Wow. I’m a super glad to be home this weekend. It has been a very long two weeks. Everything happened this past few weeks including; A fight, blood donation, getting sick, food problems, tour of Jerusalem, Guard Duty, My first Punishment, kitchen duty, soldier score, job recommendations, hebrew, shabbat on base, and more… P.S. This could get long, so I will separate it with bold titles.
I have no clue where to start and I don’t remember the order of everything, so I apologize if I get a bit all over the place.
Blood Donation + Krav Maga = Kitchen Duty
Last week we had the option of donating blood. I have always donated blood and of course I did it again on base. Now, we had just gotten to base earlier in the day so I wasn’t fully hydrated or feed. After I finished I didn’t feel to good and got to chill out a bit with my commanders all taken care of me. This was a bit fun, just because they were nice for the first time. Well I don’t know if giving blood was the reason, but I didn’t really feel %100 all week. I was getting killer headaches. The next morning we had our second Krav Maga sessions. I didn’t really sleep well and hadn’t eating a lot after giving blood the night before. So what did this lead to… You guessed it I came very close to passing out. I was really giving my all during the physical warm up and when we finished I got super dizzy, starting seeing black, and dropped out of line to sit. Fun! Not really…I did all the warm up and missed the punching and kicking. btw, the army fully advocates kicking your enemy in the balls. I can not use a move that most men would not enjoy…
Well I got sent to the medic that night and just got some pain killers for my headache. The next day because they didn’t want me doing a lot of physical work they sent me to do Kitchen Duty. Now every soldier will tell you to avoid this any place except Mickva Alon (My base). It was mostly a lot of sitting around. I would have to setup the dining hall, serve drinks, get extras, and then clean up for the three meals. In between, I just sat and read a book. A very nice day to recover.
So after waiting a month and half my doctor appointment with the Army’s Gastro Doctor, I had to prepare my body. What does this include… Eating Gluten. The past two weeks I had to eat a bit of gluten every day to be ready for a test. I have been on a gluten free diet so my body would not show any symptoms if I went to the doctor. So I ate a piece of cake everyday! Great choice right. Yes, it was very tasty, but I didn’t have the best week because of it. I continued having bad headaches and stomachaches. I don’t know what was really causing my headaches and the doctor on base is almost retarded, so I just suffered for awhile. On day this past week It got really bad. I woke up with one and took some pills for it. My Mifakedit asked me if I was feeling alright before lunch and told her not really, I have a headache…she didn’t respond. After lunch in class It started getting really bad and I asked to see the medic. My other Mifakedit, the hebrew one, said that I could not until the night. This made me a bit angry and upset. I really wasn’t feeling good and started getting nausea. (btw, yes I was drinking a lot of water. They kept telling me I would be better if I drank more water. I was already doing to the bathroom every hour to pee, and it was white.) I got to the point where I ran out of the room to puke, but I kept myself from doing so…I really didn’t want to. My mifakedit comes running out to check on me. She sees that I’m not just faking and calls to get me an appointment to see the medic. They take me to the medic. She says it is just a headache. She gives me some more pain killers and sends me back to class. I was very angry. I was also with a friend of mine in the Tzvet that was feeling the same, just not as extreme. I lucks out and get a really nice medic, who he starts talking to about Australia and what does he get… Bed rest until Dinner. WHAT! I explained everything to my Mifakedet and she lets me just sleep in the classroom the rest of the day… Army health care…
Speaking of Army Health Care…. I said that I was going to see the Gastro doc, right?
