I can't explain how happy I am. Firstly, from the start of making aliyah I always knew that I wanted to be in tzanchanim (paratroopers). I wanted it for many reasons, especially as the time got closer to my draft, and I expressed these reasons in the interview at the gibush. I told them how I know that tzanchanim is one of the proudest units with a phenomenal history, and to become part of that is amazing. Another cool thing is that the tzanchanim uniform is slightly different to other combat units, with its red kumta (beret) and red boots; and also it is custom not to tuck in the shirt, which although makes it look a little like a dress, is considered very cool in Israeli society. The paratroopers have a fantastic reputation, and the thought of being a tzanchan is an enormous honour for me and will give me a fantastic reputation. Also, to be in the same unit that captured the kotel is a specific priveledge to me. The tradition of paratrooping won't happen until another four months, once basic training is finished, but the thought of jumping out of an aeroplane (with full combat gear and the gun) is definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience. However, for tzanchanim, you get to do it five times!!!
Tzanchanim in full uniform!
Getting this unit is such an honour and it is one of the biggest achievements that I can claim. Not only was the gibush highly competitive, since there were so many new immigrants and lone soldiers there, but also, the fact that this is something I set my sights on a while ago, worked hard towards and have actually achieved, is really rewarding. I know that is has made my parents and close family extremely proud, since saying that your son is a paratrooper in the IDF is no small thing. What's more is that my roommate also managed to pass the gibush, which is really important for me, as having my really good friend (who's fluency in hebrew will help me) with me, even for the just the first day, is really reassuring. So on Wednesday, I go to Tel Aviv for my draft day but I will explain more in my next blog, the last before I go into the army!!
This week was full of achievements for me. I also managed to pass my driving test and will be able to drive as an Israeli, without any sort of restrictions, once my license comes in the post. The test went fine, I drove really well and, depsite the awful parallel park, I gave the instructor no reason to fail me. It was really important for me to pass, as it becomes quite expensive if you have to start paying for more than one test, but, more importantly, I don't know when the next time I could have taken another test. Not everyone from my garin who took the test passed, in fact I was the only one who passed manually, probably due to my calmness before the test started. Anyway, that's another step that I have taken in fully integrating myself as an Israeli, I just need to learn to beep more.
Wow, what a week it was and on this Wednesday coming up I actually go into the army properly and start basic training. I want to do one more blog before Wednesday, but I want to take this time to say how I have had the time of my life here in Israel and in the Golan Heights these last three months. Living here with 18 other soon-to-be soldiers has been amazing and I have made some extremely strong frienships that I know will last. It is sad to say goodbye to this part of my aliyah journey but I am very excited (and nervous) to start the next bit, which I can safely say is the biggest point of my life so far. This week, I just need to buy some things for the army and relax before the torture of basic training starts!!!