Netanya

Did you know that Netanya is a beach city?  I didn’t. I left Haifa on Thursday by bus and was pretty stressed out. Not everyone has phone on the GP, and I forgot what its like to not be in contact with people when you need to be. I got lost so many times. On the morning I left,  I got on the wrong bus after the first bus unexpectedly stopped and the bus driver yelled at me in Hebrew to get off.  So I was on a new bus going all over the city. Luckily things always seemed somewhat familiar out the window. I was feeling frustrated and sweaty but then the words of a inspirational poster I have back home came into my head, “…feel good lost…” So I changed my attitude. I continued to pray, but decided that it was an adventure,  not adversity. I popped in my headphones and hopped off (more like crawled off, having an awkward heavy suitcase) at the next place that looked close to where I needed to be. It happened to be the place I had been the night before,  where my Arab pals taught me more Arabic words as we toured the ‘hipster street.’ If you hung out with us and understood Arabic, you would’ve been so embarrassed to be around us because we were a bunch of awkward white people practicing simple Arabic: “Cat! One, two, thuree? Three. One, two, three… what’s four again? cat!! How do you say ‘unclean cat?'”
Oh by the way, there are cats here like there are squirrels at UBC. They pop out of every crack in every Israeli city. Some are friendly, some are filthy and sad. I saw a dead kitten a couple days ago… Anyway..
I managed to get to the cafe to meet the other three on my team. I grabbed a taxi, showed off my Arabic to the driver, and grabbed a bus that would be equivalent to a Greyhound in Canada. Laura and I have been staying with a lovely girl who we met at the conference. She’s the only Messianic Jewish person our team is home-staying with and it’s a real treat. Yesterday, Laura and I got to sit on the beach with fresh watermelon and grapes, enjoying the Mediterranean Sea. It was unreal. This GP is not a vacation, we’re here to serve and learn,  but yesterday was a day in paradise. In the evening we had Shabbat dinner with international students studying at the Israel College of the Bible, and it was so nice to talk about God with people from everywhere. We listened to how quiet the city got at one point. Shabbat is a Jewish Sabbath from from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday. All the buses, trains and stores close for 24 hours. Some Jews believe that pushing an elevator button is considered work, so there are elevators that stop on every single floor in order to avoid that problem.
Today is another beautiful day and we’re headed to church wuth Miriam and her friends.

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