Every Student Has A Story

University of Haifa International School Student Blog

Getting Adjusted to My New Way of Living!!! Weeks 2&3

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Hello All!!!  Wow it seems like I havn’t spoken to you in FOREVER!!!  Here I am at the beginning of week four and it seems like life here in Israel is getting easier and easier!  I honestly can’t believe that I have completed three whole weeks, and I love every bit of it.  Here are a few updates on how these past two weeks have been for me.
I first want to say Cats, Cats, Cats!!!!  Cats are everywhere in Israel.  I’ve heard a lot of people say cats are Israel’s squirrels, because Israel does not have squirrels.  So you know everytime i go out, i look for squirrels because i just couldn’t believe it at first.  For the past three weeks i have not seen a single squirrel, but i have seen CATS!!!!  For those of you who know me, I do not like cats at all!!!  The big difference between cats and squirrels are, squirrels really don’t want to be around humans, cats don’t mind.  I have had cats crawl across my feet, some wait outside the door on my way to class.  They are so quiet and jump out of no where, i don’t think i will ever get used to them!  But Its common here, and some people love them.  They will pet them, feed them, let the cat sit next to them, all of that.  I just can’t!  On to better news, these past two weeks have been a major adjustment time for me.  I am finally getting the hang of how life is here.  I don’t have many classes so i have a lot of free time.  I spend a lot of my time in prayer and meditation, writing, and putting goals in place.  God has given me so many new ideas, and new goals in life and i am very excited about it.  People say once you get out and travel, you don’t want to stop.  And that is the truth.  I have met so many people here from all over the world.  Most of these people have been to so many different countries and they are inspiring me to step out and go see more.  I want to see so much of the world now.  This experience has opened my eyes to see that there is more to life than just the circle and way of life i have created for myself at home.  That there are opportunities in other places, and that the world is a big place, and no matter your financial status its possible to go and see what the world has to offer. The best part is I can take God right along with me.  I know i probably lost some of you with that statement.  But for so long i used to think that i couldn’t go far or stay away too long because I wasn’t going to experience God in other places.  But what i have learned before i left and what i am now finding to be true is God is everywhere you go.  I am actually experiencing another side of Him right where i am now.  And if i go other places He will continue to show me the Works of His Hand.
Anyways, i’m off my soap box.  My roommates are so nice.  I am learning a lot about them and their culture.  All of my roommates are Arabs, and they are so sweet and nice.  They are always cooking and wanting me to taste what they have made.  Some stuff I liked some stuff i didn’t.  They eat very healthy and their spices are a little different.  Earlier this week, one of them gave me raw meat and i didn’t know it.  I took a picture of it and then tried it.  It was okay but i couldn’t get past the texture so i didn’t eat it all.  Later on that week i showed another friend of mine what i had eaten and she told me it was “Kuba” and that it was raw meat, probably beef.  I was so upset!  I couldn’t believe i ate raw meat.  but she and a couple of others laughed and it became an inside joke.  Im glad i didn’t know at the time because i probably wouldn’t have tried it.  But other than that, alot of the the dishes were good.  My roommates share with me alot about their culture and how it is frustrating for them to always get looked at like terrorist and how not all “Arabs” are terrorist and that they are very nice people.  She was telling me how not all Arabs are muslim and how some are Christian which i found that to be interesting.  And she was right, because the church that i found is actually an Arabic church but they are christians!!!!  The church is amazing!  Very traditional and by the book, and they do every thing in a holy manner.  Every thing is Sacred and they do communion every Sunday.  The congregation is very nice, and after service they have coffee and tea for fellowship.  The speak arabic the whole service but my friend and I get the english translation and then i a guy comes and interprets the word for us.  The experience is nothing like i have experienced and but it was amazing.  The word was on time.  Actually what the pastor has been speaking about has been what i have been praying about.  And i was always taught that when that happens you are in the right place.  God knows how to speak anywhere.  And i am forever grateful for that.
I also went on a small hiking trip which was extremely fun.  I’ve never been hiking before, so it was different too.  I almost fell a couple of times!!! During the trip we went across a hanging bridge that swayed when we walked on it.  It was 70meters High!  We also found and went into a cave. Which was very interesting.  the cave was very big with lighted and dark areas.  At the end of the hike an older women made us pita bread from scratch and we had pita sandwhiches with some type of spices.  The trip was very fun.
I have just been so full with being here, looking at the scenery meditating on the word, looking at Gods mighty work.  This experience is something different.  Of course their have been some frustrating points.  Getting used to a whole new country, and being away from everything you know is not easy.  And then allowing God to break you down from old habits so He can give you new habits that are holy and sanctified for him is not an easy process.  I am in a place where I am learning and getting my education, but i am also here for Him too.  And whatever His will is for my life while I am here.  I recognize that this is not just fun and games, but it’s about me literally surrendering my will over to His.  And yielding too that is not all the time easy, but i know in the long run it will be worth it.  I Love God Sooo much, and my life would be in the slimes without him.  I ask that you all continue to keep me in prayer as i keep you in mine!  Until next time!!!
By: Shantel Davis
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About haifainternationalschool

Marketing Director for the University of Haifa International School. Offering students from over 40 countries around the world an academic summer,semester or yearlong opportunity in Haifa!

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