This is a significant post because it is the first time I am writing as a soldier and not as a civilian. I came here to serve in the army and I am finally doing it; so let's talk about it. I just finished my 3rd week and tomorrow I go back to my base in the north for my final 2 days there. I am in a 3 week program for Hebrew-speakers that were not raised here (and are therefore lacking basic, cultural knowledge pertaining to the army). The base is near the town Carmiel and the Sea of Galilee in the North and is known as Mikhveh Alon after General Yigal Alon. On Monday, we have our ceremony and will then find out where we will be heading off to next. The army is everything I thought it would be: hard, tiring, and interesting. The point of this program has been to acclimate us to the army and its rigors and it has done an excellent job. They managed to fit a large portion of all the fun drills and routines of basic training into this short program without overloading us but at the same time challenging us. I feel that I will be very ready for the next stage.
One thing that I have come to learn from my experiences in Israel and before is that there will always be bumps in the road. It's a simple enough lesson that we tend to forget until we hit the next bump. Throughout my time here I have encountered obstacle after obstacle in reaching my goals and the main message I am taking home is not to get too excited by anything. That doesn't mean 'be dull' but rather just be more in the middle with relation to new events. You didn't get into Matkal? That's okay, there are plenty of other good units. You didn't get into that other good unit? That's okay, even in the other units you still find good guys and are serving Israel. The bed is disgusting and you can feel the metallic springs poking into your back? That's okay, you won't die and at least you're inside for the time being. A lot of the guys in my unit get very hyped up about a lot of things throughout the day and while it is important to be passionate in the army and try your hardest, I am now a firm believer in "taking it all with a grain of salt." It's a good attitude and despite the fact that I still get hyped up as well, I'm getting better at it every passing day. I like what the army is doing to me and I hope that I will be continue to be pleased with the outcome.