University of Haifa International School Student Blog
This past week was bittersweet! On Thursday the University canceled classes due to ongoing fires happening in Haifa. Since the situation was out of control many people left the city. The University did a great job informing us of the situation and had a plan in case things got worse. At our 12:30 meeting the International school staff told us to stay calm and to not leave campus. When I went back to my apartment I heard that it would better to have a bag prepared full of clothes and toiletries. Since nothing ever happens when I’m around; I didn’t think we would actually evacuate. My friends and I were in the middle of watching The Proposal when the house mother got on the intercom and told us to evacuate now. We were told to bring our valuables and other essentials.
We all gathered at the Moadon for further instructions. Buses came to take us to the community center in Kiryat Haim. The bus ride was pretty long since traffic was backed up and roads were closed. We finally made it and we all made ourselves adjust to our new temporary home. The first 24 hours were incredible! The International school provided a Thanksgiving meal and we all ate the it hurt to laugh. Then they played Bad Moms in the theater room and after that we did Karaoke. Needless to say we kept ourselves busy. People here are so kind they literally donated food and the country provided us with mattresses and blankets to sleep on for the night. As this was happening the news channel in Israel came by to see us dancing and having fun in all this chaos around us. I didn’t go to sleep until the Cowboys game was over and I ended up sleeping in the wrong room. It was freezing cold at night and I woke up way too early the next day. When we got up we were provided breakfast which were these delicious Burekas. Then we all gathered up like it was Groundhog Day or something as we waited for news on whether we were going back to the University or going somewhere else. The results were six more weeks of winter because now we were all moving to Rehovot which is near Tel Aviv.
We all packed our bags and took an hour bus ride to Rehovot. When we arrived to the Weismann Institute of Science the campus was gorgeous. We stayed in the international dorms and they even have bunk beds! Reminded me of home! They provided us lunch and then I finally got my shower in. That night everyone went to dinner with their host family. I stayed back and relaxed in my room. I slept like a baby that night. Best bed ever!
The next day I woke up to eat breakfast. They had my Krave cereal! After that we were told that we can do whatever until 6:30 pm. A bunch of my friends and I went out to explore the city. Unfortunately not a lot of places were open due to Shabbat. Instead we walked around and had lunch at a cafe. Then we went back to the dorms and packed our bags just in case we were going back to Haifa. At 6pm we got the news that we were going back home. We all had dinner and then took the bus ride back to the University. We arrived around 11pm on Saturday.
This will be my memorable weekend! I feel bad for people who don’t have a place to live due to the fires that burned their homes. I hope that they are able to find a place and I am happy to volunteer to help them transition through this tough time.
I want to thank the International School, the community center, and the Weismann Institute for taking care of us this weekend. They gave us food and a place to stay for all three days. And the International school staff stayed with us the whole time even though they have their own families to take care of.
The University pushed all my midterms to next week so I’ll be studying all of this week!
That’s all for me this week! Hope everyone is doing well! Love and miss you all! 6 weeks!