The Finger Countdown

With just ten days left, I’ve been in a whirlwind of doing all of the things I still want to do, finding gifts (and ample amounts of Israeli chocolate) to bring home, seeing all the people I need to see, and on top of all of that, completing my seemingly endless final papers.

To say I’m busy would be an understatement; these past few weeks have been full of amazing adventures. I went rafting down the Jordan River. I visited the Baha’i Gardens in Haifa. I got to work with Israeli third graders on their English. I stood with thousands of people at Har Herzl, the military cemetery, on Yom Hazikaron, Israel Remembrance Day, commemorating the lives of those killed in battles and terror attacks. The very next day, I stood under fireworks as Israel turned 67 years old and the country burst into celebration. I baked challah with my great aunt and listened to her stories of our family and her life. I met famous authors (shout out to Etgar Keret and Yossi Klein Halevi!) I skyped my parents and siblings, a few times, though maybe not enough for their liking. I got to sit in on a philosophy class being taught to young Arab girls. I reunited with people I haven’t seen in four years (shout out to Danny, Ofir, and Michal!) I stood on the borders of Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon. I went to a Hadag Nachash concert. I met up with two of my cousins, visiting on trips from the states (shout out to Hannah and Andrea!) I went hiking. I visited the grave of my great grandfather. I’ve been able to strengthen my relationships with the people I’ve met and with this country, despite its complexities.

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I’m sad to leave this adventure, and yet I have such exciting things on the other side. My own bed, an incredible summer, my final year of college, and, of course, the people who love me the most and the best. I’m simply on a finger countdown from one home to another, and I’m excited to bring back what I’ve learned here, as well as a lot of memories and pictures (and Israeli chocolate).

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