September 19, 2011

Let the hours roll by...

Lately I've had quite a bit of free time. Well, that's really ALL I've had. It gets a little lonely, I'll admit, but it's nothing I can't handle. I enjoy having personal time, honestly, and I'm learning a lot about myself. 
I've been enjoying spending time with Libbie's mom, Rose. She and her husband Steve are in town for an extended time after Libbie's wedding, and like me she is learning how to navigate Tel Aviv. 

We meet for lunch from time to time, share stories about life and love, talk politics and business, and just enjoy each other's company. Rose, I couldn't possibly express how comforting and encouraging you have been. And, you're a riot. Let's go back to that Moroccan place with the cute waiter soon. This weekend I spent an afternoon at the beach with Rose, Steve, Libbie and Tzahi (pics above), and afterwards the ladies walked around and had dinner at a place called Mitcham Hatahana- Libbie described it as the 'Faneuil Hall of Tel Aviv' if that means anything to you, dear reader. It's an old train station south of the city center, that has been transformed to a little village of shops and restaurants and bars. There are old train cars/museums that you can walk through and see what the area used to look like.

Also on display- old Syrian tanks captured by the IDF after a war (I regrettably don't know which war, specifically, but my guess is the Six Day War in the 70's...)

There was also some strange modern art display with cars that had been...decorated? I can't think of a better word to describe it. Libbie read the signs in Hebrew and still couldn't really explain the point of the display, but it looked pretty cool, so I documented it for your viewing pleasure-

In other news, last week I attended a lecture for students in the overseas program on campus about the upcoming Palestinian bid for statehood at the UN. The lecture was given by a good friend and former co-worker of mine, Ari Applbaum, through the Hillel Student Group on campus and, of course- The David Project. Ari still works for the DP, and it is where I met him and his wife, Na'ama.  I'll admit, it was strange attending a David Project event as a student rather than a staff member- especially when I took out a pen to take notes and it had a DP logo on it. Just so you have a visual, here is a picture of Ari, Na'ama and I from Libbie's wedding:

The room was packed with graduate and undergraduate students, and Ari's presentation was engaging, thorough, and we all learned a lot. It made me really excited for classes to begin- this is why I'm here, to learn. It's fun having free time to explore, nap, go to the beach, and hang out with friends- but I'm definitely ready for this strange, extended vacation to end (I'll likely eat these words come finals week...).

I've filled some of my free time exploring Tel Aviv University's campus- it is expansive (compared to my little alma mater, Gordon College, that is) and quite beautiful.  Palm trees, modern art, ancient artifacts on display, museums, lots of open space, plenty of cafes (even a McDonalds- uh oh)- here's a look:

I won't have trouble spending lots of quality time studying here. I can even get to Mexico if I head north past the main gate!

That's about all I've got for now. Tonight Libbie and I are getting our Zumba on, which is bound to be as outrageous as last week. We're gonna master these dances and then school all y'all in how its done. If you're lucky maybe I'll video tape our big dance club debut when it happens.

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