Well this past wednesday my whole Pluga (Company) was going to a tour of Jerusalem. We all left in the morning and I was dropped off in the middle of the north to get another bus to Haifa. They gave me two and half hours to get from my base to the Army Hospital in Haifa. Now everyone knows this is impossible just taking busses. Well I get to to the hospital an hour late. I show up at the gate ש.ג. to check in. They very easily look at my papers and say sorry the doctor didn’t come into today. You will have to make another appointment. WHAT?!? So I call my M”M Platoon Commander and explain what is going on. She asks to talk to the gate and they start getting in a normal Israeli discussion/fight. The M”M gets back to me and says sorry, no doctor today, get back on the busses and meet us in Jerusalem as fast as you can. Sweet. Well I slowly make my way to the rest of the group. I finally get to J Town and meet up with my group on their way to the Old City. Great. Now am I going to have to wait another month and half to see the doctor…? I really need to find out my profile soon as we start interviewing for jobs in the Army next week…damn…I hope I don’t get screwed over…
To Be Continued…
Jerusalem Tour with the Army
So once in every session of Mikva Alon us soldiers get a trip to Jerusalem. The main focus of the trip is to show us our history and what we are sworn to protect and why. I think it is a very important trip for everyone, but I wasn’t to excited about it. I have been on an abnormal amount to Jerusalem tours. I definitely could be a tour guide. The trip was lead by our commanders as the tour guides. Which was really nice just because they speak “our hebrew” which is a very simplified slow version that most of us understand very well.
(On a side note…*It is very funny every weekend when I go back into the real world of Israel. All week I speak Hebrew and understand Hebrew, however on the weekend…I can’t speak hebrew or well I do and no one understands me or just doesn’t have the patience to listen to me try. and I don’t really understand a lot of conversations. Well, I think I have finally hit the point where I can stay I am fluent, but I still have a lot of work to do… especially sounding like an Israeli. As soon as I start speaking people ask me if I’m American or English. On another side note * I get mistaken all the time for a Brit or a Russian…. weird right?)
Well on Wednesday morning the bus left early for Jerusalem, well three busses. I went with my whole Pluga (Company, about 130 soldiers). I had a doctor appointment in Haifa, so I got dropped off and took another bus, like I said above in the Gluten section, so I’m going to skip to getting to Jerusalem.
I met with the bus just outside the Central Bus Station Jerusalem and we went to the Old City. The whole Pluga just had been to Har Herzal, the military cemetery, our version of Arlington. In the old city we very quickly talked about the War of Independence and the 1967 War. The main wars for Jerusalem. Then we went down to the Kotel, Western Wall, and had some free time to Pray or do whatever. It was a lot of fun because so many people, Jewish and non, wanted pictures with us. I am in a lot of random peoples camera now. The best part was when a little kid pointed me out to his parents and asked if I was an Israeli Soldier…too cute.
Our next stop was the base where we would be staying the night. I think we were in the West Bank, but I’m not to sure. It was just a very small base for soldiers staying in Jerusalem. We got there and our commanders went all crazy again after being so nice in public. The best part of the night was we had a punishment line up with the M”M. Guess What??? I got a punishment for the first time… I got caught sleeping, well I wasn’t really sleeping, just doing the “head bob” , my punishment two hours next week on base after everyone leaves. So I will prob leave at 7:30am friday morning. Not too bad at all… Oh and they ran out of food for my platoon…so we went to bed later than everyone.
The next day we woke up early and tried to do our sport time. Well there was only two low level commanders with no plan trying to get us to do physical activity on a base we didn’t care about. We couldn’t really hear them and so we didn’t really care… My mifikedet got really frustrated and decided to just make us run to our rooms a few times changing uniforms in a short period of time. Plus this past week we started doing everything as a platoon (Maklaka) and we had to do Dok 1 (Attendance sheet) for the whole Maklaka, not just our tzevts. Well there three of us that ever do them and its the biggest pain in the A$$. Try knowing where 41 people are all the time and having a minute to figure out who is missing and fill out a blank sheet with all the info the commanders request. Its hard and it sucks. The three of us always get blamed if some doesn’t show up. Its like we are to know the future…
Well after some breakfast we head out to continue our tour. First stop of the day, Giv’at HaTahmoshet (Ammunition Hill). We did a simulation of the battle that took place there in 1967 and then we talked about the decisions the commanders and soldiers had to make and how they finally won after one the most bloody battles in the state’s history.
