Friday, August 29, 2008

Just when you think you think you have it all under control...

you throw yourself a curve ball.

I was planning on making aliyah in January 2010 or possibly June 2010, if Eden would be ready to go then also. But I might end up moving a little earlier, as in possibly June 2009.

The only thing that's keeping me here that's changable is my finances. I won't make aliyah when I still have loans, I just won't.
So I'm planning on paying them off by May making aliyah in June.

And I don't know...I know that I'm not happy here. Every time I keep thinking about making my aliyah sooner, I feel like...there's just a weight off of me.

I was talking to Maya today and she said I should sit on it for a while, get into the swing of work and see how that goes. I will-- I'm definitely not moving until after I pay off my loans.

The issue is how much I have saved before I go. I got 2 very different estimates on how much I need to have. One person said he heard $10,000 was enough for a year; someone else said that most Israelis live on about $2,000/month. The NBN website says estimate $1,260-$2,430/month. I would be coming with about $10,000 in savings-- about $6,000 from my salary over the year, plus $4,000 that I have otherwise.
I'm planning on going to Ulpan Etzion and living there, which is going to save a lot in the first 6 months.

I'm just worried about the money. I don't want to fall into the "I'll make aliyah when I have x amount in savings," but I'm not that worried because I'm not making my aliyah dependent on having a certain amount of savings, but rather time-dependent: I'm making aliyah by June 2010.

If I plan for June 2009 and have to push it off until January, so be it; I'll live. But I want to go as soon as I can. And I'm not cashing savings bonds to pay off my loans; those are for my wedding one day G-d willing, and for something like a down payment on a house or apartment. But not for this.

I'm actually scared shitless about this. But here goes anyway.
I'm planning on going to open a tik on October 13. I also have to call NBN to talk to them about financial assistance.
I don't want to take it, because then I'm obligated to them, but I'll see what they say. If I'm offered it and I take it, then I'm obligated to stay there for 3 years. Really I'm planning on staying there for life, so it's not like I'm not...but it's always scary to think, "Well, maybe I won't make it." Again, not going in thinking I won't be make it and won't live there until I die, but there's always that possibility somewhere in the back of your mind. And it's scary, and I want to do everything I can to prevent it, and for me that means coming with as much savings as I can. In that case, I should logically stay here. But something about Israel defies logic.

Thursday, August 28, 2008


Part II of my Israel trip happened. I kind of didn't blog it because of a lack of time; I wrote it in a handwritten journal, so if anyone wants they can read that.

In short: I went back to Israel for another seven and a half weeks, and again...had an amazing time. You know, for a shock.
I'll try to summarize a few key points: I got in Wednesday night (May 7, end of Yom Hazikaron and beginning of Yom Ha'atzmaut), was home (home= Chashmoanim; when I'm in Israel, home is always Chashmonaim, until I have my own place) for a few days.
I started off by not being able to find the stroller-- turned out that it was on the "oversize luggage belt." Rita picked me up, and things hadn't even started-- it was Yom Ha'atzmaut-- Israeli Independence Day, and since things start at night and I got in at about 6 pm, I was right on time. I wish I could have been there for Yom HaZikaron, but I enjoyed Yom Ha'atzmaut.
Yom Ha'atzmaut: I went to do an avtacha with Eden. I got into Jerusalem, called Eden, and she said she was right by the bus station...I found here-- almost didn't recognize her because she lost so much weight, but that was a happy reunion. We went to the station and couldn't find our we called Boaz and we were going back and forth, etc. In the meantime, Hannah and Ryan came to say hi to us. Our driver finally showed up about 15 minutes after we were supposed to be at the avtacha, but whatever. We got to the avtacha and just hung out. We bumped into MDA 69 people and Kaufy and Elinor. The avtacha was actually cool-- it was at Muzaeon HaChaim, which is The Living Museum, so there were people dressed and acting like historical figures from Israel's creation as a Jewish state. There were also dancers and musicians-- it was like a giant street fair. We had one call there-- as Eden and I were walking around, someone flagged us down because his friend was not feeling well. I called for our driver while Eden started taking care of the person-- the madlad didn't work either. The kesher apparently wasn't working either, so I went to our ambulance and we got another. And that didn't work, so we took the Natan's. We brought our patient to the other ambulance (it was closer) and took care of him there. He declined transport, so that was that. Nothing else.
At the end there were fireworks, which were fun. We were so close-- one building away! It was cool. Kapach made coffee, which was good. Gotta love the portables.

