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Ever since Mark and I got word that we would indeed be staying in Haifa for another year, we've been, well, the only way I can really describe it would be 'out-of-sorts'. I'm sure plenty of others have experienced this - a bit of buyers remorse, I suppose. It's not that we have some other fancy plans we've ditched along the way. More that I think we'd just set our minds on "next". I do remember thinking after we found out that of course we were staying - how absurd to think otherwise. It's just, it has somehow sapped our energy a bit.

In any case, in an attempt to abate this a bit, I thought I'd first mention some of the things I miss from "home" [referring to the States, mostly] and then state some of the things I'd miss from "here" [being Israel].

Okay, let's just get the obvious out of the way: family and friends, yeah, duh!!

The little/silly things:
Pizza - what I'd give for some Adriaticos!!!
My clothes - seriously, I sent so much of it home thinking I wouldn't be here next month!! Agh!!! [believe me, being clothes-less in Israel is serious - yikes!]
A flat surface that lasts more than 50 feet. Living on the side of a mountain can get old.
English-language ... well, I was going to say libraries, but really - English-language anything at this point!!
Central heating - what a luxury!
Our car - sigh...
Snow! I really enjoyed the snow we had while we were home in November. Yay, snow!
My clothes - did I mention my clothes? Lest I forget, my clothes!

Again, obvious things first: the Baha'i Shrines and the best freaking work environment with the best co-workers and the best boss I've ever had, and of course, all of the lovely friends I've made here.

The little things:

Admittedly, most days Fresco Pizzeria & Gelataria make up for a lack of Adriaticos (most days)
My dear pharmacist - the only one I've learned Hebrew from!
My view of the bay
An extraordinary community - a real experiment in sustainability
The ability to go to a restaurant and never be distracted by another table's conversation - because I don't understand them! [I found myself very frustrated back in the States! I just wanted to tell everyone to shut up! yikes!]
The continual blossoming of verdure year-round
The fact that everyone is aware of the Baha'i Faith in this country - and in some cases there are discounts just for being a Baha'i! Rock on!
And along that line - the occasional taxi driver who says, "you are Baha'i? I grew up next door to Ruhiyyih Khanum. She told me the history of the Baha'i Faith. You want to hear it?" heeheehee
The olives, loquats, kumquats, mandarins, pomellos, avocadoes...mmmmm
And finally, Fattoush, for without Fattoush I would not have discovered two things:

1. hummus with hot paprika is the best!
2. chocolate ginger rooibos tea is so good I am willing to hunt it down on the Internet, pay a silly price for it and have it shipped to me. Yes, it is that good. Chocolate mint is yummy, too - as is Mexican Winter rooibos, but I digress.

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Ironic, I don't even eat pizza anymore. And I thought the pizza we had in Haifa was pretty good. As good or better than what we have. And when you get 'home', there will be things you miss. A lot. Believe it or not. Maybe it's about 'living in the moment', though I must admit I would miss my bathroom. Not my bathroom specifically, but American bathrooms in general. Snow? You can have it!

I'm four hours away from Adriaticos and I miss it too! Perhaps we can do a pizza roadtrip sometime when you return :) (although Chicago style is very excellent, that spicy Adriatico sauce just can't be matched!

Hmmm, Adriaticos is pretty good. I agree with Ma, though. Grandma sent kristen and me some money for pizza she even called it pizza "dough." Free dinner on Grandma is great, the pizza is not so great. Pizza is gross, to me, now. I feel like the trade war between pizza joints has driven the quality of pizza down down down. sigh.

I find that there are a lot of things I reminisce about when I was in Gambia. I miss the people and community there a lot. I also miss having as good, cool, and deeply spiritual and supportive a friend as Helen who was, ironically, never too busy to stop and have a cup of tea and be nice to me. I don't know how she managed to stay sane because I certainly didn't help. I alos really miss Karate and the expat rugby crowd.

I hope that I can do some wonderful cooking for you when you get back.

