Checking In, Fresh Off the Boat

Sorry for the late beginning to posts but not only has it been a busy time acclimating, I’ve also had my phone placed out of commission. By my own fault of course since during my second trip to the beach my phone decided to join me. Apparently saltwater and electronics don’t mesh. Who knew?

So far the journey is incredible. Trying to improve my hebrew on the fly while interacting with the world around me, going to the beach every day to get some well earned rest and exercise, delicious and nutritious food without any of the temptations at home. Although my passport looks so different from how I do now that it feels as if I’ve been stopped by every security guard in Israel.

As I’ve gone through the past week in a blazing orientation, it’s been amazing to see all the possibilities to explore over the next year. This first week there was snorkeling in the western Galilee among astounding natural rock formations and grottos, a visit to a very poor Arab village to learn about the complexity of the situations that lie at the heart of politics, and more tours, museums, and information than I can even process. The time it would take to describe a single day feels excessive, despite the fact that so much is being crammed into this short week.

It really is such an assault on every sense possible. The foreign sounds of Arabic, Hebrew, and Russian, such bright sunlight from the moment the sun rises to sets with the tans and browns of sandstone buildings, dirt and sand, and the tastes of fresh olives, figs, and watermelon. It all combines to be so exhausting that you immediately fall asleep, but your slumber is so deep that you wake back up every day invigorated for a new round of adventures. This is just an opener but this weekend I’m going to dive into my first impressions of Israel, and where the culture shock is most intensive.

My aim for these musings that I'll be postings will not only to be to educate on what I see and learn from what happens around me, but also to explore what the places I visit are and mean, beyond the political boundaries. Some might say that is an impossible request in this part of the world, but it's important to be able to step away, and see the great beauty and awe in much of what exists here. Safe travels and להתראות

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