Saturday, July 19, 2014


The last few days have been emotional since we had four people leave our trip to go home. We will miss their smiling faces, but we all know we will see each other very soon!



This week I did not have to work on Wednesday or Thursday, so I got to hang out and adventure! On Wednesday Emily and I met Noah and Justin at the Shuk to get some gifts and things. I don't know what was in the water that day, or if Emily and I just looked really really good, but every guy we talked to told us we were beautiful girls. My theory is that we hadn't been out in the heat long enough to be sweaty messes yet. Thirty minutes later it would have been a whole new look! That evening a lot of people went to a laughter yoga session.

Our madrich, Lior, is a laughter yoga instructor. I have not participated in a session yet but I hope to go to the next one! Basically laughter yoga is meant to make you feel good. (Duh.) You know how when you laugh it relaxes you and puts you in a good mood? Well in laughter yoga you laugh so much that you feel good the whole rest of the day. Since the last few weeks have been a little more stressful than others, Lior graciously offered to hold a session for all Onward Israel participants in Tel Aviv. (Because he is that awesome.)

While others were at laughter yoga, AJ and I made dinner. He made some really good chicken and I made couscous. So he cooked and I added hot water. It was nice to have more of a real meal, and those of us who were home hung out together.

On Thursday Emily, Ari, Nikki, and I went to Ramat Aviv Mall. We had heard that it was "the nice mall" in Tel Aviv, and they were not lying. According to Wikipedia it is Israel's most expensive mall and the 35th most expensive mall in the world. So although we enjoyed looking around and browsing the high end stores, our only purchase was at Aroma. For those of you who don't know, Aroma is a coffee shop/cafe that is as common as Starbucks in America. I would say you could compare it to a Panera. What they are most famous for (for Americans at least) is their ice coffee.

In Israel ice coffee means a blended coffee drink like a frappuccino. If you want what we would call iced coffee in America, you would call it cold coffee here.

Anyway, Emily and I both ordered the Ice Aroma Cookie Cream. It is basically heaven. We loved it so much that we took a selfie with our drinks. Emily loved it so much that after she finished hers she tried to steal mine.

Heaven in a cup

That night we had a "surprise" for Max's birthday which was on Friday. Since Max went to Tzfat for the weekend we all surprised him on the balcony and sang "Happy Birthday". Little did we know, Hamas had a surprise as well. Just as we started singing, the siren started to go off. Somehow I managed to record a small bit of this.

Once we all got down to the bomb shelter we just finished singing to him there. We all had cake and everything was good.

On Friday we all separated into smaller groups and went to different places. I ended up going to Nachlat Binyamin, an art fair downtown, with Tessa and AJ. They hold the fair every Tuesday and Friday. I bought myself a very pretty necklace. Since the buses stop at 4:00 on Fridays for Shabbat, we all got home around then.

That night we all were invited to have Shabbat dinner with Lainey Paul at her apartment. Lainey is also from Cincinnati, but made aliyah and is currently in the IDF. She made us a fantastic dinner with homemade soup and pasta with homemade sauce. She also had hummus and homemade guacamole. In the middle of dinner there was a siren and we all went to the safe areas, and a few minutes later went back and continued. For dessert we had Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream! It was a very nice time socializing and meeting some of Lainey's other friends. Thanks Lainey!

Today we all just relaxed and spent time with each other. This evening AJ invited us to go with him to Jaffa to an art gallery where his boss had some pieces on display. For the record, AJ's internship is with Israel Association of Baseball. Apparently this man has many talents other than baseball, including art and poetry. On top of that, we all agreed that he is exactly what AJ will be like in ten years. It was a very nice night, and for the first time in over a week we heard no sirens. (Knock on wood.)

Sunset on the way to Jaffa

-Shout out to Tessa for passing your sickness onto Justin and Michelle.      
-Shout out to the terrible shirt Jeremy bought at the Shuk.
-Shout out to the man at the Shuk who blessed me and the other man who offered to marry Emily and me for $500.
-Happy Birthday from all of us on Onward Israel Cincinnati to Ethan Kadish!
          Join Team Ethan to support Ethan Kadish, a 13-year-old boy from Cincinnati who faces years of                 rehabilitation after a lightning strike caused him to suffer cardiac arrest. Link:



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