Posted by: heatherlehrman | January 21, 2012

Final days and Israel and the present

I’ve been home for 2 weeks already. I can’t believe it! I am going to write about my last few days in Israel and then work my way to the present…

New Year’s Eve was really fun in Israel. Israelis don’t celebrate it as crazy as Americans do, but all of the clubs in Tel Aviv had something going on since so many Americans live there. A bunch of us from my program went to a club called Mad. We were also celebrating a friend’s birthday – let’s just say the night didn’t end so well for me but it was a blast! And well worth the nap I took on my toilet seat 🙂

The end of school was a drag. I really wanted to enjoy my last week in Israel but I had to study and write papers and get ready for finals. I had 4 finals in two days – Wednesday the 4th and Thursday the 5th. After my last final on Thursday, a friend and I got a beer on campus (yes, Tel Aviv University has beer stands on campus). It was delicious.

Friday was the last full day I had in Israel. I woke up and went with my friend Leor to drop off our Israeli cell phones at the post office. When I came back, I had to clean my room and finish packing because I had my room inspection in just a few hours. After that I went to the mall with my suitemate Sarah and I got some delicious lemonade – it was soooo fresh!  When I got back, I was doing my dishes when my friends Maddy, Morgan, Leor and Gabby came up to my room to get me to go on a picnic with them. Mind you, none of us had our phones anymore so it was luck that I was in the room when they came. (They lived in another building than me) I actually enjoyed having to find people when I wanted to talk to them on that last day. Our picnic was lovely. We had baguettes, cheese, turkey slices and some wine. What is a picnic without wine?! It was such a perfect day out- the sun was shining and the wind was blowing. I was actually cold but I refused to wear any kind of jacket since I knew I would have to in about 24 hours.

Later that night, my friend Serena was having a Shabbat potluck.  It was delicious (as always). My friend Michelle and I were the only ones leaving that night so everyone who was there went around and gave us compliments or told us something nice about us. It was awesome. After that, I headed back to my apartment and hung out with my friend Morgan and then took a nap from about 11PM-2AM. When I woke up, I packed LAST minute stuff and headed out at around 2:15 AM. I had a cab coming for me at 2:30 so I could get to the airport at 3AM and have plenty of time before my flight at 6:15 AM.  I had a really amazing last day in Israel.

My first flight got to Turkey at around 8:30 AM and I boarded the second flight around 10:45AM and took off at around 11:45AM. I took a melatonin as soon as I got on the plane and woke up a few hours later mid air. It was so weird to think that the time was changing mid air. Luckily, I slept most of the plane ride, and therefore beat most of the jet lag (I was sleeping at the same time people on the East coast were sleeping). Hours later I landed in the land of freedom, justice, and prosperity at around 4:30PM.  It felt good to be back in America. The first thing I saw off the plane was the sun setting over the horizon. It was beautiful. Obviously my family had a turkey sandwich and Cape Cod potato chips waiting for me in the car! YUM!

It is so weird to think that my study abroad experience is in the past. I can now say, “Oh yeah, I studied abroad!” I feel like my time in Israel was a week long! But as I sit looking through all of my pictures it all comes back to me.

I learned a lot of important things over the past 5 and a half months. I learned not to do anything you don’t want to do but it is ok to go out of your comfort zone. I learned that I can be independent. At times I doubted myself, but I did it. I learned that it is important to be nice to everyone and that I should always work on myself to be a better person. I learned that simplicity is key. I learned that the happiest people don’t necessarily have the best of everything but they make the most of everything. I realized that at the end of the day you have your family and that God is everywhere.

I want to thank all of the people who helped me get to Israel. I couldn’t have gone without you! Thank you to Rivky and Shmuel for teaching me and having me over for Shabbat dinners. Thank you to Noa for being a great friend and helping me along the way. Thank you to my friends in Israel for accepting me and allowing me to be your moms.  Thank you to Jon for never letting me give up and come home (and for sending me 100 texts in the morning to make sure I got out of bed). Thank you to my family as a whole for supporting my every move. Thank you to my sisters for always being there for me when I needed them and for visiting me. Thank you to my parents, for always believing in me and raising me well so I could experience the world on my own, for loving me everyday and for those expensive packages!! Thank you to my readers for reading my blog. And thank you God, for listening.

This five and a half month journey has come to an end and the next journey begins. Next travel plans: USA! For now, my wings are clipped.

Appreciate life, my friends, because you only live once.

The picture above is the Israeli flag,  of my plane, seeing my dad in the airport and my family the night I got home!


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