will the rain in desert ever end?


It is the beginning of February and I feel like the pounds are packing on. I want to feel inspired to make a change, but my gym routine left me a while ago and my comfort in Moroccan food hasn’t spurred any sudden excitement. The best I can hope for is to burn calories with sex, a great tool for getting in shape. Unfortunately not the best method of loosing weight or maintaining emotional distance.
I know that my comfort eating is spurred from my general loneliness and homesickness. The daily challenges of living in a foreign society are abundant, especially in Israel. This country is brutal. It will chew you up and spit you out.
I should be rejoicing with most Israelis that in the last month Lake Kinneret has gone up at least a half meter from the non-stop cold rain thats pouring. But it is hard to think about rain when inside my heart, I am living through a thunderstorm. The reality is the only person here I connected to, one a somewhat romantic level is gone. I was able to push aside my feelings of anxiety, depression and fear with the understanding that someone was here who would comfort me. Our relationship definitely never evolved to a deeply committed level, however we shared a level of intimacy and understanding that over time grew. He was able to keep my mind focused and prevent any type of panic from ever setting in.
There is a solace to the rain that soothes me and allows me to feel connected to “Eretz Israel” in ways that Birthright only could hope for. I am ashamed to say my most relevant connection to the land has sprung from my typical relationship clingyness to men and because of this I sit here in silence beckoning the rain to come. I hate the rain in the desert, but for me now, this seems to be the only time I can be alone without question and I can hide the sudden burst of tears rolling down my cheeks as I walk to school.
I think now is the time to start a diet and begin more exercise. Now I crave a way to channel my emptiness into some other obsession so as not to think about my shitty living situation and my boy long gone. I really should be happy about the rain and its potential for focus. Now more than ever I need to break free of my patterns and find a new way to continue. Lake Kinneret has gone has up atleast a half a meter, and the thunderstorm in my heart has left a bigger hole to fill with whatever I may choose.

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translation is a funny thing


The students at school here all have what they call their mekonekits, loosly translated to home room teacher. This is the person in charge of them, who makes sure they go to class, deals with home life situations, financial difficulties (if they need scholarship) and is the only “real” disciplinary they have, cause lets face it they don’t listen to the teachers. Well yesterday one of the teachers asked Melissa how you would translate the word mekonekit. Mel told her homeroom teacher is the best, but there isn’t a good translation, we don’t really have anything the same in English. The teacher followed with “You dont call it a Master?” Master….the only time this word has ever been used in reference to people was in the days of slavery. Master, ha, thats funny. It would be a master if the students had a fear in them. Master implys total control, against the will even, and this is most definately not the case here. Israeli students lack many things, but the human will is not on the list. Flashbacks of Roots came into my mind as Melissa was telling this story to me, and as I did my best LeVar Burton impersonation, Melissa looks to me and says, “I don’t like that voice.” I guess I’ll keep it with the word master, far far far away from the Israeli School System.

Major catastrophe…eh ein bayah (no problem)


Last week we had an earthquake drill at school. Apparently most of Israel is sitting on major fault line that hasn’t moved in quite some time. All the schools here are having these drills because they are expecting a big one to hit soon, if there wasn’t already enough problems…. I remember as kid in the States, that any type of drill was to be taken seriously and treated as if the “real deal.” I remember being scowlded for talking and not staying in a sinlge file line. Fire drills in the winter? Don’t even think about getting your jacket, “real life doesn’t stop for snow, you can deal with frost bite later at least you’ll be alive,” a teacher once told me. Drills of any kind are a means of preparation so in case the real event occurs, everyone knows what to do and everyone stays calm. Now flash to last week’s earthquake drill at Ort Sapir. The alarm went off, instead of anyone listening to the teacher’s instructions, the students were running around laughing and imitating the sound. Oh the alarm wasn’t on a P.A. system but merely a man carrying a hand held microphone and sounding the alarm from one of the many pre-programmed noises. First problem, a man walking around during an earthquake to alert others of said earthquake. Second problem, no one would even know what to do cause they spent their time laughing instead of following instructions. After three minutes we were instructed to clear the building and go outside. This is the time to wait for aftershock and be in an open space. The students lounged lazily on the side of the building as we waited. Aviv, the man with the microphone, walked around as someone special and they all flocked to him to hit the buttons in hopes of making more annoying alarm sounds. There was no attendance, there was no path to follow, there was no guide, no nothing. Only laughter and sighs of relief that part of class was being missed. The area in which are students were supposed to meet was inbetween two large buildings. There is a large open space, next to the desert where basketball courts lay side by side. I dont quite get why the entire school doesn’t go there, it would be the safest place, not to mention you dont need to pass by any buildings to get there. At one point I looked to Mel and said “I’m quite confident that we wont die today, but shit if this was real I’d have no idea what to do and we would for sure die.” The best part was a group of our eigth grade students voluteered to help. They were acting as the “rescue team.” They all had on colorful pinis , like what I remember wearing in gym class to play flag football. Awkard neon colors over the stylish name brands, hehe… They were running around with a gurney carrying “injured” people, who were masterfully bandaged up. At one point a group of our eleventh graders hijacked the gurney and ran around like chickens with their heads cut off. It was pretty hilarious. And that was the earthquake prepartion. Yay Israel!