Friday, 7 August 2009

First couple of days

Today is Friday and am writing this blog to you from the beautiful Kibbutz Ortal, where I will be based solidly for three months before being drafted into the army.

Well guys, I actually did it! After all these years of dreaming, months of preparing and days of waiting, I made aliyah on Wednesday 5th August and am ready to start this new part of my life. After saying goodbye to my parents around 20 times by the security control at Heathrow airport, me and two other members of my garin (group), Daniel and Tal, made our way to Gate 56. The flight was pleasant and we touched down at Ben-Gurion airport at 10.30pm local time. We then were met by someone who took us to the Ministry of Absoroption offices at the airport. After half an hour, I was officially an oleh hadash (new immigrant) and received my first cash payment for making aiyah. From the airport we took a taxi ride to Mavyserret Zion where we stayed for the first night.

The next morning we left to go to Tel Aviv university where the opening ceremony for our programme was being held. Around 200 Americans and around 25 Europeans descended on the Smolarsh hall, where we met all the memebers of our respective garins. I was lucky enough to be surprised by 3 of my friends, whose visit to support me in my aliyah deserves mentioning of their names (Jake, Jabda and Josh). After the ceremony the 19 members of my garin got on the coach for the 3 hour trip our kibbutz!!!

Kibbutz Ortal is in the Golan Heights, 5 miles from the Syrian border! Everyone here has been really welcoming and our apartments are quite nice. We have already played the locals at a footbal match but were narrowly defeated, (remember that the guys we played are already in teh army, in some pretty tough units, so while I was panting on my back in the heat, they were slowly jogging around me).

Next week, we are continuined to get settled here and we also jobs to get done, such as mobile phones, banks and our teudat zehut (identity card). Hopefully, I will be able to update you at some point next week.

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