January 25, 2009

we're runnin- keep holdin' my hand, so we don't get separated

I miss them. Chatting with Marli just now made me so sad. I can hear their voices now and they are so distant. 6968 miles away.

I went running today. It felt so good, I was like bursting. I want to better myself, I havent worked out in so long and am sick of it, I feel my body begging me to be active so I responded today but not going back to work after lunch, and running. Running as fast as I could for 30 minutes. It's not much, but its a start. I walked to the nearby fields and just took off until I felt like I was going to pass out, then had to walk back. I would have stayed out there until nightfall if my lungs had let me, its the most beautiful place. I like to think of it as mine, although I know I'm not the only one to run there. You can see so much of Israel, its so open, so green. So peaceful. I dont think I could ever enjoy a treadmill again.

January 23, 2009

left us sore

Wow- its been a while since Ive written..its either so much is happening that I feel too overwhelmed to write about everything..or that nothing exciting is going on so I dont feel the need, or a mix of both.

The Gadna, by far one of the funniest experiences we've had since weve been here. Most probably dont understand what "Gadna" is and I dont really know how to explain it, except that everyone does a Gadna week or month, whatever, before joining the Army, while we were there there were 100's of high school kids that were there "for real." Its kinda like preparation and to get a feel for what you are in for, it is in no way a direct example of what it will be like at your base or anything, so its hard to explain. But anyways, so the Ulpan goes every year because there are a lot of new immigrants in these Ulpan programs that will have to serve in the army for a while and its just a good experience to go.

Mel and I had no idea what we were in for!! When we got there, from the second we stepped off the bus, it was military style. Standing in lines and rows and running around everywhere and answering the commander properly and addressing the officers. We had wepon lessons- M16 shooting, handling and self defense. We had a field training day where we went out to this giant olive tree field, which was red sand/ mud and rock infested and we learned how to run from granades and we learned hand signals used during war time and how to crawl and walk without leaving shoe prints..just really cool shit. We talked about the war and had interpersonal discussions and kinda got to know where everyone stands on some topics, good bonding experiences. One thing we did was our unit, which had like 14 Ulpan peeps in it, had to all stand on this army blanket (which was not too big) and we had to flip the blanket without stepping off of it. We all had to stand there and strategize real quick and try different things and finally 4 of us decided to get on the guys shoulders and one guy squatted down and flipped parts of the blanket over while others stepped around so it could successfully be flipped over, it was a challenge!

We had ceremonies every morning where we would sing the Anthem and they would raise the flag, it was cute but it was FREEZING there. We were on top of this huge mountain, we were about 40 minutes away from the Kineret and we could see it perfectly. We could see across it to the other side! It was amazing. The pictures dont even capture the beauty my eyes have seen. We would wear like 2 tank tops, 2 long sleeve shirts, the army shirt we were assigned and the big, puffy army jacket over all that and still be shivering. Leggings under our pants and 2 pairs of socks. Terrible, terrible situation for me since I get cold in the summer!!!!! But loved it.

Shout out to all the January bdays in the fam! Wish we could have been there to celebrate with you guys, just know we're thinking of you on your bdays...