I am sitting in my room now, going through my box of cards and memorabilia. Since I am planning on moving in a few months, I’m slowing downsizing and trying to get rid of stuff.
I come across an envelope with a lot of memorabilia from when I lived in Israel for six months on a volunteer program. I just came across a piece of writing that I had to share.
For the first few days of our volunteer program, we stayed on a scenic kibbutz, which is similar to a sprawling farm or ranch. Our program staff gave us some instructions - take a piece of paper and a pen, go off somewhere on the kibbutz alone, with no one around you, and sit, write about the present moment you are experiencing, and then write three experiences you would like to encounter during this period (the six months we were there) and how I expect to grow as a person and my concerns for the program.
This is what I wrote:
Feb. 12, 2011
Cold, chilly feeling on my arms
Kibbutznik kids yelling playing soccer
Beautiful green fields sprawling in front of me
Cows mooing in the distance
Ani po, I’m here אני פוא
Emotions inside me a big mix, wonder, excitement, nervousness, doubt and homesickness
I’m present though, in this beautiful moment
I’m thankful to be alive, to have blood running through my veins, wind through my lungs
Birds around me chirping
The sky is unbelievable and gorgeous - like big sky country in Montana
The boys playing have their kippot on.
I remember myself, who I am, where I come from, who I still am.
Everything I’ve been through makes me stronger
A golden retriever, the most American dog, running with excitement on the soccer field.
With a cute black mutt trotting up to me,
I remember that we’re all living things just discovering eachother
The sun is peeking out through the clouds
then slips back nonchalantly.
The cutie mutt comes back and I pet him and he sits down next to me for a second then trots off, never looking back.
The Muslim call to prayer sings melodically in the distance.
I can hear beautiful melody and “Allah” come through the air.
Beautiful ancient tradition surrounds me.
Then I realize I’m part of the story.
A man with his two children on a bike come up the road, they’re speaking in English, an older woman throws her trash in the little dumpster.
A little boy who looks like he really wants to play soccer stands there and contemplates, what should I do?
3 experiences I’d like to encounter during this period
1) I would love to befriend an older person in Israel.
2) I would like to make new Israeli friends.
3) I want to go to a few synagogues in Israel.
How do I expect to grow as a person
I expect to step out of my comfort zone in terms of living in a culture that is mine but also not mine. I expect to know myself better and love myself more, being proud of myself more for having courage. I expect to have grown by learning from others and taking what they have to offer me.
My concerns for the program
Not liking my placement, not feeling 100% effective or useful and not fitting into the group in the way that I expect, however, I don’t doubt that I’ll make wonderful friends.