So, we managed to get through the plane ride and our Arrival. PHEW!!
We sat through the Nefesh B Nefesh ceremony where Olmert was the Big guest of honor (and was booed by a number of people). The interesting/humerous/sad/ironic? thing was there were newspapers on each seat for everyone at the ceremony. I think it was The Jerusalem Post. And the huge headline in big block letters was "Police recommend indicting PM for bribery and a host of other charges". Impressive.
So we had just left Detroit where Kwame resigned as mayor, indicted on various charges, and agreed to a plea bargain where he owes a million dollars, is going to jail for 4 months, loses his law license, etc and here we came to Israel where it seems the Prime Minister is being indicted? Ah, politicians. So anyway, I thought it was interesting that they had these newspapers on each chair and had him speaking. But apparently the JP is a sponsor so they had to have them on there.
As the ceremony ended and we were trying to figure out where to go - my Aunt Brenda showed up!! She had been looking for me the whole time and at the end just happened to be standing across the room for us and finally saw us. So that was nice that she came to see us.
All guests were asked to leave. Shu took the kids and I took the passports and went upstairs to do whatever I needed to do up there with our passports. Some government stuff. I got in the line where my name was and waited and waited and waited. It seemed like the entire room was clearing out but our line hadn't moved!!! So we waited and waited and waited some more! I noticed a computer in the back room with a sign that said "Internet". But someone was on it. For a long time - like 30 minutes. She finally finished and I went to go check it out. I changed my Facebook status so everyone would know we had landed and I sent a quick e-mail to my mom. Then time to get back in line for more waiting. Eventually the room was empty except for us so they finally started taking people from our line and helping them elsewhere. So then I got through and I can't imagine what was taking so long in the first place because when the guy helped me, it took about 10 minutes total processing. Maybe less.
I finally made it back downstairs to where I imagine Shauli was wondering what happened to me and if I had changed my mind and run home. We handed in our taxi voucher for our free ride anywhere in the country (we chose our new home, Ariel). It took awhile but eventually we got a driver and off we went.
Made it to Ariel and went out for pizza with Aviva, Sarra, and Shevy. Then back to our temporary apartment. And we all crashed. I slept for a bit and then Shu fell asleep and I took the kids for a walk because they were a little stir crazy. We walked down to a little park called Netzarim Park. That is basically an area of Ariel where a community from Netzarim in Gush Katif was sent to. I am just learning about this community but they absolutely fascinate me. I can't imagine the ordeal they have been through. But that's another blog for another time.
Apparently this little "park" was donated by either a community or an organization. But it's kind of a sad little park. It's has little stones on the ground instead of sand or grass or little smushy ground things. A little climby thing, 2 swings, and a see-saw. And SOOO many kids. We kinda stood around and Sammy tried to eat stones. There were a couple nice ladies who started talk to me, asking if we were one of the new families to Ariel and did we have dinner for that night, Shabbat plans, etc etc. She kept telling me how impressed she was with us and how brave we were, etc. All I could think is how her life must have been absolutely turned upside down and I think SHE is the brave one. We CHOSE to move to Ariel, they had to leave their homes and come here.
After a little bit, we headed back to the apartment. Shu was still sleeping so we just hung around for a while more. We sat outside and I was just happy. Exhausted but so happy to be sitting and breathing in the Israel air. Looking around at our absolutely gorgeous view. The air is just different here.....
Our new friends and adopted Ariel family brought us a yummy dinner and stayed to chat for a bit. We had SO many questions!!!
A while later another friend stopped by and we chatted with him for a little bit.
The kids basically crashed at around 7pm without dinner. And we just hoped they would be so tired, they would sleep all night.
We weren't so lucky. They woke up around 11pm and they were up, wide awake until about 2pm and I was up for another hour. Shu got to sleep but that was fine because he was exhausted and I was wide awake!!
The kids and I woke up at about 10am the next morning, Shu had been up for awhile already. I think we spent much of that day just running around getting things done with the HUGE help of Avi Zimmerman, the Ariel Aliyah Absorption Director (?) and another new friend. We opened up a bank account, got Jonah registered for school, etc. Don't remember much more about Tuesday.
We had another rough night, with us and the kids WIDE awake until late. But Jonah finally got to sleep and I woke him at 7am to see if he wanted to go to Gan. The plan was to just check it out but we went and he opted to stay there. He was there almost the whole time until the teacher (who is actually the sub once a week so the real teacher can get a day off) called to say he wanted to come home. Apparently, some boy hit him or did something to him and he wanted to fight back and the teacher made them stop fighting. SO he wanted to come home. But by the time they took the kids outside, he was fine and would have stayed the rest of the day. But that's ok. We picked him up and did some other various errand running.
Ooh, our pizza just arrived (DELIVERY!!!) so I will write more later.
Hope you're enjoying.....................