Houston, We Have Internet!

We finally have Internet in our room.

I’m so happy I could cry. For real.

Now that I’m connected to the rest of the world, I’m one very happy camper. I’m also pretty happy that intensive Hebrew is half over, and that the security-based stuff for my fellowship has finally started. We met with our IDF (Israeli Defense Force) liasion this week, and she (yup–SHE) seems really nice. We’re going to be seeing some incredible things through the fellowship, and our first site visit will be in a few weeks. We’re going to get a tour of the security wall, which should be amazing.

Everyone in our fellowship group seems really nice, although I suspect I may be the only Democrat. When we were having one of those “get to know you” sessions (thankfully, a lot more in-depth and fun than those obnoxious “My name is Lillian, and I like lollipops!” games from college), I mentioned my raging love for NPR. It raised every eyebrow in the room. I almost felt like I should follow it up with something to the effect of “But, uhm, I don’t think Fox News is horribly biased! I swear! Please don’t kill me!”) This will make our discussions on Israeli policy interesting, for sure; politics aside, though, it seems like a great group of people.

The work for the fellowship will be pretty substantive; we’ll have one site visit per month (and I’m SO keeping my fingers crossed for Gaza and the Golan Heights…I’m not kidding), and although we’ll only have one class session per month to complement it, we’ll be doing presentations and papers for each time we meet. To say the least, I’m all kinds of excited for the stuff we’ll be able to do and see. Now if I can just join the IDF for a week…

In terms of Hebrew, my skills are improving–as evidenced by my interactions with cab drivers and kiosk owners. I can now–drumroll, please–buy a diet coke and get myself back to the dorms in Hebrew. It’s astounding. I know. Should I be stranded in a remote corner of Israel where no one speaks English, I will be hydrated and able to tell someone that I need a ride back to the University. Next goal: navigating the grocery store. I need to figure out how to say “Is this salad dressing or chocolate syrup?” to avoid gross combinations of food.

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