Back in Business!

Hey Everyone!

I’m back in Israel…so I’ll start continuing my posts. I’ve been back for about a month, but have been really busy. I’ll let you all know the whole inside story shortly. Just wanted to say that “I’m back in business!” So, plenty of new blogs will be coming out soon, maybe by the time school starts for me – August 13th. Basically, I’m doing hard core studying for math, and I’m trying to fix some new issues with the high school that have recently come up  (I know! Already, and I haven’t even stepped a foot into high school for one day!). I have my whole summer to talk to you all about and then definitely my thoughts…and you know, the usual, whatever pops up – which is always common around here. Just thought I should give you a little heads up, and a bit of excitement from the lazy summer days. Hope to write soon!


Jerusalem Tonight!

Today my family and I are going to Jerusalem for a night or two and will return the fallowing day. I will be able to go to a boy’s bar-mitzvah who use to go to our school on the 29th.  When I received the invitation, my whole family and I saw how fancy it was. It looked as if it were for a wedding. I might be getting ready with my Angolan friend because last time it did not end up working out.  Hopefully that will be fun. While we are in Jerusalem we will go visit the Old City and get the best pizza in Israel for dinner. Then the next day we will be going into Bethlehem and tour a few times. I’ve been there a couple times now, ever since the U.S. Embassy has allowed us to enter (because it wasn’t safe enough the years before). As we enter the Palestinian territory there is a huge cement wall that divides it from Israel. On the Palestinian side there is graffiti all over the wall, with intricate drawings with meanings. I do not have internet at the place we are staying in Jerusalem, so when I get back I will upload and explain all the pictures that I took in Jerusalem as well as Bethlehem.

Youth Home — Be Thankful for What You Have

Today I went on a school trip (with the whole 8th grade) to a Youth Home in Yemene Orde (which is up near the Carmel Mountains). Last year a fire struck close to the Carmel Mountains burning the boys houses (but not the school) at the Youth Home. This orphanage/boarding school is only a High School for 9th-12th graders they were pretty upset that the school was not touched but the boy’s homes were burnt down. Luckily the Israeli government helped pay to put in temporary houses for these teenagers.

Basically, as we listened to the lecture by the main owners at Yemene Orde Youth Home, they told us their goal is to bring up the teenagers as normally as the possible can. Not all of them are orphans, some just live in really bad circumstances and live there. So they have a separate place for houses and a place for school. They usually have 500 kids, which is the same size as our school. Most of the teenagers there are Ethiopian immigrants and there are a few Russian teenagers as well.  While we got to talk to a few of the 12th graders (Ethiopians and Russians), we also watched a video (that occurred 5 years ago) when the 12th graders went back to Ethiopia — since the Ethiopians are the majority and got to go back to their countries. We got to see how the felt about going back to see their families; how they didn’t really fit in, but the peers that go to the Youth Home with them were more of their family then their actual family; how the Russians at first envied the Ethiopians to go back to their home country, while they could not; and how later the Russian seniors after the whole trip was happy for the Ethiopians.

After this trip, all I can say is that these teenagers went through a lot in their lives.  We are lucky to have everything that we have now, which is the whole meaning of Thanksgiving — to be thankful for everything we have. Also, the teachers and principle told us that we were not to allowed to use any electronic devises including cameras at the Youth Home, because they did not want us to flash around gadgets that these poor teenagers do not have. So, I was not able to take any pictures except for one’s on the bus on the way there and back.



Team Decisions — Hockey Marathon

I know it has been a few days since my last post, but I have been pretty busy. Everyday during lunch and after school on Monday’s I have to stay for Hockey Marathon Captain meetings.  In our school, we have a tradition that we do every year during December. This is called the Hockey Marathon. Basically, we split up the Middle School into two teams — red and blue — and play indoor hockey all day long. For the Middle School this is a really big deal, and for the High School it’s an even bigger deal. Captains (like myself) work really hard with the opening ceremony, the design of the t-shirts that all the players will be wearing,  the theme of the Hockey Marathon, and the closing ceremony.

This year our theme is The Battle of the Realms — with Blue Fantasy and Red Reality. Yes, of course the captains get to choose what team they are on. . . so as anyone can tell I chose to be on Blue Fantasy. Even though I submitted a design for the t-shirts, the captains decided on another design by a 7th grader boy. I was disappointed, but I congratulate the 7th grader winner and know that I will always have next year to try again when I go to high school.

So, just like each year, we have to come up with a skit for the opening and closing ceremony. I am the classic Bugs Bunny (which I am still trying to find a costume). The blue and red teams (for hockey) are separated into sub-groups. Also, girls are separate from boys for the actual hockey. We got to decide what the names of all the sub-groups were. So, here are a few examples:

Unicorns vs. Stallions

Vampires vs. Bats

Shaquillie O’Neal (a basketball player) vs. Big Foot

As for the skit, we are starting with the recording so that during the actual opening/closing ceremony we will only mouth the words. (also because of my gymnastics, I will be doing some flips). Hockey Marathon will be in three weeks (or sometime around then). I can’t wait!