First off, for anyone who does not know, I am in Israel studying in Neve Yerushaliam Seminary and working with Magen David Adom, the Israeli Ambulance service. After 4 months in Israel, I finally decided to start a blog (a little late..but I guess I'm just a procrastinator). Unfortunately, I haven't had enough time to email all of my friends separately every week, so I think this will be a good way to keep everyone updated.
I don't even know where to start. I have been having the most amazing time in Israel. The only bad thing about being here is that I miss my friends and family terribly. I really can't wait to see everyone again.
Since I've gotten here I've learned so much about the medical field. I've gotten some pretty crazy calls on the ambulance. The craziest call I got was during my first shift (and first call ever!). We had to treat a six month pregnant woman who was going into shock and losing massive amounts of blood.
I've had a heartattack case, Pulmonary adema (so weird to see..the patient's entire body moved when he breathed), some cases with broken bones, and other really interesting stuff.
The least exciting call was from a girl who was having menstrual cramps and just had to take some advil. Yeah..I felt like quite the hero when treating her.
Besides that, shifts have been pretty normal. Last Thursday I did a night shift (11:oopm-7:00am) and my ambulance ended up being on security duty for a hippy festival in a secluded forest. I stayed up all night watching the stars while sitting by a fire...it was absolutely beautiful! We didn't get any calls that night except for a woman who had back pains, which is pretty normal if you sleep on concrete all night.
Classes in Neve have been really interesiting. I'm learning so much about Judaism and about myself. I officially keep Shabbat and kosher, and hope to continue doing so in USA. We'll see though.
A lot of the classes are really just self help classes. They talk about are how to improve yourself and become a happier person. I've been working really hard to follow the advice given, and have to say that I am much happier.
I do have some text-based classes. I learn the Parsha every week (basically we learn different sections of the bible..kinda like story times..my favorite!) , and I have officially learned how to read Rashi (a different type of hebrew script..really hard to read). You might know how much I love story time (especially before bedtime!!), so you can imagine how much I like these classes.
Hmm...besides that not much is going on. I live with a girl named Jordan and we get along really well. The other girls here are really nice too.
Oh! My friend Tamara is getting married on Sunday! I've been helping her do wedding stuff whenever possible...wedding planning is a lot more stressful than it looks. Last night was her Tichel party (a tichel is the head covering that religious women wear once they get married) which is like a bachlorette party minus the half naked men, alcohol, and bar. We all gave her our blessings (and she gave us some too) and it was a lot of fun. I need to buy a dress for her wedding, so Jordan and I are going shopping tomorrow. I'm so excited about the whole thing.
Another thing I am really excited for is going backpacking again. It's a long story, but since I haven't talked to you guys in so long, I will tell the story of my first backpacking adventure.
In the begining of April I went backpacking across Israel with my friend Leba. It was one of the best experiences I have ever had. The first night we went to Tel Aviv and stayed in a hostel. We walked around all night, met a man who claimed to be the Messiah (and yelled at us when we questioned this), and spent some time on the beach where we stargazed for an hour until a couple came and decided to have their fun on the beach, so we left.
The second night we were supposed to go to Eilat and camp out on the beach there, but we ended up missing our bus. Since we didn't plan on this happening, we did'nt have enough money to spend another night in a hostel. We decided to see if we could drop our stuff off at a hotel so we could walk around all night and just pull an all nighter.
Well, when we entered the hotel, I heard the owner was playing poker. I told him I was pro poker player and he challenged my skills. Well, turns out my poker addiction came in handy because we all ended up playing until 4 am, and the owner told leba and I that we could sleep in his hotel lobby for free...we slept on the couches of a 5 star hotel!
The next day we took the four hour bus to Eilat. We hitchhiked to a good beach area and pitched our tent there. It was pretty late, so we went snorkeling while the sun set and then decided to go to town. There, leba decided that she was going to draw people on the street, and someone payed her to draw them! We met some really fun people that night, and at 3am got a ride back to our tent with the Israeli Police..yeah, it was pretty awesome.
The next day, our new neighbor moved in. His name was benny and he was wearing speedo when we met him. He worked as a spiritual healer and was a really nice guy. He was staying on the beach for a couple of weeks with his family. He offered us some mattress (which was amazing since we slept on rocks the night before) and built a little portable bathroom. That day Leba and I went hiking up a mountain where litterally every single rock looked like the map of Israel. We brought like 20 of these rocks home so that people would believe us.
We then walked down the beach and found a group of hippies who were picking up trash and painting it. We asked if we could join in so we spent the hour talking and painting which was really nice. We made decorations for our tent, which we called the "Queen Hotel" because it was across the street from one of the nicest hotels in Israel called the "Princess Hotel" and we wanted to one up them. We are that cool.
Later that day we wanted to go swimming in a real pool, so we pretended to be guests at the "Princess Hotel". They had a bar in the swimming pool, playboy mansion-like water caves, and a water slide (which we asked them to open for us and they did! haha!). We want suntanning here and just relaxed. We then took a shower on one of those beach showers.
That night we shopping in the local mall and fell asleep fairly early.
The next day was shabbat. We had Shabbat dinner with benny and his family and fell asleep fairly early.
The next day we walked 3 hours to a Chabad where we had lunch and met a couple of really nice people. They asked us where we were staying, and when we said we were on a beach 3 hours away, they offered to let us spend the afternoon in their apartment. So leba and I slept all day in a REAL BED (amazing!) and made some cool friends.
We stayed for another day and then returned to Jerusalem right in time for passover and passover cleaning (ew).
That story was long but I hope you enjoyed it.
Please keep me updated on your lives..and I hope to update you once a week!