Another Exciting Week

Our weeks are still are combination of getting settled in our cottage and in Israel and trying to explore the area surrounding Ramat Bet Shemesh.

We were very excited to attend a wedding at Gan Hadasim in Kiryat Sefer. I kept calling it Gan Hasidim at first, but it had a beautiful outdoor setting for the chupah. I had been to the bride’s parents’ wedding, so it was particularly meaningful for me. Simply Tsfat provided the music, and at one point, it sounded like Riverdance. An interesting array of guests, amazing dancing, and delicious food made it a lovely evening. Moshe got to spend some time with his cousins as well.

Tuesday we went to an Expo for new olim at the Jerusalem Convention Center. We got some useful information and picked up some sway in the form of bags and the special device used to procure a supermarket wagon. Almost every store has them locked up, and it requires 5 shekel to unlock them. It’s not the 5 shekel – it’s just hard to remember to keep 5 shekel in your purse. Chaim had bought a pack of batteries just because a free device was included, but we got a few more, just in case.

After the Expo, we went to Machane Yehuda and Meah Shearim. We picked up some very fragrant spices and some salad mix, which all the vendor were selling. We also found the candy we like – sugar shaped like vampire fangs. In Meah Shearim we looked in a few bookstores and then picked up some olives at the appetizing store.

Ulpan ended this week, and the kids are happy to sleep in. It’s a little nerve racking that school is starting in less than a week, and we have no information and nobody picks up the phone.

Wednesday Chaim and Moshe went to the Air Force museum in Beer Sheva and then to the beach at Ashkelon. While they were touring. Dina and I did some baking and cooking to figure out how to use the mixer, the oven and the stove top. We baked some chocolate chip cookies, which came out very dark because there is only very dark brown sugar in Israel. The new mixer is a little hard to get used to because the cover has to be on to mix. We also made a butternut squash kugel and some quinoa with mushrooms, onions, and pastrami.

Thursday was another administrative day, with a visit to the copy store, the hardware store, and the supermarket. Osher Ad was crazy. There were no carts left, the lines were very long, and we picked the line with the most problems. The highlight of the shopping trip was finding chicken bones in the freezer section.

Friday morning we visited Herodion and Tekoa. Herodion was very interesting. We hiked up the mountain to see the ruins from the Greco-Roman period, then went through the tunnels dug during the Bar Kochba rebellion.

We enjoyed the food we prepared for Shabbat. It was nice to be able to eat all the foods we normally do on Friday night and Saturday morning, but kind of weird to realize that we were doing it in Israel.

Sunday was yet another administrative day. We cleared up the electric bill, went to the National Insurance Office, and then to the Post Office. We tried to go to the water company, but they were on vacation. By the time we finished dealing with all the paperwork and schlepping around in the heat, we took the afternoon off.

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