Five.5 through Eight

Finally. A chance to catch up with this blog a bit. I guess the good thing about not being able to update recently is that I’ve been extremely busy and really involved in my experiences here. I just finished the week I’ve been essentially anticipating since planning my trip to Israel 2 months ago. After going through countless hours of research on England, Australia and Italy I finally decided I would go to Israel when I heard my friend Yaeli was getting married here this summer. Major catalyst for me. On top of that I have relatives on both sides of my family that now live in Israel. So here I am. And here’s what I’ve been up to:

Last thing I actually wrote about was sunrise at The Wall on July 30th. To make things interesting I spent sunset at The Wall as well. No matter how many times I visit this part of the Old City I feel and observe something new each time.

Sunset on Fridays at The Wall is extremely packed with people welcoming Shabbat, the day of rest in Judaism. By this point everyone is done with work and the evening’s meal is already prepared so people come out to enjoy time with friends and family. The night is spent relaxing, recuperating from the past week and eating copious amount of food. Oof. Luckily or unluckily, being in the Old City Friday night also meant an hour walk home. Everything shuts down in Jerusalem on Shabbat including public transportation. Totally justified the copious amount of food I consumed. For better or worse, Saturday also includes ridiculous amounts of food. Absolutely amazing food on Saturday which included over 8 homemade dishes. Mixed with record high temperatures, it was a rather uncomfortable day requiring a nap to make it through to the third and final meal of Shabbat Saturday evening. All in all, it was an incredible experience to observe these traditions in Israel.

Sunday is the beginning of the work week here in Israel so that’s when classes resumed. Bright and early. Monday. More classes in the Old City followed by free time. I’ve been really lucky to find a core group of girls in my program to spend time with and explore the city. We’re a varied group. 23-29 years old. New York, Georgia, California, Liverpool. I’m learning so much from these women and can’t wait to keep them each as life long friends. Some will be staying on in Israel following the end of the program and we will definitely be traveling together. In our typical fashion we explored, photographed, and nibbled our way through the city after classes Monday. Later that evening I spent time with Yaeli and her girl friends for an impromptu send off before her wedding the following day. Girls. Chocolate fondue. Mushy love stories. Lifetime movie in the making.

Lazy kitty in the city

Olive, Artichoke, Pesto, Olive Oil, Balsamic. These are a few of my favorite things.

Yaffo Gate. Jaffa Gate. Same Difference.

Ally cat(s). If all dogs go to heaven, all cats go to Israel. (And Rome, from what I hear)

Tricycle in the Jewish Quarter.

Yaeli's last single night with the girls.