WOW I have had half of a blog post written for almost a month now (oops). Things have been so crazy over here, with lots and lots of travel so now I am finally taking time to write about all of it. SO brace yourself for a long post filled with lots of updates!
I WENT TO ISRAEL!
Last week, my whole cohort (all 21 of us), met in Jerusalem for our Mid Year Seminar. I had a great time getting to reconnect with all of the other fellows in my cohort- most of whom I had not seen since our orientation in August! We spent most of the days in sessions learning about everyone's work in their placements, learning about JDC Israel, reflecting on the first half of our year, and re-energizing ourselves for the second half of our year.
Naturally during free time, I ate lots of hummus, shawarma, falafel, really just any Israeli food I could get my hands on, and spent as much time in the sunshine as possible. After our jam packed week in Jerusalem, a big group of us went to Tel Aviv and stayed at an AirBnB for the weekend! There were 7 of us staying together and then some more staying elsewhere in Tel Aviv, every night we had dinner together and spent our days going to the shuk, hanging out at the beach, and eating more Israeli food.
A brief stop in Belgium-
You may remember Becca from most (if not all) of my other blog posts. She is my friend who is serving in Copenhagen this year, and who I have done most of my traveling with. Becca and I left Tel Aviv together and had a VERY long layover in Brussels, so we took the opportunity to leave the airport and wander around Brussels and Antwerp (just a 30 min train ride). This whole excursion may or may not have included a 2.5 hour power nap on an airport couch.
After two days too long of being apart, Becca and I met up again in PRAGUE!!
This was a super last minute trip but It has been one of my favorites so far. Becca and I went to Prague to attend a Moishe House Learning Retreat. Moishe House is a super cool organization that empowers 20 something Jews around the world to create their own communities by planning events, shabbat dinners, etc in exchange they get subsidized housing and funding for said events (click HERE to learn more about Moishe House). The retreat was about an hour outside of Prague at a super cute retreat center in the middle of the mountains. I had a great time getting to meet some super cool people from all over Europe! We also went in a day early and stayed a day late to get to explore around Prague a little bit.
After all of that craziness I was finally able to get settled back into Tallinn and try to get back to my routine. I am no longer working in the kindergarten due to creative differences (actually its just because scheduling it got super difficult and there isn't much time left in the school year), so now I have Monday afternoons free! I have my 2x a week Russian lessons (I DEFINITELY forgot everything I learned while I was traveling OOPS). But funny story about Russian is that literally everywhere I go I hear the language now, even when I was at home in a not touristy area there were two women behind me in a check out line and they started speaking in Russian and I was SHOOK.
The weather is FINALLY getting warmer here and it has been AMAZING. The sun is shining so bright most of the time, its rising at around 6am and setting at just before 9pm, and the weather is reaching the mid 50s during the day. I have put away my heavy coat, hats, and boots (although I have been told not to hold my breath because you literally never know what to expect with April weather in the Baltics), and I haven't needed to zip up my jacket the last couple of days (its the little things guys)
More updates to come in the next blog post including-
A conference I went to in Latvia, a visit from friends, and a trip to Helsinki!! (I figured it was best to break things up into separate posts)
I am hoping to be more on top of blogging over my last FOUR months (how crazy that this is month SEVEN?!?)!!
As always, thank you for following my adventures!