25 May 2007

Beautiful Oregon Coast

While doing some research for my current freelance job, I stumbled across this beautiful video of the Oregon Coast. Having moved to Israel, I always say that I miss the people much more than the actual place, but I guess that's not true. Watching this video, I began to realize that I do miss that place too....a bit, a bit. If you've never visited the Oregon Coast/Northwest region, I STRONGLY recommend it. This is not your typical 'vacation'/resort spot, but it is something you will remember for the rest of your life. If there is a paradise on earth, in terms of natural beauty, this is it.

Watch the video:

If it doesn't work, visit the site here

By the way....can anyone tell me the 'poshest', most luxurious and perhaps most expensive place to stay on the coast? Thanks.

24 May 2007

The Deadly State of Affairs

Sderot. A city in the south of Israel, near the territory of Gaza. Keep in mind that Sderot is located within Israel's pre-1967 borders.
I've written about this place once before and included a story from the JPost on how scary these rocket attacks can be and how children have adapted to the situation, learning the right way to walk quietly to their bomb shelters when the sirens go off, taking yoga classes to deal with the stress, and giving cute but telling answers to questions like "Why does the snail have a shell?" ("So it can be protected from the kassams".) This is not just a stressful situation, this is also a deadly situation. Last week, a 32 year old woman named Shirel Friedman (z"l) was killed when a rocket hit a car next to her. She was walking.down.the.street and was killed. For what? For existing? For being alive? It's barbaric!
Hamas, as well as other groups, claimed responsibility for the attack.
That day, FM Tzipi Livni was giving a press conference in Sderot. She stated: "The situation in Sderot is unbearable... We consider the Palestinian government headed by the Hamas terrorist organization responsible for this situation...
Until now, Israel has shown restraint. But the rockets and the Kassam missile attacks on Sderot continue. Israel must defend its citizens. While Israel is looking for terrorists, In order to stop them from their terrorist activities against civilians, these terrorists are looking for civilians to kill.""
In accordance with these statements, the IDF arrested 33 members of the Hamas terrorist organization (also known as a 'political party/organization'?!), the highest ranking officials being the PA (Palestinian Authority) Education Minister and the mayors of Nablus and Qalqiliya.
Just a little news from this side of the world. Let's wait for these events to unfold.
Meanwhile, I have two appointments this evening to look at apartments in Tel Aviv and another job interview on Tuesday, this time with the City of David Foundation. Wish me luck!

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21 May 2007

The Home Stretch

So, I must say. This ulpan-working-trying to go to the gym-looking for a job-looking for a place to live-sustaining my oh so very important social life-keeping myself culturally, politically and religiously aware through books, music, magazines and newspapers is getting to be harder than I thought it would be.
At the moment, I am on the market, as it were (or is it in the market?), as well as perusing the market. My lovely live-in ulpan, courtesy of the Jewish Agency and the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption, will viciously kick me out in or around June 15 (kind of like a mother bird 'viciously' kicks her babies out of the nest when they're ready to fly), and, by that time, I will need to have found a place to live and a job to pay for it. I'm still opinion-less as to whether this process is more complicated than it seems or whether I am simply unaware of how complicated it really is. I do have a few leads on the job-front, which will be revealed after the fact, and am perusing the online and offline markets in search of a nice little place to call home.
Life is a bit crazy at the moment. Everyone is looking for the solution to their lives, and, although I know that mine is out there just waiting for me to find it, it can be a little scary at times. Not only is everyone looking for a job and a place to live (you can come visit me in my cardboard box after I get all moved in), the ulpan teachers, bless their little souls, have also realized that we're running out of time. I don't know if they have simply realized that they perhaps didn't get to as much material as they had hoped, or if they finally realized that we haven't done diddly-squat in the past four months and 'ohmygosh we have to teach them something!' It's not that we haven't learned anything, but you know....it's like in college when they profs PILE on the work in the last few weeks....the different is that we're trying to learn this darn language as quickly as possible, go to class every day, deal with loads of homework they've now decided to pile on in the last month and figure out our lives...it's been tough to say the least.
But, in all seriousness, every problem has a solution, and if we look hard enough in the right places, we'll find it.
Tired. Going to bed. Goodnight.

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