I have so much to talk about, that I don't know where I should start. Well first off I arrived at my parents house in Minnesoda last night. It is very beautiful. It reminds me something of our old home in LA, but of course it is differnt. It is so big and open.

Now I woke up early and found galgalatz radio after some bad tries. I finall found it. This is the radio that i listen to everyday in Israel. They play a mix of Israeli and Engliah music. But most important they play the news on the hour. So for the first time in over ten days I got to hear the news!! I am happy. If you are interested the link I found is: http://www.surfmusic.de/radio-station/galgalatz-91-8fm,6566.html It sounds a bit like it is coming from underwater, but it is great.

So with great music playing I write.

I will talk about being at grandpa's first. It was such a wonderful visit. And in all honesty I feel my last. He has changed a lot. And stopped hiding his oldness. But what the hell he is 86 and a half. He is old and tired. I did have a great visit. It was very relaxed. Mostly just time around the table listen to stories. I didn't call any family or friends till about 5 days in, because I didn't want my schedule to fill up with that, and not be with grandpa. As grandpa is the reason I came.

But I honestly got to see everyone. I saw a few family members and a few friends and all the visits were very nice. And two days ago I boarded a train for the next leg of my tour.

It was really hard to leave grandpa. I cried so hard and he was the most candid I have heard him be. "Well till we meet again" he said. "I don't know where that will be."

He kept stressing that I came out of my way, and I keep stressing that I wouldn't have come to the country and not seen him.

Now it is time to talk about Israel.

How queer that I come to the US and all this balagan (mess) starts. I have had to defend Israel in a way that I never had before. And also defend myself and my choices. And now I know people who are in this. And people who are going to be called from the reserves to serve.

Interestingly, I had bought a book the first time I was in Israel about a young woman who goes to Israel in 1947 as a student, not knowing of course that the War of Independence is going to break out. She joins the ubderground army and is the heart of the firghting. I never read the book when i got it. I left this book at the farm and found it in the closet. I devoured it is a day and a half. It is told in letters that she wrote almost on a daily basis to her family. Almost forty years later they were found and her kids urged her to get them published.

Letters From Jerusalem 1947-1948 by Zippoah Porath

They are funny and sad. Some of the things she write are still the same today. And this totally ties into me and my situation because like me she is from the US and gives up a lot to stay and fight.

Here is an excerpt:

I look at it this way. I am not a better or worse person, a braver or weaker person than anyone else. As long as they can take it (terror attaks), I should beable to and perhaps, then some. I like living in Palestine. I love Jerusalem. It is my home for now. I don't see why a person should pick up and leave his home because a dangerous madman has gone berserk next door. There is no running away. A couple of miles isn't going to make a differnce. You'd have to run thousands of miles and keep running the rest of your life.

That is really the way I feel. And on top of it, when I signed up for the army I knew I could be in a war. When I moved there I knew bad things could happen. And to leave is not an option for almost every Israeli. There is no where they can go. I have a special pass that does mean i can go. But maybe that makes me want to be in Israel stronger. I CHOOSE to stay.