I am so blessed to be putting these words into a blog post...well, what can I say, quite a bit has changed since I last wrote something on this dear blog...
- On August 11th 2014, I at 18 years old, flew nine hours away and moved to a foreign country. I am now no longer South African Cassi-Lee Gewer, but instead Israeli Cassi (Cussi- for those who would like to pronounce my name Israeli-style) -Lee Gewer. In other words - I MADE ALIYAH, AND MOVED TO ISRAEL.
- My next milestone decision that was made, was my choosing to become part of the world renowned Mechina (Preparatory) program at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. I.E. for the next year of my life, I have the privilege of learning Hebrew as well as preparing myself to take the Psychometric Exam which will hopefully result in my becoming a student of the Israeli campus of Hebrew U (the one I spend all my time in, i.e. the cafeterias, the million page filled library, the frozen Yoghurt kiosk, the stationary shop, the book shop, the free coffee, tea and hot chocolate stand... etc)
- I have a new (very motivating and determined) goal which is to speak for at least of half my day in Hebrew and eventually becoming fluent within one year - the goal is slowly but surely becoming successful. I now am able to speak to Israeli's without them changing to English as they hear me speak in Hebrew, as well as me being able understand what they have to say, without them having to slow down! I do owe a huge shoutout to my Ulpan (An Intense Hebrew Learning Program) teachers and the staff of the Rothberg International School. For more information be sure to email firstname.lastname@example.org and speak to Carmel Krawitz!
- I made one of the biggest changes to my wardrobe and purchased a very Kibbutz-styled pair of "Sandalim" (You guessed it, 'sandals')
- My very broad scope of global friendships has now expanded, having friends from Madrid, France, Peru, Paraguay, Korea, Belgium and many more places around the world.
- I now have a Teudat Zehut number - which is an Israeli ID number!
- I now am no longer a foreign student at Hebrew U but AN ISRAELI STUDENT (This is my dream come true, what a blessing)
- I have had a Shabbat in Bat Yam - what a beautiful Shabbat, definitely a highlight out of all the places where my Shabbatot have been spent.
- One of the more frightening changes in my life what the fact that I left a country on June 30th 2014 which was in a state similar to peace and returned to that same country on August 11th 2014 while it was in war. There is nothing as special as uniting with a country during a time of destruction and loss; something that Israel can offer to an individual is a feeling of national, religious and ideological pride. One more shout out to Hebrew University for ensuring that the safely for all its students came first.
- I experienced my first 'Tzeva Adom" (Code Red) which is a Bomb Siren...while I was in the shower. What can I say - that sure is one way to meet one's roommates and immediately bond with them while huddled into the bomb shelter (which just happens to be my bedroom). Thankfully all was fine, handled incredibly well by the Student Authority at the K'far Ha'Studentim, and the bomb was intercepted over Jerusalem.
- On a lighter note, one other thing that has changed is my apartment, as well as my roommates! Still absolutely living and loving the life!
- Well, one thing that has not changed, is my infatuation with this country, this city, this university, the culture, the atmosphere, the people and of course the presence that fills the air here.
Last 'Selfie' as a South African
First 'Selfie' as an Israeli
IT HAPPENED. I DID IT! BLESSED. BLESSED. BLESSED.
Nothing like having family to welcome you home!
Nothing like Israeli Coca-Cola!
Moving Day. Before:
The sweetest home there is!
Israel Is Beautiful
I sit and type this from Mount Scopus, one of the hills of Jerusalem, in the country of miracles and the place of outstanding achievements. THANK YOU TO ALL OF YOU WHO FOLLOWED CHAPTER ONE OF MY JOURNEY LAST SEMESTER, I NOW INVITE YOU TO JOIN ME IN CHAPTER TWO! Together let us see the Art of Jerusalem, however, this time through the eyes of an Israeli!