there, and got some more supplies for Passover. chicken, cheese, fruit, etc. also in the department store we got new pans, which is very exciting because our old one is pretty disgusting. they were on sale if you had the store card, but the nice lady gave us the discount anyways, which saved us around 150 shekels (around $35)! sweet! um. yeah. then we stood outside in the sun waiting for a bus, but they just weren't coming...for some reason the traffic today was HORRIBLE--maybe cuz of easter, or maybe cuz of more construction. dunno. eventually we were geting worried about our perishables, so we took a cab home. now we're just hanging out, waiting to make dinner plans and such. think we're having chicken tonight :-) 
That's it. Might go to my cousin Judy's on Tuesday, haven't decided. hrm. we'll see. other than that i'll just be relaxing all week, as well as trying to get some homework done and such. 
The End.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Follow-up to my tweet and such...

I know those of you who saw my facebook status or twitter today will probably be wondering what the heck I did today, so I figured I'd update.
Yesterday was a completely lazy day. Made pancakes for breakfast with my new Aunt Jemima mix, but my batch turned out completely odd. They were like, wayyyy too bubbly and the bubbles started to burst the second it touched the pan, yet they took a while to cook, and came out kind of rubbery. I have no idea what i did wrong, I just made them like we normally do at home. hrm. may experiment again tomorrow. Mommy says maybe the pan was too hot. We'll see.
Anyways, after breakfast we pretty much just hung out in our PJs all day, watching Queer as Folk and Boy Meets World...then, at night, Adrienne came!! We hung out til 12:30, talking about the randomest stuff in the world, cuz that's Adrienne, listening to Sarah's songs, and generally having fun. Eventually we needed to go to bed though! Adrienne slept on the floor, which couldn't have been comfortable but she said it was the same as a bed in a hostel, so oh well. 
Got up at 7:30 this morning, got all ready for the day, and headed out around 8:15. we didn't have much time, so we caught a cab to the Central Bus Station, where we met up with our friend Adam, who goes to UMass with me and is at TAU with Adrienne this semester. We grabbed breakfast at the Holy Bagel there, which turned out bad for me cuz the knife he used to cut my plain bagel with butter must have been used on an onion bagel, and it was ICKY. I ate it anyways though, since I didn't have much of a choice, as the bus was coming very soon. We got on the bus to Hebron with no problems, had some very fun conversations on the way, and eventually found ourselves in Hebron. Hebron is a city in the West Bank, which has a long, contentious, and bloody history. I don't know all the details, nor do i want to type them all up, really, so you can go here: and read all about it. Today, it's kind of a run-down place, bullet holes and bombed out homes all over the place, children running wild, soldiers at every corner and sometimes even in-between corners. I did not realize until I got there that it was in the West Bank, nor did I realize what a hotbed of conflict it is--I probably would not have gone if I had known, but I am glad I did. It was quite an experience, and I took many gorgeous pictures. I didn't like the feeling of unease I had the entire time, though, knowing that just past that barbed wire were people who hate me and my people, that one step into the wrong part of town could get me stoned, that a bomb could come in at any moment...But I got to see the tombs of my ancestors, which was pretty surreal, and it was also just a gorgeous day. My favorite part by far though, came at the end. We went to one of the small Arab-run touristy shops near where the bus stop was, and the wonderful man who owned it, Abed, and his teenaged son Mohammed made us Bedouin tea and sat and chatted with us for a good 25+ minutes. They were so nice! Their English wasn't so good, but their Hebrew was wonderful, and I could understand most of the conversation, although Adrienne did most of the talking since she's in a higher level than me or Adam. And oh, that tea...I remember getting it in the Bedouin tents on Birthright, but that was only a small glass...this was a big, full cup, and it was just HEAVENLY. I don't even know what was in it, just that I want more :-) 
We had a little issue getting home, since the first bus did not stop for us (which was really, really annoying since we were standing at the right place and waving our arms wildly--the driver MUST have seen us) but while we were waiting for the next one (luckily only 20 minutes later) we met a guy who had been there for shabbos, an American from Pittsburg named Brett who goes by Mordechai here. He goes to Yeshiva in Jerusalem, and was a pretty nice guy. The next bus stopped, luckily, and we hopped on and snoozed our way back to Jerusalem. Back at the bus station, we ran to the bathrooms, then walked around the mall a little bit so Adrienne could buy magazines and ice cream, then they caught a bus back to TA and I indulged in some McD's fries while I waited for my own bus back here to school. After talking to Kimo and Gabs for a bit, I just crashed in my bed with my book, and now I'm just fooling around on the internet, biding my time until bedtime. 
Quite an eventful day, a good start to my break I think! The next two days I think will be pretty tame;  I'm going to attempt to clean our fridge a little bit, get rid of as much chametz (leavened bread products) as I can, although without a broom it's pretty much impossible to get rid of it all. We'll see. Other than that, I will probably read a lot more...Tomorrow I get to sign up for classes...I have emails to write and applications and assessments to fill out...yeah. break. :-) 

