I've finished my second ulpan & have received a certificate for it. I'm glad I stuck it out in spite of the strong temptations to drop out along the way for various reasons. Naturally, when an ulpan ends most people go their separate ways, which is hard on the emotions, but it's also exciting to move on to new places, people & experiences, which is what I've done. I'm presently in the Jordan Valley area not far from the Jordan River & border. We're just down the road from Biblical Bet-Shean and our "backyard" view is impressive Mt. Gilboa where Israel's first King, Saul, died after a major battle with the Philistines, also 3 of his Prince sons, including Jonathan - King David's best friend & the brother of David's wife, Princess Michal. Read about it in 2 Samuel Chapter 1 & the last chapter of 1 Samuel. I read it tonight after walking out back near the fields to look at the mountains silhouette after sunset with the new moon over them all... Last Shabbat/Sabbath/Saturday, everyone went to Masada but Maarten and I, because while I struggled to get him up to come the bus left! But we had a very peaceful, quiet day, all alone... Friday night I drank 1 whole bottle of Arak (Ouzo) myself! And remember almost everything... Sunday I hitched to Sdot Yam to visit friends & lay on the beach & Monday saw Maarten off & was so hurt all day - thinking that song by O'Connor "Nothing Compares to You" - I felt so empty & lost...He's in Eilat, farthest southern Israel. Then my going away party was ok & I left Tues, hitched 3 hours to here since Donna's here. There's some good-looking volunteers here, especially 21 yr. David from N.Y. you'd both faint over & Kibbutz members... Oh well. When will I straighten up. I'll see you in June if I survive 'till then.
I might visit a friend in Ireland on the coast before coming to the States.