Directions in a Foreign Language

Shalom Havre!

Finally I am sending some pictures of my new city, or I guess you would say town, no, maybe technically it is more of a village… I am now out of Ulpan (language school) on an official basis but decided to continue with it two times a week for two hours a day just to keep tuned. I am now trying to figure out what I am going to do with my life! Not an easy task. Sometimes I want to build a business again and sometimes I just want to get a job. Maybe I will do both. I have done a couple of little projects, a Tansue style vanity and a Shulchan (Torah table) for my Temple.Yesterday I had a job interview at a little wood shop about an hour from here. The guy there gave me instructions but the combination of his broken English and my broken Hebrew sent me to a little town in the Shtakeem (Territories) called Ariel. I started to get a little worried when I saw Bedouins with kafias walking along the road. I pulled over at the entrance to Ariel and consulted the map again. While I was sitting there an Arab guy came up to the car and asked me if I could take some papers to the hospital in Ariel. He was very insistent and took the papers out of the manila envelope to show me that they really were just papers. I had to tell him no about 10 times before he got the hint. Ariel is only about 15 or 20 minutes into the Shtakeem but it is a totally different world. It is a very large community on top of a hill as most of the Jewish settlements are. There is not much else around there accept a few scattered little Arab villages. When I went through the checkpoint I should have started to wonder but I thought maybe this wood shop is in the Shtakeem as many industrial sites are there on Moshaveem or Kibbutzim. It wasn't far out of the way but quite interesting. If you keep going on that road you end up going by Ramallah, (you know, the city where roving bands of thugs and terrorists shoot guns into the air on strange occasions like when The World Trade Center was destroyed). Oyyy!

Also, I have begun to make art again. The government gives artists an incentive to create as an Oley Hadash (new immigrant) and all I need to do is to show a record of having made art professionally elsewhere and to show a piece that I made here. So I made a drawing of the view from my studio window and it was so great to do it that today I went on a little walk around town and took some pictures, (that is why I have some to email), and will start to draw from some of them. Maybe I will have a show here sometime soon! Anyways, life seems to always be ready for us and all we need to do is jump in! Having jumped off the high dive this time, I feel like I have to learn how to swim all over again! I hope that the belly flop that I did doesn’t sting too long! All kidding aside, this is a great adventure / life to be in. I wouldn’t trade for anything. The kids are doing very well. They have been on a little tiyul (trip) to the desert to see Ein Geddy, the Dead Sea (Yom Hamelech) and Mount Masada with each of their classes. This is an amazing thing that the schools do here. They take these class trips and do hikes and sleep with their friends in little cabins. I think that they do it every year. Both Zach and Josh went from different schools to the same place and saw each other randomly there. They are on the busses coming back now and I am looking forward to seeing them. Adele is doing so well here. She is building her practice at lightning speed and is working for the Army as a Physical Therapist. I am going to the Base for the first time tonight to a party with her. She tells me that these boys are so amazing. They are not only physically developed but spiritually and emotionally as well. Just what I need, a little competition! Oyy! Just kidding, Adele and I are growing in leaps and bounds everyday. The stress is not easy but it sure produces growth! We are really starting to feel settled, (starting), and hope and pray that we will thrive here. I love all of you and miss you very much.


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