Spent Shabbat at home and then went into Jerusalem on Sunday to got to Shearim for a day, then do the hashlamah course. Ended up being קורס נט"ן and 88-hr.

What is your job on the ambulance? Be the paramedic's bitches"-- wise words from Jaffe
Arie (Jaffe) taught the קורס נט"ן which was half-assed, but not his fault-- we didn't even have the equipment we time I vote for a road trip to the station to see a functional ambulance and equipment. 88-hr. was taught by Yehuda (Stein). There was a heavy emphasis in the one on IVs-- we got to do 4-5 each, which was cool. I would have like to learn more...don't get me wrong-- being able to do so many IVs was good, but doing all of them so quickly together doesn't always help you learn so well. But the again, we did the 2 courses in 4 days, so what was I really expecting?
Oh, the opening exam! That was a bitch; it was all in Hebrew! I struggled through it. I'm kind of proud if myself; I got about a 60, which isn't exactly a good grade, but it was pretty high, relative to what everybody else got. And we had madrichim who are fluent in Hebrew in the class too!
The first day of the course was also my birthday. Eden and I slept over at Hannah's the night before, and they made me a surprise birthday party! (Jaffe got a call and left, and we had a party-- Jungle Speed and cake and cards!).
I failed the first practical-- I forgot to check for severe bleeding in C of the primary survey, but did fine on the patient interview. So I redid the practical later that evening-- I knew it, I know I knew it, I just...didn't.
After the courses I stayed at Bayit Vagan to help with the rest of the course. I also did a couple of shifts, including one with Gal and Yoyo (who now is a driver! yay!).

Course Madrichim, aka The Animal Brothel
The next Monday I went back to Bayit Vagan(orrhea) with Hannah to start Course Madrichim. There were 11 of us in course, which was considered to be a lot; I understand it, but there were...whatever. Our instructor was sick for the first week, so basically anyone who was available taught...Yehuda taught a few lessons, Kaufy gave a lesson on lesson plans, Dan gave a lesson on problems in the class, somebody who has nothing to do with MDA chul until that point taught a couple days...basically, fill-ins. Which was really not good and not conducive to learning. Sharon came in on Sunday, and things started coming together. I really wish they would have extended the course so we would have had more time with a cohesive one, but that's was fun sometimes. There was one point where Perle and I had it out, massively. It was bad. Anyway, so course madrichim was fun for the most part. The best part in the hostel was the mirpeset we had-- there were 9 girls, so we had 2 rooms with a huge mirpeset with doors to both rooms, so we could go back and forth (and get into the other room when the door was locked and couldn't find the key).

Then it was Shavuot; I did shift in the morning and went with Sara to MMY. I kept one day, which at first sounded weird, actually wasn't at all. I had called Kaufy to find out what was going on, if there was space for me, and it didn't even register that I was calling on what should have been second day of Shavuot. It was...I was home.
The second day (or what would have been), I did morning shift in Jerusalem and left a little early, because my driver was leaving early anyway. Went up to TA with Kaufy to do erev-layla on the atan, had one call and switched to a ragil at the hospital because there was one driver who had nobody on his ambulance, and there were 2 paramedics plus Kaufy, plus me on the I switched. I worked with a guy named Barak, who was doing a hishtalmut shift later as a paramedic. We were in the Yafo station and I discovered a new TV show-- Ramzor. He was cool. It was a good shift, and I'd like to work with him again. We had one call that he said was a "TLC call." It's so important to take care of the TLC calls...yeah, they feel like a waste of time, but ironically they're the ones who need your focus the most-- your trauma patients need you to attend and focus on the treatment, but that's pure protocol. You really have to pay attention to the person, not just the patient, when you have one of those calls.
After that we went back to the TA station (late, because of the late last call at 10:30-ish). I did night shift on the atan again; just a few calls. Eden was also doing night, so we talked a little between calls and sleeping.

Again, another week off...did random things. Couple of shifts.

Teaching the course: TBC...