Staying Put

Finally I have some free time to make a post. The past few weeks have just been crazy, if you haven’t been reading the news…

I have a lot to write so I will break everything down in sections; Commander Interview, My Direction in the Army, Summer Camp, and a few of the last holidays.

Interview to be a Basic Training Instructor for New Olim:

A month ago I went to interview for the Job I have been telling you about. Its something I really wanted and I tried very hard just to get the interview. I had to take a bus to another base kinda in the south. It wasn’t very close to a bus stop so I had to walk a few km to get there in the very hot desert sun. I felt like I was going no where. I got to the base after asking a few people along the way how to get there. It took me a bit to get inside the base, but I met some really funny girls guarding. I knew I was definitely not on a combat base. I arrived at the interview not knowing at all what I would be asked or what I would have to do. The first thing this officer says in, “Your Tzvi Darling?” -Yes “I see you have worked very hard to get here. Why don’t you start telling me a little about yourself and why you want this job.”

I explained, in Hebrew, all about my past and experience and why I want to become a commander. She then says, “Well you have a great story and I can see you really want this job. I have to first thank you for coming to the IDF and serving its very brave of you…” (I then think to myself…so shit there is going to be a “but”) and sure enough she continues, “but we have a few problems. First this is a very hard course and you would really struggle.” (I replay, I know and I am willing to give a 110%. I really want this and I can learn fast.) She continues, “Second you only have a year left on your service and we require at least two years or more.” (I say I have no problem signing another year or more. I also tell her that I plan on becoming an officer and could possibly make a career out of the army.) She concludes, “The thing is that because your a lone soldier, the army is not ready to pay for you to join the course and sign extra time. So I don’t think that we are going to let you into the course.” I ask, “What do you mean? Why did I even get the interview, if you knew I couldn’t do this. What are my chances of getting in? Is this a final answer?”

Anyways, she couldn’t give me a straight answers to my questions and told me thank you for coming in…. I then left her office and the base not in the best moods. I was angry, sad, let down and hot (because of the heat). WTF + a bunch of other curse words.

Where do I go from here…

In the recent weeks, I have had many conversations with my commanders and officers. What should I do, what are my options…ect. I have played with many ideas including starting my service from zero and becoming a full combat soldier or even going to officer training course. I really thought a lot and decided that I will just finish out my service in my very good unit and take on a few more responsibilities. I am tired of fighting and just want to finish my service with my head held high and continue my life in the civilian world.

This summer… America here I come.

This had been a roller coster ride the past two weeks. I thought a few months ago it might be possible to go back to my Jewish Summer camp in Pennsylvania this summer, but there was no way that I could make it work so I gave up on the idea. Well last week I got a call from a friend who works for CampUSA. They are an organization that finds and send Israeli kids to American Jewish summer camps in the US. I know many kids and counselors from this organization from my experience at Camp Poyntelle Lewis Village (CPLV). Anyways they just had some counselors drop out at the last minute and my name came up to lead a group of Israeli kids to CPLV this summer. Wow! I then had to see if it was even possible to 1. Go to the US 2. Work in the US 3. Make the seminar the next day. Well after many emails and phone calls. It was looking really good. The next day, last weekend, I went to a small kibbutz for the seminar. I had three days of complete fun and learning. I felt alive again and I met some really great new people.

So I was pretty sure that I would be going to CPLV. This is quiet a different job though than just a counselor at camp though. We have to talk to the kids and their parents, get everything ready for camp, and fly with them. During camp we are in constant communication with the kids and their parents. Well all was pretty set, but not final. I was waiting all week for a final word that I was going to CPLV. A few days ago, I got this call, but it wasn’t exactly what I was expecting. I was offered to go to CPLV…but they wanted to offer me something else that might be better for me and the organization. I was told of a new camp that is run by Israelis in New York’s Hudson Valley. They are really needing someone that is American, speaks Hebrew, knows the camp feel, and loves Israeli culture. Well I fit right into this and they would really like me to join them. This is a great opportunity for me and my future. Plus I know the founder and am a friend of his son. So why not try something new and have a greater influence?

I took the job at Camp Kimama USA. Its really exciting, but also I am really going to miss CPLV and all my wonderful friends. I hope I get to visit this summer. Another down side is that I will not have much time if any to visit friends in NY. I will always be with my kids for three weeks. I don’t have any extra time off from the Army too, so as soon as I get back to Israel, its off to the army. Fun Fun…

Yom HaShoah, Yom HaZickron, Yom HaTzmahut (Holocaust Day, Remembrance Day, and Independance Day.)

Its kinda crazy durning this week of holidays. There are two very sad days followed by the happiest day. Why? Think about the Jewish History and the History of Israel. I was in the army for Holocaust day. We had a short ceremony and I even participated. It was very nice to take a moment and think about the past and see where we have made it today.

The Army lets most people off durning Remembrance day and Independence day. Sunday night started Remembrance day. I went to the Kibbutz’s ceremony. I have never really “felt” like I did at this ceremony. It was very powerful to hear about the people who’s live have been given for our existence today. It also reminded me of why I moved to Israel and joined the Army.

On monday, me and a few of my friends from Ulpan traveled up to Ramat Yochanan, my first kibbutz, to celebrate Israel’s 63 Brithday and the Kibbutz’s 80th Birthday. It was quiet weird making the transition from the saddest day to the happiest day, but thats our reality. There was a big ceremony with lots of music, flags, and fireworks. We had a great time…to say the least.

Well that is it for now. I think you are all caught up now. Feel free to comment!

Shabbat Shalom! I’m off to the Beach 🙂


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