Friday, March 6, 2009

Ken Ha'Mefaked!! (Sir, yes, sir!)

(Picture is from Tzvat (Safed) taken 2 years ago but nonetheless still breathtaking!)

Monday I had my first army-preparation fitness group practice and yesterday (Thursday) was the second one. They were awesome. Monday, as I was riding my bike there -- a car is not one of the amenities I have here -- it started to drizzle and the first thing I thought was, "FUCK!" When I arrived, I found the group milling around on the side of the Migrash Kaduregel (soccer field) in a very non-military like fashion. When the trainer, Eran, got there everyone straightened up. Eran is a very nice guy but the way he runs his training sessions is no-bullshit. When someone started complaining about the downpour that was drenching us, he responded with an answer that would not please most Jewish mothers. It was the first real physical association with the army that I have had since I have arrived here in Israel (although it is not actually affiliated with the army). Despite the fact that we didn't finish until 10 p.m., I was drenched in mud and water, and was exhausted, I loved it. Yesterday we did a simualation of the Bar-Or Test. The Bar-Or Test is the first thing they do at Yom Sayarot (try-outs) at the Wingate Institute near Netanya and it consists of as many sit-ups you can do, push-ups, and how fast you can run 2 kilometers. I finished the 2k in first place with a time of 7:25 (bad compared to what I would have run last year). One kid lied and said he finished first. I could comfort myself with the fact that I am training for myself and am not concerned with others' results...or I can just say that Karma will get him when the instructors at Yom Sayarot or Gibush catch him cheating and kick him out.

Work continues to be great and so is the host family. Right now I am in Kokhav Yair with friends of my parents. I think this will be the last weekend that I go away for a while since I have been away from the Kibbutz every Shabbat for the past month and a half or so. It's nice to just stay on Kibbutz and relax for a full 2 days without having to worry about traveling. At the same time, it's nice to get out of the bubble that is Kibbutz and see Israel and see other people.

Something funny has been happening to me lately. By no means is my Hebrew perfect but it's getting pretty good to the point where I don't need my English anymore. Whenever I talk with someone in English about work I will find myself searching in my head for the words in English since my natural inclination while talking about work would be to speak in Hebrew. I think I sound like somewhat of a fool sometimes since I will have a slight delay in English but as well in Hebrew. Pretty soon I'll just completely forget how to speak! I believe the same thing is happening with my cultural habits as is with my linguistic tendencies. One guy (an American who immigrated to Israel about 7 years ago) who was interviewed on Jpost ( put it quite well. He said, "I'm not quite Israeli, but I'm not really American anymore." I hope that I will never be "fully" Israeli but that I will never just be "fully" American either. Why would I want to "throw away" one culture in exchange for another when I could just balance both of them and try to cull the good aspects from the bad? Today it was about 26 degrees here (80ish in Fahrenheit) with a slight breeze. I would complain about the slight breeze but I know some of you suffering in the harsh winter of the States may get a bit fussy so I will abstain from doing so. Next week is Purim so I am really looking forward to that. Stay in touch, please!

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