That's right, little Lizzy in uniform!!!
OK I am here at home and its the night before I return for another two weeks and I can tell you I am kind of dreading it. Last week, or should I say last two weeks was the first time I had to "close Shabbat". Meaning stay all weekend. And Wow, I have so much more admiration for soliers (usually guys) who have to do this every time. It is really hard to be away from hom for such a long time!
I don't know how to describe everything that happened during the two weeks so I will try to make some highlights. But first, I will try to explain how you feel after staying for such along time. It may seem dramatic, and maybe it is, but it feels like you really loose a part of yourself. Like you have somehow morphed into a piece of all these girls, chaos, experiences. Like you are not trully you.
Its not to say it was hell or all bad. Actually some really nice things happened and I got to meet some really nice girls because of this weekend stay. I really got to know a girl named Gila, who is from Canada. She is in my platoon. She is a very special girl. She really wants to be a fighter, actually that is all she wants to do in the army. But she has family problems that are making it not possible for her to do this, and it is really stessful. She is the only girl in our company that I think could really be in combat and flourish. We went on a trip to Jerusalem at the end of the 2 weeks and she and I sat together and secretly listened to her ipod (we pretended to be sleeping). She introduced me to this new Matisyahu song called Jerusalem. It really feelsl like he wrote it when he was on the bus on the way to Jerusalem. There is this bus ride feeling to it and the words are stunning. It ties 3000 years to 60 years ago. These are the words but you really should hear it for yourself:
Matisyahu - Youth - Jerusalem
Jerusalem, if I forget you,
fire not gonna come from me tongue.
Jerusalem, if I forget you,
let my right hand forget what it’s supposed to do.
In the ancient days, we will return with no delay
Picking up the bounty and the spoils on our way
We’ve been traveling from state to state
And them don’t understand what they say
3,000 years with no place to be
And they want me to give up my milk and honey
Don’t you see, it’s not about the land or the sea
Not the country but the dwelling of his majesty
Rebuild the temple and the crown of glory
Years gone by, about sixty
Burn in the oven in this century
And the gas tried to choke, but it couldn’t choke me
I will not lie down, I will not fall asleep
They come overseas, yes they’re trying to be free
Erase the demons out of our memory
Change your name and your identity
Afraid of the truth and our dark history
Why is everybody always chasing we
Cut off the roots of your family tree
Don't you know that's not the way to be
Caught up in these ways, and the worlds gone craze
Don’t you know it’s just a phase
Case of the Simon says
If I forget the truth then my words won’t penetrate
Babylon burning in the place, can’t see through the haze
Chop down all of them dirty ways,
That’s the price that you pay for selling lies to the youth
No way, not ok, oh no way, not ok, hey
Aint no one gonna break my stride
Aint no one gonna pull me down
Oh no, I got to keep on moving
So yeah, thats the song, but you really have to hear it get the full experience.
Then I met a really nice other girl named Dinah, who kindly provided me with this picture. She is in my company but I rarely see her cuz we just are in different circles and doing things at different times. She actually had to close Shabbat for 3 weeks!!! And therefore she was with our team. She is such a cool chick. She is organizing a finishing basic training and Hebrew course party at Mike's Place in Tel Aviv soon.
She had a crazy thing happen, where another girl who is from her team had to stay also. And the girl, who sleeps right next to Dinah, desided to get drunk and smuggle her boyfriend into the building and to the room. Where they proceeded to begin to...well, you can imagine what they were doing. So Dinah went out and told the officer. And then next door to our room we had 5 officers sceaming at 2 drunk kids trying to get him to leave. After so much yelling and fighting and things that I can't believe any guy would say and live it down, the officers called in a male officer to remove him with force, because they can't touch him.
Later that week we also saw another guy being walked out with handcuffs!! But these bad seeds are not completely removed, just for a time. And then you see them back with us, or they are kept for day before they are taken to army jail.
I did guarding with my group. It was a long 5 days. Little sleep and bordom. I studied when I could, called my dad, write Nancy a long letter. But at times I couldn't do these things that help to pass the time.
My best memory from the guarding will be from this place that is a base within our base. It was 3am and I was trying not to fall asleep and suddenly I saw a soldier coming. He came and was writing something. He asked me how everything was. Checked the walkie talkie. And left. Then he called me. I could see him. "Do you want cafe? Tea?" OK thanks cafe. Ten minutes later he returned with coffee. I thanked him and he handed me a sandwich. Now realize I had been craving tuna for days. And he told me take it its hot. I thanked him and opened it and it was a grilled tuna sandwich!!! With cheese and tomato and even some fries inside. it was sooooo good. I called him on the walkie talkie and thanked him. I love Hebrew. The answer was: to your health.
The other great thing that happened is I finally go the verb structure in most of the verb categories. This is hard to explain but it is such a break through, I think my life will become a lot easier. I was literally in tears when I realized that I understood it. By learning this I can now really learn verbs and hopefully speak better and not such a broken Hebrew. I thanked my teacher and wow am very excited.
Well boys and girls I must get some zzzzzzz's and you won't hear from me for another 2 weeks. But I should have a lot of news soon as to what is next and where I go. At the end of these two weeks I am done at Mikv'ah Alon and I will find out what direction is next.
I'll see you around Novemeber 10th. Till then keep well!