This week has been and will continue to be crazy. Next week will be the same. Crazy means hours of classes, even more hours of studying, five exams, and very little time in the city. Therefore, this post is dedicated to the things that have made this week not only bearable, but also a little sweeter.
1) Yesterday evening I came to dinner to find a marvelous surprise waiting for me--a bright pink envelope adressed to me from my darling little sister Lydia. She had sent me a colorful card with filled with her sweet, third-grade handwriting and her beautiful, heartfelt love. It took four stamps and probably a couple weeks to get it all the way around the world for me to read those few words, but they made my day. My little sister is one of the people I love most in this whole wide world. I prayed for her for so long as a child, and one of the happiest days of my life was the day she was born. It made me so happy to get her note--I will treasure it always.
2) I wrote an email to my best friend and worst enemy, Sasha Alexandra Cone (don't ask about the titles. I know it's a paradox--only she and I know why it's funny) and yesterday morning I checked my email to find that she wrote back. It was so good to hear from her again--it just made me smile all over. Sasha and I have known each other literally all our lives--or all of her life, more specifically--and our friendship is the sort that only a long list of crazy, rough-and-tumble childhood (and adulthood) adventures can make. I have some amazing friends here at the center, but I sure have missed Sash. I was overjoyed to hear her voice, even via email.
3) The security office finally has calling cards! That work! It's fabulous! I went and picked mine up on Monday night and then, unable to wait any longer, I got up the next morning at 6am and called home. I talked to my dad for about forty-five minutes (Mom was at work and the kids were in bed). My father is one of the people I love most in this world. He has been my support and confidant and friend (though each of those words are woefully inadequate) for much of my life, especially now that I have grown older. He has always been the one I talk to when I have something on my mind or when I am stressed or when something is bothering me. It was so good to tell him the things I have been thinking and wondering about and hear him give me comfort and advice.
4) On Monday night we listened to a holocaust survivior speak. He was a survivor of no less than nine concentration camps and a death march and had lost his whole family to the camps. He was also surprisingly funny, if you can believe it. The following was some of the Q&A afterwards:
Q: Why did you decide to talk about your experience?
A: I like to talk!
Q: Why are you such a happy person?
A: My happiness comes from vengence on the Nazis--that I got through this whole thing and Hitler didn't.
His infaliable optomism was refreshing and pleasant after the low points at Y ad Veshem (more to come). It made everyone happier to talk to him.
5) Today I went out with three other girls. We swapped crazy stories and talked about bad dates. We moseyed our way down the streets to the Austrian Hospice, where we took some pictures and then sat in garden chairs on a small tower/parapet (could even be a pedestal--I don't know what to call it) under the trees and the blue afternoon sky and talked about what was on our "list" for a future husband. I haven't had such a downright girly conversation in quite a while. I loved it. I also bought a dress. Check off "local costume" on my list of desired soveniers. It's a bit big and needs some taking in, but I love the color.
6) I got through my Ancient Near East midterm today. I don't know how I did and I don't care--I'll find out soon enough. Right now I will revel in the victory of having done my best.
7) Three words: Chocolate Chip Cookies. Eliesha and Sarah and Liz and little Lisa Judd just brought in a whole plate of them. I am in heaven. The food here is amazing, but I think all of us have hit a little "I could really do with a ---insert American food: In-N-Out burger, piece of pizza, etc.--right now" phase. It's not that we don't enjoy falafels and schwarmas--we all do--but there is nothing like a sweet little taste of home. I never thought I could miss chocolate chip cookies--or enjoy one so much.
More details soon to come, I promsie. I have had homework and studies out my ears the last few days, so blogging was unceremoniously shoved onto the back burner. I still have tests to come, but with ANE done a lot of the pressure is off, so there will most certainly be time for posts about the snorkeling trip to the Red Sea and the field trip to Yad Veshem and Mt. Herzel.
Yes, I said snorkeling. In the Red Sea. Excited yet? I love a good cliff hanger.
Love you all! Ma'asalaama!