New Year in Israel

Hello my dear friends back in SD (and elsewhere…)
 
Shana Tova! (translation: happy new year) from Israel.  I am writing on this day where the whole country is on vacation and celebrating the onset of a new jewish calendar year….a time for transformation and renewal.  I am visiting with my sister in her Moshav (settlement) which sits on top of a hill in the middle of mountains covered in trees.  It is kind of like a retreat center as there is really nothing to do here, not even a small market or coffee shop 🙂
There are no cars here this weekend as it is the holiday and the kids and animals run freely in the streets.  I awoke (too early in my opinion) to the charming cock-a-doodle do of nearby roosters and birds chirping. (don’t roosters stop at some point?  they seem to go all day here)
 
it was a year ago today that I made the decision to move to Israel…and have been contemplating that now, a year later, after a great deal or reorganizing and letting go, I am actually here.
 
All in all, it is amazing and I am truly happy.  but like most things, the newness and the ecstacy is fading and the reality of settling up a life in a new country, with an extremely different culture and language is starting to emerge.
 
Let’s see….after the first few weeks of travelling around, going on yoga retreats, visiting with friends and family, I have now settled into my cute apt in the center of a town called herzliya.  
I really like the town, although there are very few english speakers and I am struggling to get by in Hebrew.  it’s going pretty well but I realize that I am exhausted at the end of the day as my brain is always working to translate conversations.  I live walking distance from everything I really need, markets, fruits stands, bakeries, cafe’s etc. and am a bike ride away from the mall and the beach – it is too hot to bike here now – as the humidity is insane, but I am looking forward to the weather cooling down soon…
 
I finally found a used car that I bought on monday.  it took a great deal of research as the cars here are totally different and I do not recognize any of the brands!  It is challenging getting a car here as taxes make new cars double the price in the US and it is hard to get financing as a new immigrant with no credit history.  I found an english guy – kind of quirky but nice, who specializes in helping english speakers with the process.
I am happy with my new purchase – it’s cute and like me, has some scratches and wear and tear, but is mostly in good shape.  The buying process was really an adventure….apparently you do everything here at the post office, including changing the title of the car….it took us 4 post offices to get the paperwork done.
 
(you also pay your bills at the post office and get a gas mask?)
 
I taught my first Yoga class and saw my first private client already!  It was really fun, a group of english speaking women in a town called Raanana and I will be teaching for them every week now.  We discovered that one of the women who is running the studio was in school with me when I was 17 here in Israel!! We are now reunited 24 years later and we both teach Yoga – crazy world!
 
In another month, I will start teaching a bunch of anatomy and therapeutic workshops for a few different Yoga trainings in Jerusalem…I am lucky and it seems that this is a growing field here (and all over!)
 
I signed up to go to an ashram in the desert end of September for a festival called “Zorba the Buddha”, it should be interesting and is kid friendly, complete with a children’s world and lots yoga, meditation, vegetarian food and dancing…yeaaahhh!  I cannot wait to get down there, just need to wait till it cools down a bit. the desert here is magical and this place is a center that offers many holistic workshops and is founded by Osho peeps.
 
Noam started school a week and a half ago and absolutely LOVES it!  He is really one of the only english speaking kids but is doing well and making new friends, as am I.  I am still working on getting a surfboard as I miss being in the water greatly, especially swimming in La Jolla Cove!  It is a good exercise in patience…i can only do one thing at a time, but it is on the list for next week’s activities.
 
It seems that setting up shop is a new country is a full time job and I am still working on getting my driver’s license here – need to take lessons and a test – as well as my PT license which entails an exam as well.  
 
So to sum up:  Lots of bureaucracy and headaches from a new language, but beautiful, helpful and warm people, great food, new adventures, lots of family around and awesome Yoga community that I still have to explore….
 
I should be back in SD end of January if all goes well to run a retreat for UCSD Integrative Medicine Center. 
I had a moment yesterday where I missed you all deeply.  It is hard sometimes being in a new place where no one knows your name….
 
Sending love and lots of apples and honey for a sweet new year!  I hope all your dreams come true.
 
If you didn’t see this already, it is a funny video I somehow found my way into in Tel Aviv…
see if you can find me…
You Tube:  “Rosh Hashana:  Apples and What??” by Benji Lovitt

 

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