Most people send out e-mail updates to friends while visiting foreign countries, but I decided to dork it up a bit and create a blog instead. This way, not only can I feel cool for riding the wave of technological innovation, but you guys can check in whenever the urge strikes instead of getting e-mails every few weeks.
As you know, I’ll be spending the next year in the land of milk, honey, and intractible religious conflict. At this point, I’ve got the requisite vaccines (I’ll be Typhoid-free, oh happy day), an Israeli visa in which I look terribly annoyed, a rudimentary grasp of the Hebrew alphabet (thank you, Berlitz), and three bags that I had to jump on to close (no lie, one even required a running start).
The excellent adventure–sadly, without Bill or Ted–begins on Sunday, with a group flight to Tel Aviv. Intensive Hebrew classes start two days later, and we’ll focus on that for the next few months before starting the first semester at the end of October. That’s when the Arabic and Middle Eastern politics courses will enter the fray, and I’ll probably end up with such bad language interference that I’ll start speaking pig latin. At-whay? I-ay on’t-day derstand-unay.
All in all, it’s going to be an amazing experience, especially considering that, at this point, my Hebrew skills consist of “shalom!” and “mazel tov!” (yeah, that’ll go over really well with the El Al security guys: “Why are you going to Israel?” “Uhm…mazel tov!”), and that I don’t know a soul over there. This should be interesting.
More to come once I’m on the ground in Jerusalem, but in the meantime…shalom, y’all.