I have been trying to figure out how to say thank
you to my host family for such an amazing summer. I have really felt like a part of the family, I even got the chance to see what it was like to have younger brothers and not just a younger sister. They have always invited to go places and see the sites, made sure I was doing ok and just took good care of me in general. I never had a problem going upstairs to just sit and talk or watch a movie with them. The children in the family were a lot of fun. All of us were in the same age range and it was like having a huge family for once. My host dad kept telling me I was his favorite because I spent time with the family and would rather stay home with them then go out and party all the time. He said he would miss me very much and would be sad on Friday when he had to drive me to the bus. I know I will be sad too because I have connected with these people. Having a host family is almost always one of the best parts of studying abroad because of home cooked meals, language practice and a family environment.
The other day my host mom got to meet my mom and sister through skype. It was so awesome to see them meeting each other for the first time through a web cam in different parts of the world. I had of course told both of them great things about the other. Both of my host parents have invited me to come back and to bring my family to Nazareth to visit them. I keep thinking how cool that would be to have them meet? I feel very lucky to have my amazing family back home in the states and now host family in Israel, Spain and Egypt. Now I will have someone to call my family always near wherever I am for my future job.
I have gotten really close with one of my host sisters in particular. We have really similar personalities and she appreciates who I am. We have great talks about politics, boys and everything in between. Sadly, I haven´t been able to see her as much these last few weeks, but I hope to see her again before I leave. I´ve already asked to be invited to
her wedding in the future (another reason to come back and visit!) and invited her to come visit me when she comes to the states next year.
The time has really flown by this summer and I feel like I need more time here. I´ve lived abroad for a year in Spain and 6 months in Egypt; these 2 months in Israel have been like a weekend vacation to me. I feel very fortunate to have had this experience both academically and personally. I have made so many memories with the people I have met and learned so much about the people, the place and the conflict. I know that the things I have learned will be a huge benefit to my studies, but they will also benefit me as a person. My worldview has changed and my appetite for travel and languages and new cultures has only grown this summer. Now… where to next?