Sunday, June 13, 2010

Nazareth home stay and Ilam

It´s has been a few days since I arrived in Nazareth to start my internship and met my family. We got off to a slow start with some hilarious mishaps, but eventually made it to Nazareth in time for supper. I´m sharing a flat with a two other girls from the program and we each have our own room which is nice. Our flat is on the ground level with the family living in the flat above us and it is part of a compound. I didn´t really know what to expect about living in a compound but it´s a neat situation. Since most of the Arab majority population areas have no room to grown outward, they build up. A compound is a serious of connected 3 floor buildings. Most of them share patios or stairs or a few walls. Often entire families live in a compound. My host family here, the sheikh sulimans, make up practically the whole neighborhood with cousins here, uncles there and sons and their families. It is really interesting and fun because everyone goes to each other´s homes and talks or eats. I´ve felt really included by my family which is nice. I´ve really enjoyed being here so far. I´m learning new Arabic words every day and also practicing my speaking and comprehension skills. They also try to teach us cultural things so we will fit in here. They are really great! There are 6 kids in the family, ages 14-24, and two of the daughters who go to university in Haifa have already invited us to visit them. We have also gone out with the 3 daughters to watch the world cup games. We are going to be so busy with traveling to see other internships and doing things with the family like attending a couple weddings in the next couple weeks. My host dad us really funny, he makes a lot of jokes and is really well connected in Nazareth, everyone knows him! Even the shwarma guy! I´m really enjoying myself here.
My internship is also going really well. We´ve only been working for three days but it is an enjoyable work place. All of our co-workers are super nice and speak good English, but also like to practice Arabic with us. They always ask how we are doing and if we need anything. I feel like an actual employee and not just an intern. So far we´ve been doing a lot of reading on Ilam and what it does as a media organization. The promotion of an ethics code for journalism and media is one of the most interesting aspects. It is something no one else is doing and I know I am part of something unique. I found out the other day what I will be doing for the next six weeks. My task involves a lot of research, reading and editing. The director is working on report to publish and I am helping him get it ready. I work with Hali and Nijim and we all have fun in the office together. It is nice to always have company for lunch and someone to chat with in the office or when you get lost going to and from work. We´ve had some funny experiences trying to navigate to work this week. A lot of steep, steep hills have been climbed and all of us will most definitely be in shape when we leave here.

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