I hope you never fall in love with a substance that only kills you in return.

His hands shake, his memory dull,
He reaches for the bottle hidden beneath the bed.
She left her children crying in the corner,
Drawn away by a mirror lined with happiness,
The needle marks on his arm,
A treasure map of lost funds.
You see the signs, and raise your brow,
And turn to me and say,
“Why do they do it? Day, after day,
What does it solve? One fix of feeling better,
Followed by a lifetime of misery?”
I wish then I’d had the courage,
To look you in the eye and admit
I’m addicted too
Just that my drug is you.

I guess at this point we can safely say that I have once again proved that regular blogging is not for me. Looking back on these days in the future I might regret not having kept a more comprehensive recollection of events, however, considering that the reason for my lack of posts has been that I have been having too much fun, future-me really shouldn’t complain.
The end of the Ulpan is in sight now, and I don’t know whether to be happy or sad. On one hand, I do enjoy the thought of once more having my own room, of being able to find some peace and quiet (especially when I have a migraine) and of living with my dog again. On the other hand, the thought of losing the proximity to some of these people I now call friends that I have enjoyed for the past few months will be hard.

Last time I posted here, was at the end of February…so I’m going to try and summarize the past few months, for those of you interested.

March:
In March I met my brother and sister for the first time. Not necessarily Ulpan related, but definitely one of the best and most memorable moments of my life.
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I also donated blood for the first time (I have never previously been allowed to due to regular stays abroad).

We had our second Tiul, to the Negev (desert).
We went to the Machtesh (a crater), Masada, the Dead Sea, Ein Gedi, and a Bedouin Camp. It was an overnight Tiul, which was fun. We slept at the Bedouin Camp which was interesting. However, due to my fear of heights I didn’t enjoy most of the Tiul as a lot of it involved climbing/driving down winding roads.

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April:

The funny thing about the Ulpan is that no two days are the same, and yet there is nothing I can really talk about in these posts, because to anyone not experiencing it, it may seem monotonous.

We had another Tiul in April, this time to the Ghetto Warrior Museum and Rosh Ha Nikra – caves at the border to Lebanon.

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The weather was pretty bad, it rained all day.
The annoying thing about Tiulim, is that when the other classes go, we have to work an 8 hour day.
We also had a day out on which we went to Mini-Israel.
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Of course, we also spend a lot of time just having fun.
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May:
We had a Tiul to Jerusalem. It was not the most exciting. Herzls grave, munition hill, and the western wall.
Some people have begun to leave the Ulpan. Last night we had a farewell bonfire at the beach. Also the swimming pool has now opened. It’s pretty irrelevant because I generally spend my time watching movies with my friends. We’re cool that way.

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SMH

Time Flies When You’re Having Fun

Hello there dear world,
It’s been a while since I last wrote. A lot has happened.
First of all, I moved from the working in the cowshed to the kitchen. My allergies were so bad that I just couldn’t handle it any longer.
The kitchen has one of the worst reputations on the kibbutz, coming second only to Plasson, the plastic factory. After being told that I was to work there, I was dreading the days to come, however I’ve found that it’s by far not as bad as I expected. In fact, I quite like the work. On weeks where I work mornings I work in the vegetable kitchen, mainly making salads. On weeks where I work afternoons I work the dishwasher, unloading it. Not the most exciting job perhaps, but doable.

We had a Tiul (Trip) to the Ayalon factory which was a secret underground ammunition factory before/during the War of Imdependance. The founders of our Kibbutz worked there in secret. It was very interesting. We also went to Old Jaffo.
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I moved rooms, because I didn’t get on as well as I would have liked with my roommates. My new roommates are fantastic. They’re Argentinian. We  are all 3 in Class Aleph (Grade 1) and N works in the kitchen with me.

An interesting thing about the kibbutz ulpan life is the rumour mill – everyone seems to know more about what one is upto than one knows about oneself.

The moadon (clubhouse) opened. It’s fun to hang out there and watch movies, play games, or just talk.

beach1Picnic on the beach!

Purim was fun. There was a party that sort of reminds one of high school dances. In such that the cafeteria was turned into a dancefloor, the band was okay, the decoration cheesy. But it was a ton of fun.

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A Week With Cows

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Routine work – hooking the cows up to the milking machine.

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The slightly older calves – ~1week to ~3weeks are bucket fed. Once they finish their bucket, they proceed to lick and suck the milk remains off their friends ears and mouths.

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These twins were born yesterday, and neede to be bottlefed today.
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Possibly the cutest calf on Maagan Michael. I was allowed to give her a hair cut. Such a cutie.

