It’s almost unfathomable to think that a year has passed since my first Thanksgiving here in Israel. I remember the day like it was yesterday: I was new in a brand new apartment full of men I didn’t know so well, excited about having my friends see the place for the first time, and, most importantly, was excited to see who my roommates would invite because I was secretly hoping to pick from a pool of some of their good looking, Israeli friends. It was also really the first time I cooked from scratch which started me on a journey of discovering different tastes for foods that I would be able to prepare in the future when not too lazy (which, unfortunately, I am a bit too often!) In one short year so much has changed, yet, so much remained the same. As I prepared my portion of the Thanksgiving meal I couldn’t help but chuckle to think how I was still excited to have friends come over to see the place (which was recently cleaned), still exploring with food like I was a year ago, though I no longer needed to pick from a pool of my roommates friends since I snagged myself one of them a long time ago! As far as my food experimentation went I decided to prepare a large pasta salad and traditional sweet potatoes and marshmallows for the potluck feast!
The night was filled with fun and laughs, and I couldn’t have asked for a better Thanksgiving. So many wonderful people were there to share in our annual festivity, and I was blessed to have been able to share the evening with most of my favorite people including my sister and boyfriend.
Thanksgiving came at a very interesting time this year, and though the night was full of fun and laughter, it was an extremely tense and difficult time here in Israel. Thanksgiving arrived only days after struggle and conflict with Gaza rocked Israel from the south, to Tel Aviv, even to Jerusalem. Experiencing situations like this gave me a whole new appreciation for all of the many blessings in my life, and when I expressed my thanks this year to family, loved ones and friends, it was said from the bottom of my heart.
It takes my breath away to think of all the many blessings in my life. I came to Israel to find myself, ended up falling madly in love with a country that couldn’t be more different from anything I’m used to, made friends, met family, and established a life for myself that gets more exciting by the day. The only thing that makes everything better is having wonderful friends, my sister, and a near perfect boyfriend who I can share everything with. I am sad that my family is so far away but I take them with me everywhere I go, and they are in my heart and thoughts in terms of everything that I do. I may not have much money (really though… I’m definitely poor!) but I’m about as rich as you can get!
After Thanksgiving things calmed down tenfold in Israel. A ceasefire was declared, rocket attacks subsided, and life continued on. I am still in school 5 days a week learning intensive Hebrew, but I enjoy it so much that it feels like I’m hardly studying at all. The amount of the language that I am absorbing is really quite phenomenal, and my confidence in speaking is growing by the minute. I have had the privilege and pleasure to spend almost every day and night with the person in this world, outside of my immediate family, who really means the most to me. My boyfriend has been the most wonderful blessing in my life after making Aliyah, and we have so much fun together even if we do nothing. It might not be the best thing that I found someone who is just as lazy as I am, but even if we stay home and watch movies all day I still have the best time in the world. I am happy to say that we don’t just lounge around all the time! Cooking together is something we really enjoy doing, and so far the cookies we made from scratch, and the faux Ferrero Rocher that we created have been quite a success 🙂 Aside from that I just love spending time with him and am so blessed that he is my boyfriend and best friend and FAVORITE all rolled up into one extremely fantastic Frenchman!
Aside from that the next few weeks will bring a lot of fantastic, new adventures! Stay tuned for posts on my trip with Stephane to the kibbutz my father used to live on, a trip to Nazareth for Christmas, and a trip back up to beautiful Karmiel! Now that my blog has found a new home expect more frequent updates!
Until we meet again <3,