Thursday, June 17, 2010

I'm Back!

Hello blog world! I've missed you so much you don't even know!! I've been MIA on the web because there's been so much action going on for me that I literally have had no chance to report until now. It's been such a long time that I'm not going to even attempt to do a massive catch up but rather jump to my time in Israel!

First a little re-cap is in order. So not only did I have finals to worry about last week but I was also moving moving out of my apartment, packing for my six week trip to Israel, and grading about 600+ Human Sexuality finals. Luckily for me, my mom came down to help me and she really was the brains of the whole operation and I would not have been able to do it without her. I would have been so much more stressed out without her! So, in between studying, and helping mom with organization and packing, I would dash over to the house of one of the graders where all the finals were, whip out my red pen, and grade like a crazy person. While grading one of the graders, Dave, went for a food run to the Co-op and picked up a vegan turtle cup for me! As promised, it is being fully document on the blog as officially: amazing!
Dave, you made my grading that much sweeter. Thank you!
Carmel, puffed rice, and peanuts....soo good!
The packing was no small job. We spent at least, at least three days getting my life in a box. I know I have a lot of stuf... don't judge!

So, I don't know that the next few days that I'm about to post will be interesting to anyone at all but I figure, on the off chance that someone is interested in how a vegan would travel to Israel, I'll just post everything I can. I would mention that I think it's healthy that when I travel, I loosen up a little and am not as strict about eating vegan as I am at home. I go to new places to experience and learn new things and sometimes that has to do with tasting new things. I don't want to go crazy and start eating everything in sight but I also don't want to hold myself back from enjoying little things. With that said, I still will probably be avoiding eating meat as an entree.

Anyways, when I got the the airport I had a bit of a fiasco. I had an interview early that morning so I didn't eat breakfast. I figured I'd have plenty of time to get something at the airport and leisurely enjoy my departure. Alas, that is not at all how it went. Long story short, I was at the wrong terminal just long enough to miss the flight I was supposed to be getting on to make my connection in New York. Thankfully, the crew at El Al was kind enough to get me onto a direct flight! I was so happy that I wasn't going to have to stay in LA an extra night that it didn't bother me as much that by this point I was starving.

My mom grabbed an apple for me from the hotel which I gobbled as soon as I got in my seat.
Without me even noticing, my mom also slipped this bag of candied ginger into my bag and thank goodness she did! This little bag of sweetness been saving me left and right.
I like this kind of candied ginger much better than the crystallized.
When the inflight service started they served these little corn chips which I remembered really liking from the last time I flew El Al.

I was not aware that this meal was actually our dinner since I hadn't eaten breakfast and meals are always kind of crazy on long, international flights like this. I avoided the chicken and dug into the rest which was quite tasty to a starving girl like me.
I also throughly enjoyed this little dessert :)

After making a significant dent in my book The Alienist by Caleb Carr (which was getting crazy intense I couldn't put it down), and watching all the inflight movies I could handle, I slept for maybe an hour if that. I woke up starving again which is really not a fun way to travel. Luckily breakfast service came and I gobbled it up. Refined gobbling that is.

Again, my meal schedule was all mixed up and I arrived at Neve (the seminary I'm learning at) after lunch time. Dinner was couscous, salad, chicken broth soup with veggies, and potatoes cooked with beef. I avoided any chunks of meat, no worries.
Mini lesson: Keeping kosher involves never mixing milk with meat. All the food at Neve is kosher which means that a kosher kitchen must be kept. You may begin to notice that there is a color coding of the dishes that reveals the type of meal being served: Pink= meat meal Blue= milk meal. On shabbos I look forward to meat meals mostly because I know there won't be dairy in anything!
I finished my meal with an orange that was not the sweetest. I have a feeling I'm going to get good at spotting the tasty ones in the next few weeks.

Breakfast on Wednesday morning was a bit of a challenge but I remembered from last time that I would be able to make oats. Only problem I arrived towards the end of serving time and had to rush! I topped my plain oats with peanut butter and a little sinfully good chocolate spread.
I also had a slice of bread with peanut butter. On the way out I grabbed another half slice of bread and mistakenly spread it with the sweetened peanut butter. Regular peanut butter and sweetened peanut butter are not the same, let me tell you.

Snack time rolled around between classes so I enjoyed this little apple. The apples are much sweeter here in Israel. I wonder why?
At the next break I bought an iced coffee for 10 shequels which is about $3.50 US dollars. It's like a slushy iced coffee and it was soo good! I appreciated that there was a sign noting that one serving is about 190 calories. Better than I had estimated!

At lunch time I was ready to load up on all the veggies I could. You will probably begin to notice that each meal includes a soup of some kind, lots of veggies and salad, and a main course that is either meat or milk based. The soups usually have a lot of fresh dill which I didn't use to like but have grown to appreciate. Also, there is almost always fish at lunch but I haven't decided to cross that bridge quite yet. What do you think? Should I go for the fish?
For a little mid-day dessert I enjoyed one of these Rugala.
These things are so ridiculously good! They have a very subtle chocolaty flavor.

Dinner was a chicken broth soup with carrots, roasted potatoes (yaaaay roasted!), peas, cucumbers and peppers, a soy/corn patty with mustard that has more of a horseradish flavor, and for a super treat some summer melon.
On my way out I grabbed another slice of that melon. It was too good to pass up.

On our way to evening classes I snacked on my candied ginger. There's Sam, my awesome roomie in the back!
After class I had this juicy orange and then hit the sack! I passed out I was so tired. The jet lag is still affecting me.

Finally at today! This morning I was determined to make the oats situation happen. I decided to ad some of this yogurt to my concoction to make it a little creamier and topped it all with PB&J, reminiscent of oats at home. I also enjoyed a little coffee with sugar.

Lunch today was a dilly, veggie soup, and pasta with a bunch of mixed veggies.
After laying around in the grass for a bit and a cool shower some girls and I made the trek down the hill to the mini strip of shops. We hit the ice cream shop first of course where I got a scoop of strawberry sorbet and a scoop of lemon mint. Super refreshing in this crazy hot weather.

For dinner I had cooked squash, rice, a soy patty, and I'm happy to introduce to the scene: hummus!! I made sure to buy some when we went to the grocery. I didn't end up eating my soup because I found a hair in it. Yuck.

At the break during evening classes I snacked on this apple. They are perfectly small for snack size.
So, the internet situation was all mixed up until tonight so as soon as I got the chance, I jumped in the internet room and got working on this post! I actually just finished this bag of ginger :( Luckily we are probably going to the market tomorrow where I will definitely be buying trail mix.
I only have internet access after 9PM so my posts will be whole day posts rather than the daily ones I try to do at home. Also, tomorrow is Shabbos!! This means that I will not be using the internet (or any technology for that matter) until sun down on Saturday.

I am really enjoying myself here so far even though a part of me really misses home. I hope to be able to contact my family soon and I will be making facebook appearances when I can! For now, I am really tired and I wanted to try and catch a run in the morning. (we'll see what jet lag has to say about that!)

Good night (or good afternoon for most of you) and Good Shabbos!

1 comment:

muffin said...

So great to see your post! To know that you have arrived safely and are settling in ok. If you can post some pictures of the place you are staying and the grounds that would be very cool. I think you should try the fish if it looks appealing. Did you end up rooming with Chelsey or someone else? We all love & miss you.