Thursday, July 14, 2005
good news and bad news
Ok, so..... I finally ..FINALLY got word about the financial aid for my trip. Yes, I will be getting some assistance, no it's not as much as I was hoping for (but really, is it ever? lol). This means I am several thousands short and I need to crack the whip on you guys to help me scrape the rest of the money together. In the last couple of days I have received a few more orders for bracelets which makes me SO happy. I even got an e-mail from someone in Spain asking how she could buy 3 bracelets. Given that I am not a speaker of Spanish I enlisted the help of my co-worker from Uruguay to help me write my reply, and presto! I got an order for three more bracelets! Hurray!!

This has been a wonderful fundraising adventure as I have sent bracelets to the USA, Australia, Holland, Spain and of course Israel. This worldwide support has been an eye opener for me and something I will never ever forget. My life is about to take a dramatic turn as I choose a new path, and you have all had a great deal to do with that. I am glad you will be able to follow me through my blog on my journey so you can see where your money is going. *wink*

I am very happy to report that my friend Tango has started a new blog which will, of course, be added to my blogroll. To recap, Tango had emailed me a month or two ago (along with several other Jewish bloggers) in an effort to get a survey filled out for a paper he was doing. And before you know it we had hit it off, became friends, emailed each other back and forth and he was kind enough to buy two of my bracelets to help me get to Israel (further proof that you don't need to be Jewish to buy these bracelets, folks!). Check out his latest blog entry where he demonstrates his Use #231 for my bracelets. Certainly better than Use # 132 and comparable to Laurence's use of it as a cat toy. Tango is hilarious.. pop over to his blog and say hi.

All in all this has been an emotional rollercoaster ride as I have struggled to make this trip happen. I waiver between excited and stressed pretty much hourly. Deborah over in the Livnot offices has been a rock for me while I switch between moods... "I can do this" one day, and then "I just can't afford to do this" the next. If not for Deborah's constant efforts and pep talks I no doubt would have given up at some point, which leads me to think this girl is in the right job and is right where she is meant to be. She, along with Gerald, Susie and Laurie, have been the most fantastic support system and have been instrumental in making this happen. I look forward to thanking you all in person in September....

As for my parents.... they are trying their best to put on a happy face despite the fact that I know they are terrified that I am going for so long. My mother is worried about my safety (that recent suicide bomber in Israel didn't help things at all, with her) and my father is convinced that I am going to fall in love with an Israeli boy and never come back. I have been spending HOURS putting together a separate blog for my parents and friends (since I prefer they stay off this one) and have been carefully loading it with links to information about Israel in an effort to help calm fears.

When the suicide bomber struck Israel the other day I was given an opportunity to take my mother through a dry run as to what she can do when she hears such news. I sat her down at the computer and got her to open the new blog I made and to begin taking the steps to get information. Click these Israeli news sites. Check the map to see where the incident took place. If you are worried I might be there check prior emails to see where I said I'd be in the coming days. If you haven't heard from me and aren't sure where I am you can call one of my friends over in Israel or call Livnot. Worst case scenario the news sites provide emergency numbers but that should be a last resort since I will be fine and you don't really need to panic. :-)

But I ask you... how surreal is it that I have to teach my mother such a thing before I go away on a trip? I have to actually train her on what steps to take when she hears news of a suicide bomber in Israel (because my parents know very very little about Israel). She's lucky that I have the unfortunate experience of how to find information when something happens, since I have people I care about in Israel. I know her stress all too well so I am trying to find ways to help her combat her fears. I am hoping that by teaching her this and exposing her to more information about Israel, she will feel at least a little more relaxed. That and a webcam will hopefully help. *fingers crossed* But in the end... she is a mom, and they are built to worry. ;-)

UPDATE: A woman was killed in Israel today when Palestinian terrorists fired a rocket into Israel proper and struck a home. To those that would say Israel should show some restraint, tell me, what would YOUR country do? Do you think the USA, for example, would just stand by while suicide bombers blew themselves up in your city centres? What if Mexico started firing rockets into Texas... do you think George W would just sit back and take it, show restraint, and attempt to negotiate with the terrorists? I think not... so why is Israel expected to?