Mara! Thank you so much for your loving comment on the blog. I know what you mean about hectic, I really miss you a lot as well. I do think of you very often (amazing as you mentioned, we only live 5 mins away from each other!!!!) but keep up to date from daily checks of the blog.
I totally know what you mean in this post. For me, I'm trying very much to really appreciate the absolute bounty of being here. It's funny, the things we miss about home. When I went home for 3 months to have the baby, it helped put a lot of things in perspective, as I realised that I only missed the things about home when I couldn't have them, and when I had them right there at my finger tips I really didn't seem to care that much. For me, leaving the World Centre will be very difficult, as I know that I will miss it terribly, and it's the sort of place that I can't decide 'oh, we really shouldn't have left, lets just go back.' however, I feel the need to leave soon as life seems to be kind of 'on hold' here...unless you're here for 20 years or something. I suppose when we arrive here it's with the knowledge that one day very soon we'll have to leave, so we never DARE to put our roots down too deeply..or maybe that's just me.
However, for now, I'm just trying to love life, and it's working more or less...of course, the occasional fantabulous vacation abroad doesn't hurt either :) in short, I totally know what you mean, sista!
lots of love and i hope to see you before we head off to Japan

Thanks, Amelia. You really hit the nail on the head here. I think that's exactly how I think and feel about living here, too (and leaving here, as well)!

I was there for 19 days and I loved every moment of it. The hard walks uphill: the easy walks down. The people I met in the Holy Places, or doing their toils, wanting to know all about me and how I got to go to places they couldn't(I was consulting and volunteering). And of course, volunteering duties for the UHJ in some fashion in many places was exciting and fulfilling as well as useful. Being able to look out the window at Baha'u'llah's final homeland, the Shrine of the Bab, the wonderful gardens, and ancient and modern Israel. Do I miss it? No, I cherish every moment and it has come to life in my mind and heart. What I miss most about Israel is you and Mark. I actually lost five pounds on our trip there! There were many special places I visited there. Two of my favorites for some reason are Ruhiyyih Khanum's burial place as it was so serene once I left the road and entered(maybe it was helped by the fact that a gentleman was sent early in the morning,still dark, to open the gate for me there): and the resting places of the wives of the our Beloved Men of the Faith and the children. You know where Munirrih Khanum is buried. That also was a place I could wander and feel a warmth of spirit wash over me. I also experimented with sounds in the lobbies of the buidings on the Arc. Mama was upset with me but I discovered that each resonates outward and upward with each sound made there. So I discovered that the activities in these buildings send out a continual musical resonance to the universe each day. It is one of the most incredible discoveries for me to share with the whole world; and all you have to do is listen for those sounds each day to learn how it works. Kewl! What I have learned over the years is that it is in the heart that we miss places and people; that we haven't the words to describe the feelings of the heart adequately, so we just simply say we miss it or them. It is actually a very high honor to be loved in this manner for both the people and the places.

I can sympathize with you, Mara. I was ready to get onto the next thing before we left, but leaving Haifa is sort of a process in your heart. Even being in the States with all the great stuff to partake of and family to spend time with, it took me awhile to sort of "get over" the fact that we had left. Even today I still miss it like crazy, despite the fact that I can easily think of a lot of things I didn't like about being there (dog poo on the sidewalks, having to walk straight up hill if I want to go anywhere, not having a car, etc.). However, if somebody asked me to come back, my gut reaction would be do immediately drop everything and do it (even though of course it is logistically not possible--school and all!). Don't get me wrong, being back in the States is not a huge hardship or anything, but it was definitely a big adjustment...a lesson in overstimulation, if you will. I guess my point in all of this is to share the re-entry process, maybe to affirm what you already understand, that while your "real world" life is perhaps on hold a little while longer, you get to be in Paradise a little while longer (albeit a steeply inclined, polluted, ugly clothes-selling paradise), but an intesely spiritual one nevertheless. In other words, my advice would be love it while you got it, because it's a different world out here. (Oh, and go visit Europe as much as possible, because it's freaking expensive to try to do it from the States! :) )

I'll say it again - thank you, Amelia!

hi amelia,
you know, how you described you feel is exactly how i know i'll feel when i leave here...even though when we eventually leave the World Centre i know i would have been the driving force (shingo would live here until he was 800 years old if he could) it will still be a most impossible departure. thanks for putting my future feelings into words for me :):)
(the other) amelia

My team is out. So much for France this year. That was so fast. I just assumed that they had a good shot to do well in this years world cup. Maybe in four years. Maybe its time to jump on the Argentina bandwagon. Looks like Demichelis has already scored. Go Argentina. To make me feel better from that devistating loss by France, I have been listening to some funny jokes.. This one made me laugh really hard:

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omg...i read that sofia vergara's boyfriend was in a really bad car accident...he fractured his hip? i hope he's going to be ok...

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This page contains a single entry by Mara published on April 4, 2006 9:44 PM.

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