Normally, I force myself to take a deep breath and write my thoughts as a way of getting full value from my experiences, but this trip has been a frantic squeezing of every possibility into the mere 24 hours of a day on Earth. I haven't had time to just think.
On the other hand, I have definitely accomplished my goal of moving on with life and making sure that Israel is part of that equation. This has meant introducing Diane to my two Israeli families, showing her my beloved city – Tel Aviv, eating in all my favorite places, meeting many of my friends (there is no chance for her to meet them all in 2 weeks) and, for me, feeling at home in Israel without an Israeli partner. One week into the trip and I can already proclaim, “Mission accomplished!”
Since we arrived, we have been to Caesaria with my buddy Snait, visited my high school roommate Gilli, spend time in Akko and Rosh Hanikra, walked King George and Shuk Hacarmel on Friday, saw many close friends and ate enough to feed a whole brigade of IDF soldiers.
Tonight we have dinner in Ramallah with my friend Hania Bitar, whom I have been told by many, could be the first Palestinian woman Prime Minister. We will have breakfast tomorrow with my Talmud teacher from the Hartman Institute, Yair Eldan, and we will finish the day in Tel Aviv with my dear friends Effie and Sasha. Sasha was there when I became a father and has been a close buddy ever since. Tuesday we will get a tour of the eastern Galil and Golan Heights from my buddy Gilli, and Wednesday night we will sleep at my high school teacher and friend, Lori’s, house. To top off a great trip, Thursday night, my classmates from the Kfar Hayarok are having a reunion. And how is this for good planning, on Saturday when we depart, instead of being sad, we will fly to Amman and spend 22 hours with my old friend Khaldoun Dajani and his family.
Life is good and my waistline is growing.