My computer is officially back with me! Mrs. Mac, how I’ve missed you so. Now that you are in my hands I can blog on you consistently again. Right now I am eating a home-cooked meal in my new living quarters — a big, beautiful, apartment. Once we have it decorated I will be sure to post photos. Right now all I can say is that we couldn’t have asked for a living situation anddd, we have a piano. Yes, we have a piano! Too bad none of us can play. Mark I might actually admit I miss hearing your playing.
Becca, Jen, Amir and I arrived here Tuesday. We had no idea where we were living up until Monday and all we were told was that there were three bedrooms and a piano. When our bus brought us to Rehovot we were all very nervous and unsure of what our conditions would be like, but fortunately we lucked out big time. We are making sure not to take it for granted, and I have a hunch I’ll be a cleaning queen.
We don’t start actually volunteering until Monday so we have a lot of time to settle in and get to know this little city that we are living in for the next four months. Rehovot is about 20 km outside of Tel Aviv and is a small city with about 115,000 people. It has an ‘academia’ feel to it due to the Weizmann Institute and the Rehovot Agricultural Campus of Hebrew University. Once we know our volunteer schedule we are going to see if we can start a communal garden with some of the University students. In Israel students who go to University start around the age of 22 because they have to serve in the IDF first. So there are a lot of people here that are our age which will make for some fun and interesting times.
The first night we arrived we had a roommate dinner at a yummy Japanese restaurant. We also received a driving tour of the city by a staff lady for the Jewish Federation. Although she’s been living in Israel since the 70’s she is from Brooklyn, New York and her Brooklyn accent and personality has remained which made for a fun little tour. We also did our own personal walking tour where we tried to familiarize ourselves with our surrounding area. This included trips to the shuk, mall, and other fun venues.
We’re fortunate to have a TV in our ‘family room’ and we purchased a DVD player. We also have chosen to decorate the place to make it feel like home. I think when you live anywhere it is important to make it feel like your home, otherwise you don’t feel comfortable. It helps a lot with being homesick as well. I am really looking forward to these next four months here, and I can only hope my volunteer work is equally, if not more rewarding and enlightening then my time in Ashkelon.
I already miss my other OTZMA friends, but it has been nice here so far and I have zero complaints. I am going to backtrack a little bit again and write two blog entries – one about my time spent in Tzfat with some great photos that Vanessa and Whitney took. I also received a new camera! Such exciting news. My other blog entry will be about my time in Israel with my family with pictures from my camera and my moms. Once those are written I can begin blogging again in sequential order which will be nice.