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Kasey / Places - Posts
Archaeology has always seemed about as interesting as "watching cement set". The only difference being that the building materials were a bit different and much older. My first visit to an excavation site here in Israel has changed my ignorant prejudice. To be honest, the interest didn't happen as soon as I saw the site which looked to me like almost every other uninhabited hill in Israel. It came after I interviewed the leader of the excavation and went home to do some reading. Knowledge is a powerful thing.
I wouldn't have chosen to visit an archaeological site for the fun of it. In fact, I've had the opportunity in the past to visit archaeological digs and never felt the urge to join. I was assigned to cover the story. The interest grew when I realized it was located at an outpost in the West Bank just 3.8 kilometers from Ramallah. "Now there's a story," I thought to myself. Being more in touch with the events of today than those from the Bronze Age, a trip deep inside the West Bank would at least offer some excitement for the day - especially since it was the day after the Gaza Flotilla fiasco and the US Embassy issued a travel alert for Americans to stay away from these areas in case of riots.
"Sof, Sof" or "finally" I finished my five month course in modern Hebrew. Along with hundred of other new immigrants, I studied at the Absorption Center here in Ra'anana. To me, the best part was the social interaction. I have made friendships that I think will last a lifetime. It is so helpful to meet people who have also left their countries and families and lifestyle. We share so much in common. The one thing that is different is that I think I am the only Christian.
Because it is an absorption center, about 99.9% of the people there are new Jewish immigrants. I wouldn't suspect otherwise in the Jewish nation of Israel. But my friends have made me feel quite welcome and we have very interesting cultural and religious conversations. Nicole is from Columbia, Lee is from England, Chaim is from France, Tsipi is from Venezuela, Florence is from France, Alona is from the Ukrain and Audry is from the States. And there are even more nations represented in the center which make the whole experience quite enriching on so many levels.
Israel is a phenomenal example of successful assimilation of immigrants. It is a
Just off of road 65, outside the town of Afula, is a beautiful reserve of wildflowers beside the Megido Airport. In Hebrew the flowers are called kalaniot, the English word is anemone. I am not a specialist on flowers and have never heard of anemone before yesterday but that didn't keep me from enjoying the beauty of these flowers found in northern Israel during the winter months of the year.
In general winter is my least favorite time of the year. I enjoy the season through Christmas and the new year but find the months from January to March something to tolerate rather than enjoy. I moved to Israel from northern, VA, just outside of D.C. where the winters there are cold, gray, and more often than not, muddy rather than snowy.
Winter in Israel is vastly different. It is the most green and lush time of year. As my husband, Yuval, and I drove to the North yesterday, I was
I just went grocery shopping and I don't know whether to be proud of myself or ashamed. You see, I've learned how to be more assertive here in Israel and today I made use of that education. I've explained in earlier entries that waiting in lines follows the, "survival of the fittest" rule here in Israel. I am not one to try and push past another, but most assuredly I will not be pushed upon either.I don't know into which category today's grocery store experience fits.
It was actually a quiet evening and few shoppers filled my local Mega grocery store. I grabbed a basket, foregoing the cart to make sure I get just the few things that I need. As usual, it was a mistake. My basket became very heavy with a 2 litter bottle of orange juice and some other heavy items. I came to the check-out line for 20 items or less. Even though the majority of people here see that sign as a suggestion rather than a rule, I was pretty sure I was in no danger of violating the law of the line.
There was one man in font of me, but the last of his items were being sca
Here I sit in the Aroma Coffee shop at Hadassah Ein Karem Hospital of Jerusalem blogging away. I thought I would share with you about the modern convenience I enjoy in almost every hospital, shopping mall, coffee shop and airport in Israel - free WiFi. I forget that it isn't standard in other countries, especially in the US, until I return to the frustration of being asked for eight dollars in the airport for an hour on the net. I walk to the Starbucks in JFK to find only the same. I have to pay five dollars for a coffee and another eight just to check a few emails and update my social networking sites to let everyone know my flight has safely landed. For that price I usually forgo the luxury that has become such a given to me in Israel.
Israel has hundreds of "hotspots" or Wi-Fi wireless Internet network connections which allow you to surf the net through your own computer or WiFi mobile phone. If you are planning a trip to Israel and wondering whether or not to take your computers and WiFi phones, the answer is clear. You will most likely find them far more useful here in Israel than you would in, say NYC or most urban centers in the US where you have to pay in each location where you want to hoop-up to t
Before leaving the U.S. to move with my Israeli husband to Israel in April of this year, my mom asked, with a twinkle in her eye, if I were going to take my riding boots. I heard there were some places to ride in Israel and wondered if one day I might be able to saddle-up again. Since the age of about ten I have loved horses. When I owned my first horse at 13, I spent all my spare time riding, grooming and just being near my furry friend with whom I would regularly share my carrots and an earful of secrets.
I never grew out of the "horse phase". In fact I took two years off from my University studies to compete full-time in the sport of Eventing, which includes Dressage, Cross-Country and Show Jumping. But in 2002 I graduated from University and began working professionally in the D.C. office of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ). Riding and horses were put away as real-life issues came into focus and left little time and money for hobbies. Soon I found myself volunteering in Israel where I met, fell in love with and married my best friend - and in case you were wondering, he doesn't have four legs this time.
I've never been sorry with my dec
I should probably say especially in Israel! After two years of jumping back and forth from the US to Israel, my husband and I have finally decided to settle down in Israel and set up house. I've spent the last two weeks shopping for appliances, furniture, paint, shower curtains... if you need it for your house I probably recently purchased it. I may have to start my own "Do it yourself in Israel" blog. Well, maybe just surviving the process doesn't make me an expert, but it sure has been a lot of fun!
On my first tour to Israel I really thought that outdoor markets, like the "shuk", were the only places to buy things. I never saw a mall or department store. In fact, my first experience shopping for groceries at Shuk Machane Yehuda in Jerusalem was so overwhelming that I came away with only two bananas and a mango. My refrigerator was empty! Thank God I found a real grocery store within a few days or I think I would have met an untimely end. I am not one to fight for a good deal. The whole process makes me feel really stressful.
I am the typical Western shopper that owners love to see walk in their stores
There is much being said about Jerusalem in the news these days. It is Israel's capitol city, though most of the world does not recognize it as so. I lived in the city for a few years and though I now live in Ra'anana (a city north of Tel Aviv), I still make it to Jerusalem about once a week. It is a weighty city with a beautiful yet violent history. I like to walk the ancient streets and try to imagine the many events that occurred there. It takes a bit of imagination because the reality today is quite different.
In Jerusalem there is tension between the vast varieties of people, yet it is a product of the openness of the city. Only under Jewish control of Jerusalem has there been religious freedom for all people. And it comes at great risk and a high price as Jerusalem has been one of the hot spots for terrorism. There is no other place in the world where I can walk the streets and find myself brushing shoulders with not only multiple sects of Judaism, but also the Eastern Orthodox Christians, Catholics, Muslims, Armenians, even the Mormons have their spot here. The list could go on and on. Sometimes I feel like I am walking around the ancient version of Manhattan! Walking through the old stone streets of Jerusalem are monks, Imams, and my personal
Living life in the Holy Land