One of the little things about Israel that constantly makes me smile is the abundance of fresh flowers everywhere you look. Most apartment buildings have gardens, and ours is currently blooming the most beautiful fresh roses I've ever seen. We have them in several different colors, and they smell AMAZING--better than any rose I've ever smelled in the states. I try to smell them every time I leave and enter my apartment building because they make me so happy, even if I've had a horrible day. It amazes me how something so small can make such a big difference in my life.
Anyways, thanks to all who commented on my last entry. It's great to know that I have your support and that many of you have been in similar situations.
As far as the never-ending ulpan drama is concerned, I decided to stay in kitah bet a bit longer and see what happens. The rest of the week was a bit easier, thank Gd. I talked to our teacher on Tuesday and told her that I was thinking about switching back to kitah aleph. While she didn't try to convince me to stay, she also didn't seem to understand why I wanted to switch out of the class (in a good way, like she thought I was doing fine.) I told her that it's hard for me to think quickly enough to talk in class and that I'm constantly nervous. She said I could sit-in with the aleph class for the day, but when I went to the other room, I found out they were taking a test and had to return to kitah bet. Tuesday's class ended up being the most comfortable I've been in kitah bet this year, and the rest of the week was also much easier, including the test we took on Thursday. I'm thinking that maybe I am meant to stay in kitah bet, but I guess we'll wait and see.
Bible is still the same. Yoel (our teacher) wants to have individual meetings with each of us to discuss the paper we wrote last week and also things in general. I have a feeling that he'll ask me why I don't participate much in class, which will allow me the opportunity to tell him what's going on. A part of me thinks he'll understand, while another part thinks he'll be a real butt-head about it. I'll keep you posted on what happens. Meanwhile, I just translated the story of the rape of Dinah. The fun of translating the Bible never ends, let me tell you...
Last night Steph and I hosted 12 of our friends for a mexican-themed shabbat dinner (Mexi-bat!) We made a huge pot of vegetarian chili (which, while very delicious, was not nearly as good as the chili I make at home that is NOT vegetarian) and friends brought burrito fixings, mexican rice and desserts. While it was very, very crowded, we all had a great time and ate a lot of good food. Preparing for, hosting, and cleaning up after a shabbat dinner is hard work, but it's always worth it, especially when we sing the shabbat blessings with people we care so much about.
Some of our shabbat table enjoying the chili and burritos we served. On the left side (from left to right): Nicole, Stephanie Mohr, Julia. On the right side (from left to right): Jen, Steph and PJ.
Oh! We had our first thunderstorm since I've been here on Wednesday night. It was so, so nice to hear thunder and see lighting and listen to the sound of rain again. It didn't last very long, sadly, but it was so great for everyone in Israel to have rain, and for the gorgeous roses in our garden to get water that doesn't come from a hose. AND--the rain mixed with the scent of the roses gave our courtyard and garden the most beautiful smell. It was heaven. To celebrate the rain, and because we love the restaurant, we went to dinner at Sushi Rehavia. I came to Israel not even liking sushi, and now I can't get enough. They make a roll with grilled salmon, asparagus, sweet potato and avocado that is TO DIE FOR. Steph and I are actually going back there for dinner tonight, because we love it so much.
So anyway, that's been my week. Thanks again to all who wrote back concerning my crisis' last week, and thanks to all of my faithful readers for giving me a reason to keep posting. And remember, take some time to stop and smell the roses. You won't believe what a difference it can make in your day.