Today was a great day. I spoke to my mom and little sister Hayley on the phone, completed all of my homework early, went to the gym, and most importantly, bought kitchen supplies with my suite-mate. These all might sound like very small tasks, but to me they feel like big accomplishments; completing all of these things in one day is helping me feel settled in and, well...like a real person.
Starting from the beginning, today I woke up early to stop by the international office and ask some questions to the staff there. I had to talk about some class stuff, the September study tour, and general safety things. The news recently may be a bit unnerving, but after talking to someone in the office, I was reassured that the school has our safety as a top priority and that everyone knows the procedures to follow should anything happen. So, in case anyone out there is a bit worried about my safety, don't waste the energy...they pay people here to worry and plan and coordinate everything.
Anyway, I went to class afterward and had a really relaxing day. Of course, that term is relative because Ulpan is very intense, but it was not a grammar-heavy day, so I had a lot of fun. Also, we all wrote little notes about ourselves/any topic we wanted at the beginning of the program, and the teacher has been reading them to the class periodically, and then the person who wrote the note needs to answer questions from everyone in class about his or her story. Today was my day. Surprisingly, I was able to understand most things and form coherent answers. I definitely could not say everything without some help, but everyone was really nice and the whole thing went well. We also went to a lecture about media and terror and the difference between central cities and areas on the periphery, and I was able to understand a fair amount of the talk. I know tomorrow will be a more intense day, but I am still relishing in the chilled-out time today.
After class, I met up with my suite-mate, Becky, and we took the bus to the Haifa mall and bought:
-1 cutting board
-2 dish rags
-2 bath mats
-Lots of yummy food from the SuperSol (grocery chain)
It looks like a short list, but having these basic supplies makes me feel much more at home here in my dorm. My room may still be a little bare, but now I can make myself food. Oh, and we figured out the laundry machines. So, basically, we are like native Israelis now. Just kidding...but we wish :)
Now I should go and prepare for my presentation tomorrow in class. I have to speak for about 10 minutes on any topic I choose, and I picked to write about my first kiss. It's a great story involving a bus stopping short, braces, and a fair amount of blood, and I was amazed that I know enough Hebrew to translate the whole thing. Hopefully it will be funny for the class!
Li'hit'ra'ot for now!