The pros of working at the Refet are:

  • CALVES – seriously, need I say more?
  • Really nice co-workers
  • Cows ❤
  • CALVES!
    The cons of working there are:
  • I’m allergic to something there, which means my arms and legs are sore and itchy and bleeding…not much fun
  • I have to wake up at 3:15 am everyday, every second week (when I work mornings)

Week 1 :)

I’ve been at Kibbutz Ma’agan Michael for  a week now, and I absolutely love it.

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I spent last week just getting to know every one, and finding my way on the kibbutz.
The guy:girl ratio is insane here, there are 88 people in the ulpan, and only about 25 of them are girls. 🙂 Pretty perfect in my opinion. Most everyone is really nice too, so that’s fantastic.
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In addition to the Cheder Ochel (dining room) where we have an allowance of 600NIS a month, we have a Moadon Chaverim which is a coffee shop, where we have an allowance of 250NIS for 5 months to buy drinks – if that runs out, we can always add more, but we shouldn’t need to, everything is super cheap for Ulpanists.
On Sunday we had the so-called ‘opening ceremony’. This consisted of a tour of the kibbutz, a lecture, and being sorted into our groups of study and work. I’m in Kita Aleph (Grade One) and I work at the Refet (Cow Shed)…
Our teacher, Zippy, seems wonderful. I feel like I’m back in primary school -learning the alphabet and receiving smiley faces on my work if I do everything right…great fun.
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Work is nice. Wading through cowdung is HARD work and my gumboots keep getting stuck, but it’s fun herding the cows to get milked. They are just really sweet. The one thing I’m not pleased about is that we don’t get work overalls, so our clothes get caked in dung, but that’s life I guess. 🙂

We alternate weekly between working mornings and studying evenings and working evenings and studying mornings. This week I’m lucky, I start class at 7:15 and start work at 16:00. Next week I’ll be starting work at 4:00 and starting school at 13:00. I’ll let you know how that goes…

There’s a beautiful beach here, a five minute walk from my room…it’s still too cold to go swimming (though some people do anyway, mostly just the surfers though), but we go for walks, play football, have fun…the works. My dogs came for a visit on Shabbat, and we played on the beach. 20130202_165915-1


We also have a pub on the kibbutz (right in front of the ulpan housing, next to our classroom) that throws parties on Friday nights – the music isn’t great, but we have fun nevertheless. It also has stuff like SushiNight on Wednesday, and PizzaNight on Thursday. During the week the Venezuelan guys throw parties in their room, these aren’t on as large a scale as the pub nights, but they are tons of fun.
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~SMH

First Impressions

I arrived at Kibbutz Ma’agan Michael yesterday around noon.
Saying the kibbutz is beautiful doesn’t begin to describe it – the plants that line the paths come in fifty shades of green, the flowers are painted with all the colours of the wind…and the staff are really friendly and helpful.

Our rooms are cute. We have a tiny kitchenette, a bathroom, a main room with three beds (three to a room!) a closet that has not nearly enough space for the clothes of three girls, a little desk, a kettle, and a refrigerator. And we each have a little shelf over our beds.
My roomates aren’t here, they just deposited their stuff and then went back to their families, so I haven’t met them yet. Fingers crossed that they’re nice. My ‘neighbours’, aka the girls in the room two doors down, are really nice though. T is from South Africa, and O is from Australia. 🙂

One of the firt things we had to do was use a hotpress to stamp our clothes with our number…which was rather tedious.  But I guess it’s worth it, because it means my laundry gets washed and returned to me.

Every Ulpanist gets an allowance of 20NIS a day to use in the Chader Ochel (Dining Room)…and the food is fantastic.

Funny thing happened yesterday, when I was walking to dinner with T and O. We passed this group of guys, kibbutzniks, and they called out to us as we were passing.
“Hey, do you girls want to be dealers?”
And so we were like, “What?” because we thought we’d misheard.
And they repeated it.
So we were like wtf.
And they went, “You know, dealing cards…we’re playing poker..”
And then we all laughed.

~SendMeHappiness

A Letter To The Past

I’m writing this because we no longer talk. I’m writing this on the off chance that you might read it and know I’m sorry. I’m writing this for closure.
They say it’s normal to be hurt by your first love.
Sometimes, I wish I had been…I think, at the end of the day, unless you’re really a horrible person, it’s easier to get over being hurt than forgiving yourself for being the one to hurt someone.
You were perfect in so many ways, which was the main trouble; I never did know how to deal with that. I could put that down to being young and stupid, but it’s probably more accurate to put it down to being me.
I did love you though, I hope you know that. I just had a funny way of showing it sometimes. The thing with first love is you never really know whether you’re kissing a frog or a prince, or at least I didn’t. But I’ve kissed enough frogs since then to be able to tell the difference now.
Although you always treated me like one, I’ll never be a princess – and that’s okay; I’ve never particularly wanted to be one.
I just hope you find her soon, your princess. You deserve to be happy.

~SendMeHappiness