Friday, April 3, 2009

LONG week

Oy. Sorry for putting this off so late. but it's been a long week.
Saturday was loads of fun! We headed out pretty early; I got a taxi to mom and Jaime's place, they hopped in, and we headed to where the Sherut taxis pull up. We had to wait a little bit for our taxi to fill up, and then we were off...Got to TA, waited on the corner and watched the incredibly multi-cultural mix of people coming and going in the busy intersection by the bus station while we waited for Adrienne.  She eventually showed up, and we headed to a neighborhood called Neve Yaacov, wandered around, found our way to the beach, and walked along it for a good long while, watching the waves, feeling the wind, seeing people wind-surfing and working out on these funny outdoor gyms that TA has all over the place...ran into a bunch of people doing Israeli folk dancing, must have been a class. It was fun. We finally got to our destination, HaYarkon park, which is a nice park by a river that separates Tel Aviv from Ramat Aviv, which is where TAU is. We were exhausted by the time we got there, so we just sat and rested for a while, and also called Adrienne's cousin John who is one of my brother's best friends from home. Then we headed to Adrienne's apartment, which is itty bitty but HERS, and she gave me a key so if i need it I have an apartment too :-D. She packed up some stuff, then we went to find dinner. We ended up at a place called Bar Gurion, where Mom and I got shnitzel, Jaime got a sandwich he got to "create", and Adrienne got some pasta. Then we caught a taxi back to the bus station and got on a sherut which left very quickly for Jerusalem. Got back to the city, caught a taxi home...Um...I don't remember what we did on saturday night. Not much,  I don't think.
Sunday, Mom and Jaime were a lot later than I had hoped, so we just grabbed a take-away breakfast at Aroma before heading to school. We went the outdoor route, and I got to show them the botanical gardens and such. My class was pretty boring, but they had books and food, so they just sat in the back. Then we headed out to my internship. I brought them to the YMCA and showed them the Gan (preschool) where I work, showed them my boss' frog-filled office although my boss wasn't there, then they went off to do their own thing while I worked. Just a normal day with the babies...when i got out of work, mom and jaime had been down to Emek Refaim, had ice cream, and were back waiting for me. We stopped at the chocolate shop near the YMCA that i've been wanting to check out and I got two small chocolates, then we headed to the Old City again. Turns out it's really easy to get to the Kotel from King David street! So yeah, we did that whole deal, had it started to get dark, we headed back to my room. On the way home, we made plans to meet our tour guide from our first trip here 10 years ago (August 1999!) at Aroma. We had a little bit of time in the room first, then we went and met her. She is still wonderful, and even invited me to seder! It was wonderful to see her again, she really made that trip memorable. After about an hour with her, mom and jaime had to head back to their room to pack and rest up for their long day of travel, and Francis was nice enough to offer them a ride. After several long hugs, I had to say goodbye to my family :-(( it was such a nice week! I was super-sad to see them go.  
The rest of the week was...blah. I had midterms. things just dragged. midterms were okay though. Oh, and I had another field trip, this time to the Israel museum, where they have a scale model of Jerusalem in the second-temple period. It's cute. and really detailed. and i met a couple from Newton (about 40 minutes from my hometown). Yeah. Other than that...Nothing really happened until last night. I had this program for my education class on something called BiblioDrama. it's where you read bits of a Torah portion out loud, and then the facilitator asks you questions that you have to answer as if you were a certain character. AKA "You're Moses. how does it make you feel that _____" and "would you rather be an Egyptian or an Israelite right now?" (if you can't tell, we were doing a Passover themed BiblioDrama). It was actually pretty interesting, and I can definately see how Hebrew school teachers of mine used elements of it, and I can see how I could use it if I ever end up teaching Hebrew school. 
After that, I went home, and then Emily, Sarah, Bekah and I went up the hill to Burgers Bar, a chain restaurant that a lot of people love. I got shnitzel. it was pretty yummy, although the garlic-mayo dipping sauce i got made my tummy hurt. We also went to Mr Zol while we were up there, and I got some matzoh, some apple chips, some pesadich (kosher for passover) cookies, and some rice cakes. I also discovered that they DO have a cheese counter, and they even have semi-decent cheddar! dunno prices, but i'll figure it out. I will pay almost anything for cheddar! 
Eventually we headed home...watched some QAF then went to bed. 
Today, we went to ben yehuda street so that emily could get some sunglasses and sunscreen for her trip to Cyprus this coming weekend (although the prices on the latter were so obscene that i convinced her to just take my huge bottle of 15 instead), and so Bekah could pick up some last-minute gifts for home. She is not coming back to school after the break. Sarah and i got bagels for breakfast...real bagels are such a treat and so welcome! Then we met up with a friend of Sarah's. I got a crepe, we walked around and tried to find her friend some nice shoes, Sarah got a crepe, em got a milkshake, and we headed home. Gathered some stuff, put on sunscreen, and went outside to lie on the (gross, prickly) grass for a while. it was HOT. I stuck it out longer than em and sarah, but eventually felt like i was melting alive and came inside and crashed on my bed instead. And yeah. that's pretty much you, up to date.  I promise I won't let it be another week, okay?