Lots of things have happened in the days since my last post. We did our typical Saturday at the beach, started the work week, had a meeting with a Palestinian man who used to be violent and is now working for a peace organization, and then this evening around 7:00 the red alarm went off throughout Tel Aviv and a rocket from Gaza was intercepted by The Iron Dome.
...Let's just let that sink in.
The majority of Cincinnati Onward Israel was home when the alarm went off and after a few moments of "Is this really happening?" we all hurried into the stairwell. Everyone was pretty calm for the situation we were in. After we heard the news that it was safe and the rocket had been intercepted, we all went back to our floor and mingled for a few minutes about what that meant. Then we all went to call our family to tell them we were safe.
Lior texted us immediately to make sure everyone was safe, which we all were.
Although it was obviously scary to actually experience the alarm, I still felt safe. After the alarm ended and we all went back to our rooms I was still very calm. I think I am starting to think like an Israeli.
We were instructed to stay at our dorm tonight since we have bomb shelters on every floor and that way our trip leaders can know where we all are more easily.
But tomorrow everything will continue on normally for the most part. Shops will be open, we will all go to work, the Shuk will keep being crazy, and Israel will survive. This is a normal thing here. Things have been escalating so quickly here, and for us, as Americans, we aren't really used to it. We have been concerned while Israelis don't even think twice.
It is sad to think that for Israelis AND Palestinians this is normal. Being here to experience this firsthand is an experience I will never forget.
I can only hope that all of this will be over soon.