I always have the grandest plans to chronicle my travels and experiences, and then I find myself too caught up in life to preserve those moments, let alone share them. So I find myself almost at the end of my journey in Israel and a bit at the end of my rope (though I'll manage). I am homesick, but with the knowledge that when I return home in about a month I will miss Israel. The United States will always be my home, but Israel hasn't been a bad second home...all-in-all. My experiences here have been intense and diverse, from the incident with Gaza and the air raid sirens to teaching in the Israeli school system to weekends in Jerusalem.
What have I done here? I have taught in both Arab and Jewish schools, grades 7-12, Jews and Christians and Muslims. I have taken classes in all things language education related. I have walked the empty streets of the Old City in Jerusalem at night...like something out of a movie. I sang, I prayed, I lived and ate shabbat dinner with families who were kind enough to welcome me into their homes. I attended classes at a yeshiva school, just to see what it was like. I learned to embrace a new culture and sometimes grumble about it. I learned that Israel will always have a special place in my heart, and I know that someday I will be back.
When I have time I plan to compile a complete "You might have lived in Israel if..." list, but for the moment, I will leave you with these five:
1. Eating or considering eating non-kosher food makes you feel guilty
2. For you, Jerusalem is a weekend getaway
3. You only remember non-Jewish holidays because of Facebook
4. You no longer believe in the existence of lines (it's more of a funnel effect)
5. Shekel no longer sounds like just a funny word, but an actual form of currency
Tonight I might add "...If your arm is lumpy, swollen, and itches like crazy because the bugs here apparently have especially potent venom" but instead I'll try to ignore the itching and get some sleep!