I named this ‘baby steps’ because that’s literally how I’m walking right now, and also that’s my philosophy on getting everything figured out moving to a new country. This post covers the last 3 days and my moods while writing about those 3 days.
Day I- on the plane and writing a lot because I was dying of boredom
I made it on the plane! See, this is a big deal because I had a little SETBACK last week. I had a wonderful time dancing once a week all summer at Milwaukee Ballet, and then of course I had to hurt myself (doing a tour jeté!) at the very last class. In the last minute of the last class in fact haha.
That happened Wednesday night, and my flight was supposed to be on Friday. I was in denial for most of Thursday, but late in the afternoon I decided I should go to the doctor (even though I avoid going to doctors at all costs) to be cautious because I couldn’t really walk at all. After an MRI I found out Thursday night that I tore my ACL and sprained my MCL. The doctor said it was okay to go and that I could put off having surgery until after this year in Israel. However, I couldn’t walk enough to get through the airport (especially with the amount of luggage I tend to bring), and I couldn’t really see sitting through 14 hours of plane rides because my knee didn’t bend.
So with much sadness we decided to delay my trip for a few days. Those were the most boring days of all time because I couldn’t move at all and I wanted to be in Israel! I was sad to miss all of the orientation stuff at school, but at least I didn’t have to miss any classes (which don’t start until the 26th).
We rebooked my flight for Tuesday, and thankfully my knee is starting to get better. I can walk a lot better now, but it’s still pretty slow and doesn’t feel too good. I managed to get the bulkhead seat on the plane which is good because there’s no way my knee would bend enough to squeeze into a normal seat.
Isn’t all of that so fun? I’ve never ever had knee problems before. It’s already really stressful to move to a foreign country where you don’t know anyone or know where anything is... but now I have to be worried about simpler things... like walking!
Looking on the bright side, I still get to go. Also, my favorite part about this injury is that now I feel much more justified about making fun of professional athletes who roll around on the ground and make a scene when they get similar injuries. I’m always like, ‘Be a man and save your tears for your pillow.’ I guess ballet dancers are just tougher :) I just stood up right away, walked to my car, and drove home- no tears or dramatics for me.
So anyways, only 8 MORE hours of flying to go :)
Day II- recently arrived in Haifa and feeling a little cranky...
After about another 20 hours of traveling, I finally made it to Haifa. Saying that it was a long day would be an understatement. There was the drive to Chicago, the 9 hour plane ride to Vienna, a few hours of waiting around there, the 3.5 hour plane ride to Tel Aviv, wandering around in the airport there for a while, a 2 hour shuttle ride to Haifa, and then finding my way around and making it to the dorm.
It’s such a relief to be here! But I have sooooo much to do and figure out now that I’m here. I was all excited to get here and then I had a wake-up call and realized I have no food and lots of other things I need ... and also no idea how to get around. And I just want to sleep. Like now. Well, why do today what you can put off until tomorrow, right?
Day III- feeling accomplished that I actually got some things done today
Today was my first full day in Haifa! The first thing I did was find campus. It was successful! But it involved just a few stairs. To get to campus, I have to walk up 100 stairs as well as walk down 100 stairs. It sucks, but at least I know I’ll be in good shape at the end of this like I was at the end of the study abroad. Forced exercise is good for you haha. Although it doesn’t feel too great with my awesome knee.
What is it with Israel and stairs? This country has a ridiculous amount of stairs. Jerusalem was exactly the same. The Haifa campus is built on Mount Carmel, so there’s a lot of going up and down.
After a lot of wandering around I managed to find all of the buildings I needed to and got a student I.D., an Israeli sim card for my phone, a wifi login (most importantly!), and I also met with some people from my program and got caught up on what I missed at orientation yesterday. It feels good to get some things checked off my list. Tomorrow morning I really need to hit up a grocery store before everything closes for Shabbat. Unfortunately that means I need to figure out the buses.
This whole super long thing is probably pretty boring because my last few days have been boring. Don’t worry, more exciting travel adventures coming soon :)
I did take these pictures on campus today of the Mediterranean view. Not bad!
And also, I’ve been having fun reading and hearing lots of Hebrew again. Share my joy with this collage.
Left: the mezuzah on my room door (wikipedia that!). I thought it was cute they were on all the room doors and not just the apartment doors.
Top right: my name in Hebrew on my new i.d. card
Bottom right: Israeli Kit Kat bar!