We then headed out to the Knesset (Parliament Building). We just sat outside of the gates and were told what goes on in this government district. Just a very quick stop…
Our last stop for the day ended up being Yad Vashem (The Israeli Holocaust Museum). We had a tour in english, I had the same tour guide I had the summer before…how crazy. A lot of crazy things happened while we were there. So here I go… When we first got there one of the commanders was bringing us with our bags to the grounds where we would spend the rest of the day. Well she isn’t the strongest leader and we kinda ate her alive. She first tried to tell us to make a stack of our bags in front of the museum entrance. The guard didn’t like that and yelled at her. Now any one with common sense would have noticed that the rest of our Pluga went off to the right with their bags and to the rest area for groups. But no she did not make this connection and thought our rest area was in the entrance of Yad Vashem. She got frustrated and told us to form a Het, standard formation. Its the best way to control us, but it takes up a lot of space. Well no one could really hear her and no one cared what she was saying because she was just screaming some foreign language. Another commander that we all respect told us to put our bags in a pile first and then form a Het. So we put all out bags in a pile… well the first commander started yelling at us to have our bags in the Het and to go back and get them. Mind you that we are on a 60 second limit to do all of this. She was freaking out and started yelling at me…and for the first time, my fellow soldiers so me yell. I got in an argument with her and even asked her where her head was. I wasn’t the only one yelling at her too, I think she was just about in tears. The other commander didn’t say a word… just watched from the sidelines. Fun…
Another special moment there was at lunch. Everyone was given snitchel sandwiches (Breaded Chicken). A gluten delight. So I go to the Sergeant and ask for my food. She tells me she has it and gets on the phone and asks someone what they brought for me. She turns around and gives me my special bread. Then she looks around and says there is chocolate over there…I say that chocolate was flour in it and I can’t eat it. So she looks around some more and says there is Jelly over there…I go get it and come back and ask for more food. Bread and Jelly is what everyone eats for snack. I ask if it is snack time or Lunch? She looks around some more and brings me a small basket of miniature pears. She asks if it enough and I ask if there is anything else. She says maybe and to come back if I’m still hungry. AAHHH, WHAT!!! I do as I am told and start making a jelly sandwich. My friends are conserned for me and say they saw sandwiches with sliced meat. So I got back to the Sergeant and ask for one of the sandwiches with the meat and she gives it to me. I go to the water fountain and wash the meat from the bread. YeY, I have Lunch… I go to the forbidden vending machines and buy Bomba.
Now its about 3pm and its time to leave Yad Vashem and go to the Kotel for a closing ceremony. We are broken up into the three busses according to where we need to get in the country after the ceremony. I get on the Tel Aviv Bus. I fall asleep right away…to my surprise I wake up about 40min later and the bus hasn’t moved. WHAT is going on??? Everyone on the bus was so tired that it took us 45min to figure out that something was going on and they haven’t told us. We start asking questions and there are no answers…now on a bus with about 40 very hot, tired, and agitated men can get a bit out of hand. People start asking to go to the bathroom too, they say no. Arguments break out; soldier to soldier, soldier to commander. After about an hour of being on the bus, we find out that a soldier is missing and they are looking for him. A few of us english speakers over hear a conversation in the back of the bus from the russians. Its their friend that is missing. Well he isn’t missing, he has ran away. I start yelling at one of the russians that speaks english. I tell him very loudly that he need to tell the commander that we know where he is so that we can get out of Jerusalem or at least off the bus. It turns into quite the argument and my friends join in with me. The russian guy is saying that we can’t rat him our and turn in their friend. I am staying it doesn’t matter if the commanders know now or they find him later, all that matters is that we are stuck on a bus. Well the argument was loud enough and I’m pretty sure the commanders sitting in the front of the bus understood what was going on and that the guy missing ran away. Result… We are told we are going home and that the ceremony has been cancelled. +1 to me.
Well thats it for Jerusalem…Wow, I just wrote a lot…sorry, but I hope you enjoyed.