Week 5 In Jerusalem: My Adopted Family, Lost in Translation, and Eating Well

Happy new year for those who celebrated this past week. Just like I have been adopted by Jonos family at home, I have now been adopted by his family in Israel.

On Friday, he and I took the bus to Tel Aviv to stay with the same family we had stayed with when we first got to Israel. Jonos aunt, Milka has a son named Ariel and a daughter named Lee who are in their early twenties and recently out of the army. This means that they are in the same life stage as Jono and I; leaving their parents house and deciding about college. 

Like most holidays, our weekend was filled with good food, lots of sleep, and of course family time. I played surrogate cousin to Jonos two 7 and 9 year old boy cousins who climbed on me and yelled at me in hebrew. Luckily in the month since I had seen them I had learned more hebrew and I could communicate with them a little more! The key word is “dai” which means enough! Rather funny hearing mothers walking down the street and yelling “die” to their kids. I’m sure American mothers would like to do the same but It wouldn’t be socially acceptable.

Ariel is a very talented Jazz guitarist with an eclectic music taste. He showed me the first Israeli artist that I vibe with which is super exciting. He and I also recorded a song together in his home setup. On Saturday night we went to his friends house for a pool party and then we all went to the park to play spike ball. They played like a well oiled machine and were impressive. Needless to say, I did not perform well, although everyone was super nice and willing to teach me. At 12am we left the park to get burgers and didn’t get home until 2. Such is Tel Aviv time. 

Building a table for Rosh Hashanah dinner with Jono and Ariel

I had some interesting conversations this weekend, particularly surrounding language. Jonos family are Uruguayan immigrants to Israel- so I may have spoken more Spanish this weekend than I did Hebrew. Hebrew on a level is a simple and direct language. While in Germanic languages such as English and Spanish we have the words “to be” or “estoy,” in Hebrew there is no “to be.” to say that I am good, you say ani (I) tov (good.): “I good.” Lee says that when she journals, she does so in English despite it not being her first language, because she says there are more words with nuanced meanings from which to express herself. We wondered if maybe some of the directness of Israeli culture comes from the limitations of a developing language (hebrew has only been spoken for 100 years.) 

When we got back to Jerusalem Tuesday night, the good food and company did not stop. I went to dinner with Jonos uncle from the states on Wednesday and met up with family friends Carianne and Tito on Thursday for dinner. They couldn’t fit the shuk on their itinerary during the day so unfortunately for them I showed them the shuk on a Thursday night (Comparable to a Friday night in the U.S!) We made it out in one piece and picked up some rugelach! 

The shuk on a Thursday with Carianne and Tito

My roommate and I team cooked chicken fajitas last night and we combined with room four for a raucous friday night dinner.  

I’ve had a great time this week collecting new family, and showing old friends a city new to them. 

Hi Mom! Look at me in the kitchen 🙂
Recording a little music