Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Ten Plagues

Lately, we have been dealing with fleas.  Or is it lice?  Well, one thing is for sure, we have something in our hair. I believe that it is fleas because we have bites on the tops of our heads and lice don't bite.  We had an exterminator come and bomb the house for what that is worth.  We have washed everything in the house, blankets, clothes, sheets, etc.  Although the funny thing about that is when we went to the grocery the other day to buy more laundry detergent, Alex and I were very focused on the price and what was the best deal (since we work hard to save our shekels) that we didn't really notice it was fabric softener and not detergent.  So ALL of those loads of laundry we did were washed only with fabric softener.  Not going to do them again, just making the assumption that any living thing was drowned or killed by the hot water.  And don't you tell me anything different.

So I continue to wash the kids hair, comb it out, soak it in oil and spend money on shampoo.  What I have pulled out of their hair is quite gross, although I try to downplay it to them so as not to have them freak out.  When I mean them - read Penina.  Penina has announced that she is just not a camping kind of girl, I mean she doesn't like to be outside for 2 whole days and sleep outside without a tent.  This is all in preparation for her not wanting to go on the next tiyul with her youth group.  Her problem is that while in the moment she enjoys it but afterwards, she rethinks it and decides it sucked.  Very frustrating and not so great for her continuing absorption.  Overall, though, she is doing well and seems to be making headway in school as far as language,etc.  She still seems unable to navigate socially with girls but that is no different than it was in Chicago.  She had a bunch of playdates last week, so progress is slow but it is there.

Avi finally started school after much hullaballoo.  Yes, he is at the yeshiva.  He goes to school wearing pants and tzitzit and a kipah on his head.  Of course, both (or all, TMI?) of that comes off when he gets home.  He has gone for 2 days so far and it is going well.  He is in an English class for native English teachers and of course, her first question to him after seeing his writing was "What, don't they teach you to write in America?"
 I asked Avi if he said anything to her or maybe if she could have thought before she spoke she might have recognized that his writing wasn't simply bad but positively juvenile looking and that maybe this kid had a problem.  He didn't say anything to her because he said she was intimidating, but if he doesn't next class, I definitely will.  If I can deal with all of my Israeli students, I can deal with a South African.  He is taking a 2 day trip to the Kinneret (Sea of Galillee) with school tomorrow and Thursday.  They are going to hike 14 km he said and climb ladders.  The last bit was to make me see the wisdom of buying him one of those camel canteens.  Not gonna happen.  I think that this tiyul is a good way for him to acclimate into school.

Yaeli is good also, has made friends with some of the Israeli girls that go to the school where she has ulpan and also friends in her ulpan itself.  She frequently has playdates with a girl who moved here from California.  Her tantrums have subsided somewhat from since we got here and she doesn't seem to have as short a fuse and she did at the beginning.  She loves to talk on her cell phone, to call Alex and I for the smallest detail, but overall she is really doing well.

Alex is going to ulpan in the mornings and working in the afternoons until 10, 11 or 12 depending on how busy he is.  I think that he is happy and for us as a couple, we have nice time together to do things during the day together, to talk and to well, none of your business :)

I continue to slug away teaching at the Yeshiva on Moshav Nechalim.  The classes are getting better but there are still 2 classes, 9th grade and 12th grade that continue to vex me.  The 9th graders have several kids with behavioral issues while the 12th grade literally treat me as if I am invisible.  If I stand up and try to teach them, they just continue to talk to each other, irregardless of the fact that I am there.  If I stand in front of them and ask them to write something, they will not even pick up their pen or look at me.  Pisses me off to no end.  Let's see them try that in the army, but of course, their commander probably won't be a woman.  The 18 hours or so that I teach seem eternal each week.  I got paid finally and it wasn't as much as I thought so I will continue to look for a job.  I am in discussions with a camp to come back and work for the summer and I am looking forward to it.  It is one of the things that makes me keep going when it comes to teaching because I think that will be a good opportunity for me and for the kids to see their friends and family.

We continue to search for corn tortillas and are going to take a trip up North for hanukkah so we will definitely come into possession of some then.  As for now, I make beans from scratch and Avi has also started to cook dinner on the days that I come home late.  Overall, he makes good stuff.  Back to our trip.  I think that we are going to go and see Tzippori in the North and maybe a few other sites in that area.  The kids will be off for the entire week of Hanukkah but I am assuming in school during New Year's.  Xmas is a no brainer.  Sufganiyot (jelly doughnuts) have already begun to surface everywhere but I told the kids that they can have their first one on the first day of Kislev (which is the Jewish month Hanukkah falls in).

Speaking of holidays, Thanksgiving is soon and I am looking forward to it as it is one of my favorite holidays. I expect to be homesick since I always spend Thanksgiving with my family eating taco dip and all of the other traditional foods, including Kim's fantastic rolls.  So, I am going to invite some friends, Americans only!, and try and recreate a semblance of Thanksgiving even though the next day is a regular day and I won't be with my family. (I know Mom, that was my choice) Well, it is Friday, so I think we will just eat leftovers for Shabbat dinner.

Alex and I are planning to go out and celebrate our Vegas anniversary next week.  There is an Argentinian meat restuarant having a promotion for 50% off so we are going to take advantage of that.  And in other celebratory moments this month of November, I would like to wish my dad, aka the Goat and Happy Birthday on the 11th and to my nephew Zach, a wonderful 2nd birthday!