Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The Circle Game

It seems like just yesterday I was writing my post, "One Day More." Now, we are packing our bags and preparing to fly back to Cincinnati tomorrow night. It has been a crazy summer, and one I will definitely never forget.

When we left Cincinnati 59 days ago, we never could have imagined what we would experience while living in Tel Aviv.

There are a lot of things I will miss about Israel; the great hummus and falafel, buying cheap produce at the Shuk, working at Batsheva Dance Company, etc.

I think what I will miss the most is riding the bus everyday. (Although there are so many times I have hated it.) My daily bus rides have given me the opportunity to observe how people interact with each other. Yup, I'm that creepy girl watching people from behind my sunglasses.

One day I saw a woman taking a selfie with her toddler and it was so sweet to see them laugh at the picture together. Another time, toward the beginning of the trip, I was getting off the bus and a woman asked me a question in Hebrew. I quickly realized she was asking me to help her lift her stroller off of the bus. I immediately bent down and grabbed the bottom of the stroller to help. She thanked me and we went on our separate ways. I have seen so many do the same, and similar things for others since then.

Something that always makes me smile is seeing how tough the elderly people on the bus are. I have seen so many of them running to the bus stop, and fighting to stay standing when the bus driver starts to go before they have found a seat. It also makes me happy to see that when an elderly person gets on the bus, young people will move for them, so they are able to have a seat. They do this without even exchanging a single word.

In Israel, soldiers most often walk around in uniform, with their big guns strapped on their backs. This is normal here, and there are soldiers everywhere, even during peace time. It is incredible how much more meaning those seeing those soldiers has now. These are young men and women, most of whom are younger than I am, fighting for Israel. Being here, seeing that, and knowing what they are training for and where they have been carries so much emotion.

Although I will miss Israel, I am very excited to get home to Cincinnati to see my friends and family. I have learned so much this summer and I have so much to share with everyone at home. I am also ready to eat Skyline and Graeter's!!

In honor of our last night in Broshim, here is a shout out for each of the 25 members of Cincinnati Onward Israel.

-Emily, Ari, Noah, DRoth: We miss you!
-Sylvie: Shout out to your scrunchies and the fact that you understand performance art.
-Jeremy: Thanks for spending your last day with me and sharing the many thoughts that run through your head all day. "I eat fries every day of the week." "Prove it."
-Frankel: I admire your passion for eating, especially shawarma. I really don't know how you do it.
-Sarah: I admire your passion for going out. I don't understand how you always have energy to do it.
-Michelle: Shout out to you for teaching me how to make hard boiled eggs.
-Tessa: You are a bed bug. Also, I hope you learn how to cook sometime soon.
-Micah: Shout out to the first day on the beach when you got SO sun burnt.
-Max: You are so witty and fantastic. I love it.
-Nikki Cohen: Shout out to your love of tuna salads. "Yo, yo, yo, it's Nikki C."
-Jordan: Shout out to your kind, kind heart.
-Jake: Is it nice sleeping on rocks?
-Tini: Thanks for telling me you think I am cool. Also, cheese.
-Nikki Fisher: Thanks for understanding me, and agreeing with me about everything.
-Liora: Shout out to the real Mom (even though you deny it).
-David: Shout out to your hair. "Ma?"
-Chad: Thanks for always answering all of my questions.
-Eli: Shout out to the tent you put on your bed. Also, tiny tree.
-Justin: Thanks for being Dad.
-AJ: You're more than just the juice. #woah
-Shira: Shout out to the time you fought the bus driver so you didn't have to pay for the bus transfer.

You have all made my summer amazing. #cincyisrael



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