Thursday, July 19, 2007

Wheels of Love

This is my last, and possibly most worthwhile post on this page. My blog has moved to - please update bookmarks, and read below.

I've been in Israel close to three years now. Time has flown by. I've watched people come and go, and focused on getting myself settled. Three years is a long time to focus on myself, and now, I want to put as much energy as I can into focusing on something much more important.

The Alyn Children's Hospital in Jerusalem gives. It gives children, and gives to families. Health Care in Israel can be a struggle for many, and Alyn aim to alleviate that by being the only hospital to provide only comprehensive pediatric and adolescent rehabilitation centres, and being one of the world’s leading specialists in active and intensive rehabilitation for children. Children with congenital and/or acquired conditions, victims of car, domestic accidents and terror attacks, head trauma, elective surgery and cancer, are treated at the hospital.

At the end of October, I will cycle from Tiveria in the North, to Jerusalem, as part of the Wheels of Love annual bike ride, and every penny I raise will go to helping children like Antonella, who suffers from spina bifda, or Shabtai from Arad who lives with Cerebal Palsy.

This is a cause we all connect to. We all know children, and would hate to see them hurt. Please spread the word by linking to and making a donation.

Please help me to give back to a country that has given me such great opportunities in the recent years.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Cultural Divide

When asked by a friend if I was looking forward to my trip to London at the end of the month, I replied that I was scared. Not of crime, or terror, but scared that the cultural difference between me and the UK will have become so great, that I would get arrested for doing something I didn't know was wrong.

It's close to two years since I was last in London, and the vast majority of my life here occurs in an American-Israeli bubble. Last week I went to Sheva Berachot for friends, and I just got invited to a similar event in London

The British Invitation - by email.

My wife and I are organising a Sheva Berachot dinner on Date in August for Chatan & Kalla. We would be deligthed for you to join us, but would appreciate having a postal address to send you an invitation. Please be kind enough to let me know how best to do this. When will you be in London?

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Kol tuv,
Name & Number

The Israeli Invitation - by phone.
Me: Yo, how's it going?
Chatan: All good... you?
Me: Just wondering how life-after-wedding is going? All good?
Chatan: Yeah man, we're gonna order pizza and make Sheva Berachot our apartment. See you at 8?
Me: Sweet... I'll bring a bottle.
Sure... these incidents are both extremes, but most Sheva Berachot I have been to over here haven't been organized much before two days in advance, then the SMS's get sent, or calls get made, and we meet up in an apartment, restaurant or forest. I am pretty certain this is first single instance that I will receive a postal invitation to a sheva berachot.

Culture is rich, and every country thrives on their own methods. The pre 2003 version of myself was always forward planning, but now, I won't talk about Shabbat before Wednesday.

If I never blog again after mid-august, there's a good chance that Her Majesty will have locked me up for some form of treason I have forgotten existed.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Blog Stuff - probably quite boring!

It's definitely one of those days. Yes, I do have work to do, but the likes of Flickr, wikipedia,, Meebo and an argument with a friend about the color of grapefruit have been much more interesting that actually working. Surprisingly, Facebook didn't make it onto that list. I work in hi-tech, I can spend time on the net, right?

In the spirit of High Tech, or rather inspired by a conversation with a co-worker about how people found his blog, I had a look at some of my referral stats, and it's amazing what some people try to find on Google. There are some logical search results that lead people here, such as 'nargila', 'bezeq', 'Adi Ashkanazi' - all of which are things I have commented on... that makes sense.

The oddest search result to reach me was probably 'apple slicer and stitches' - kind wishes go out to whoever it was I share that experience in common with... and as for Mr. 'Ulpan Etzion Sex', I wish you an easy klita!

Well... now that I have publicized my geeky tendencies online, I got to run home, my lift is waiting. Perhaps Route 443 will have hold inspiring to write about tomorrow.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Saved by the Bell

I'm going back to school.

That's it... it's happening. No long introduction needed, no waffle about summer time, change, aliya, journeys, responsibility or any of that stuff. Come September, I will be a student. Not a full time student, not a degree student, but I have found a course in the field I love, with hours that suit me, and I am going back to school.

For the last five or six years, university talk was always around. I applied to university four times, and each time, I turned down the offers I received, knowing that studying a degree out of my field of interest would be a waste of my time, and money, and the chances are, I wouldn't follow through. This time, I am going to be studying at a design school, and working at the same time.

In addition to the skills and qualification I will receive, there is one other aspect that I am looking forward to. My course, in Tel Aviv, is in Hebrew. It will give me an insight into the real Israel, I will get an opportunity to see life outside the Anglo-bubble I live in. Don't get me wrong, I love my friends and the life I have built here, but a little more Hebrew language and Israeli integration is defiantly overdue.

"I have never let my schooling interfere with my education" [Mark Twain] and now the time has come for me to take my education to the next step.