University of Haifa International School Student Blog
Well it’s been a little while since I have written and so much has happened. This past Saturday I went to Daliat el Carmel (one of the neighboring Druze villages) with some friends from the University. We went there to do some last minute shopping for Takashi’s surprise birthday party (one of the international students from Japan) and a 3 day hike in the upper Galilee that started the next day. We were surprised to learn that the town was celebrating a two day festival known as the “Welcome Festival”. There were plenty of tourists and locals walking through the streets. Merchants were out displaying their wares and there was an over all festive mood in the town.
We spent most of the afternoon visiting different shops and purchasing last minute items for our trip. We also stopped at a local restaurant to eat some lunch. Before leaving Daliat we stopped by a cafe that we had visited a week before. One of the staff, Manarat, had invited us back to her house for coffee and fruit, and introduced us to her family. She also “read our fortune” in our coffee cups. My coffee cup had three large hearts in it, and one was big and white. I’ve told that story a couple of times but, I still like to repeat it 🙂
Back at the university dorms we surprised Takashi with a cake and huge feast for his birthday! Helene’s mom, who was visiting from Stockholm, Sweden, had prepared a huge meal of stuffed peppers and anise. Lara and Danielle (students from Germany) made a pancake cake with nectarines and real maple syrup (provided by Mathias from Ohio). It was a wonderful evening with delightful association and pleasant conversation. It is nice that even though we may be thousands of miles from our ‘home’ the special occasions in our lives are emphasized and celebrated on a grand scale by friends we have known for only a short time.
I will write again soon with more stories from my stay here in Israel 🙂