Excited to be chosen for the EDI GSL Experience in Israel

Sunday, July 12, 2015

And that's a wrap!

I can hardly believe that 6 weeks could go by so quickly. I feel like I started my journey in Jerusalem yesterday! Anyway, this is my last blog, so I'll be reviewing my last two weeks.

Jumping around in Jordanian Desert
After finishing up my time at the Commission for PWD, I went back to the EEOC for one week to finish my report there. It was really nice seeing them again! And I was able to finish the report on time as well. This report was without a doubt the longest report I've ever written in my life. I will be honest to admit that I was concerned when I accepted the challenge to go on this internship, given I'm not a student in ILR as all the previous students have been and the fact that I have had little exposure to writing reports of this sort. But with the support of the EDI staff and of both commissions, I was able to accomplish the task! I truly hope the reports I wrote will be helpful in furthering implementing the rights of PWD in Israel, but at the end of the day I can say that I pushed myself and gave it my best! I definitely grew a lot from this experience.

I almost forgot to mention my weekend adventure in Petra, Jordan! As you've probably noticed from my previous blogs, I like to travel, and though it wasn't cheap to go to Petra, I figured if I didn't do it while I was in Israel, I may never see it. So I went with a tour group and it was pretty amazing. We got to see Petra, sleep in a Bedouin camp, tour the desert, and even spend some time in Eilat at the end. I met some pretty cool people, which sometimes just makes all the difference.

Covered in Dead Sea mud! 
A few days after that adventure, my mom came to Israel to spend a week with me, which of course was awesome. We got to see quite a bit, and though my mom had been here twice before, she said she got a new perspective. Over the weekend went to a prayer tower on the Mount of Olives, the Garden of Gethsemane, and the Dead Sea! Those were places  I hadn't yet made it to, but would have felt really silly if I didn't get to see it. During the week I had work, so we couldn't cover as much ground, but we still did some fun stuff. Naturally, we went to the Old City quite a bit, and it involved some clothes shopping because the airline lost my mom's baggage, so she had to use my clothes and buy some new ones for the week she was there. On her last day, we went to Yad Vashem (the Holocaust Museum). Boy, it was so intense. I felt the effects until the next morning!

My last week was spent at Elwyn, and I really appreciated everything they exposed me to. I mean, they really went all out with planning my schedule. It was really valuable for me to actually meet PWD at their workplace, their homes, their retirement centers, etc etc. I got to see what their daily lives are like and what Elwyn does for them. I also appreciated how everyone at Elwyn was very honest, sharing success stories as well as challenges, not trying to make everything look perfect and simple.

I believe this experience has really made me an advocate for PWD. I hope that someday I'll be in a position where I can be employing PWD myself, wherever I am and whatever I'm doing, so that I can continue the good work that so many have already been doing. I'm truly grateful for the opportunity given to me by EDI and all the host organizations that took such great care of my during my stay in Israel.