September 23, 2011

Walk on...

This evening I met Jen and her dog, Eden, for a walk in the park. This week has been a lonely one, and it's been difficult. But, tonight spending time with Jen reminded me what I love about being here. Jen (another DP co-worker) moved to Israel from Boston a couple of years ago (how long ago was it, Jen?) and has been a real blessing these last few weeks. She understands what it's like to prefer skipping meals over the balagan (vocab lesson!) of finding food in a foreign language. She laughs with me about the strange taxi drivers I've encountered, the abundance of gross bugs, and the lack of customer service. She patiently listens to me kvetch about the growing pains that come with moving to a foreign country and leaving friends and family behind. Jen has lived through the "oh shit, what have I done?" days, and come through them on the other side with a stronger love for Israel than she arrived with, and reassures me that I will too.

Praise Adonai, Jen also happens to live walking distance from me. So, this evening after (she got out of) work we walked along a little nearby river lined with walking/biking/running paths, basketball courts, a dog park, and even an outdoor climbing wall (which I made her promise we could go patronize soon).

Something that I really love about the culture here is how late things come alive. I'm not really a morning person, and I have the (terrible) tendency to be a little tardy to everything- despite my best efforts otherwise. In America, those things are problems. In Israel? Not really. Israelis tend to be tardier than I am for events, which means even when my internal American clock makes me rush out the door in a panic, I usually get there before anyone else. Evening plans here tend to start a little later than I am used to (meeting at a bar 'early' to avoid crowds means meeting around 10pm), and tonight when we got to the park at 7:45pm, people were just starting to venture outside to enjoy the cool of the evening. There were tons of people playing basketball on the courts, out running and biking, and we even saw an (always-funny) Segway tour.  At 9:45pm when we were making our way back towards home on the esplanade we saw a wedding ceremony beginning. Next to the outdoor gym equipment and climbing wall. Incredible.

The lesson here is that even on lonely, homesick days like today (of which I'm sure there will be a few more), I'm still constantly finding things about being here that suit me just fine. And, like Boston and Erie, I'm finding that what will really make Tel Aviv feel like home is the family of friends I find here.
So, tomorrow I will walk on...cause when you get right down to it,

I love Israel

1 comment:

Jenny said...

aw! Jenna!!! SO MUCH FUN! Prepare for THE ROCK. CLIMBING. WALL!

:) see you tonight!!