Excited to be chosen for the EDI GSL Experience in Israel

Monday, June 22, 2015

Over halfway done? What?!

It's crazy how fast time is going by here. So fast in fact that I totally missed the second week without posting here!
Needless to say, I've been pretty busy. My second week I was at the EEOC, making good progress on the report. I also got to know the people better, which is always a lot of fun, and it's also how you end up learning a place's culture beyond just reading up on it.
Light Festival in the Cave
I also had many adventures outside of work. Rivka and I returned to the Old City to finish up seeing the Light Festival; my favorite part was going into a cave where they had these super cool effects where it looked like drawings were moving because of the light color change. During that week I also found out that some family friends were in Jerusalem for a couple of days, so I met up with them, which was a lot of fun!
Garden Tomb
The week also had an unfortunate event. I was planning on going to Warsaw, Poland for the weekend, but due to the bus driver forgetting and skipping my stop, delaying me over 1.5 hours. I was pretty bummed about it, but I ended up having a really nice weekend in Jerusalem! I met up with the family friends who were in town again, and they took me around the Old City to places I hadn't gotten a chance to see yet. My favorite was the Garden Tomb. You know, there will always be debates about what actually happened where historically, but just seeing a possible setting where Jesus could have died and resurrected was awesome enough! It was actually really powerful; we prayed and sang there, and of course, took some pictures. We couldn't stay long because it was closing, so I hope to return before I finish the internship. Another cool event was that I met up with a fellow Brazilian who is studying medicine here. She's about my age, and we got along really well. It felt nice to make a friend!
The following week I started working at the Commission for Persons with Disabilities. We hit some issues in the beginning with me not being able to access the internet, but we figured out how to make it work. Plus, everyone there is so sweet! I got to have meetings with everyone and learn more about what they do on a daily basis, which is really valuable to me. I get to see what I've been reading about in action! Not many people get the chance to see how governmental offices work, so I feel incredibly privileged to be a part of this.
St. Basil's Cathedral in Moscow
Judy also came over this week. Rivka planned an outing for us at the Western Wall Tunnels, which was so much fun! She also invited a student from WashU to tag along, so I made another friend! After the tunnels we actually ended up going to dinner and chatting about our experiences. I had an awesome time.
This past weekend I went to Moscow (making sure I did not miss my flight this time) and had an amazing experience! Even though I only had one day, I got to see Moscow's grand and colorful buildings, AND I GOT TO GO TO THE BOLSHOI! They really are such pros, and the ballet was BEAUTIFUL!
Bolshoi Ballet
However, this week also had an unfortunate incident. I went to the doctor in Tel Aviv to get some stuff sorted for getting my visa to Australia (where I'll be studying abroad next semester). Anyway, I had been having really strong pain in my lower back, making it really hard for me to sit and walk (yes, super inconvenient). Since I was already at the doctor, I figured I would get it checked; turns out I got an infection because of a hair (I really wish it were something cooler). This apparently was very common, and the doctor told me it was the number one reason why soldiers were out of the battlefield in World War 2. At least I was like a soldier I guess. That being said, I did have to go through a surgery-like procedure, opening up the area. Everyone loves a surprise surgery when they're alone in a foreign country right? I know I do!
Anyway, it was pretty darn painful, and the painkillers the doctor prescribed were so strong that he had to write the prescription 3 times to convince the pharmacists to actually give me the meds. I'm also on antibiotics. Needless to say, I'm pretty tired and woozy after all that. I'll need a week to recover, but I also have to finish my report for the Commission, so I truly hope I can manage to get it done and get it done well. I am happy I got it all sorted out though, because the doctor said if the infection spread I would have ended up in an emergency room, and as unpleasant as my surprise surgery was, I'm sure an emergency room experience would have been worse.
So long story short, I've been having an amazing time in Israel, including the unfortunate events that will someday make a great story for my grandkids! I can't believe I'm over halfway done with my time here. I already know I'll be upset when my time is over, so I'm going to do my best to take advantage of the time I have left!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the detailed account of what you've been up to Giovanna! Feels like I'm there with you! I am looking forward to reading more about the disability work you're doing, and what you're learning about disability issues in Israel.