Sunday, January 15, 2012

Long Overdue!

Hey hey everyone! Wow, so it has been a while since my last post! I was trying to wait until I had some stuff to tell y'all before I wrote, but then time just got away from me!
Well I definitely have a lot to fill you in on! Since the last time I wrote, there was another holiday, lots of beach time, lots of cooking, a safari, games and our Christmas break! Whew! Let's catch up :-)

After Yom Kippur, which is the most solemn holidays in the Jewish year, is Sukkot.  This holiday is so joyous that it is referred to as The Season of Our Rejoicing in Jewish prayer. Sukkot is the last of the Shalosh R'galim (three pilgrimage festivals). Like Passover and Shavu'ot, Sukkot has a dual significance: historical and agricultural. Historically, Sukkot commemorates the forty-year period during which the children of Israel were wandering in the desert, living in temporary shelters. Agriculturally, Sukkot is a harvest festival and is sometimes referred to as Chag Ha-Asif, the Festival of Ingathering. If you want to read more about this, you can visit that's where I get all this information and all the specifics for you guys! :-) 

The weather here in Israel is so gorgeous! I mean right now it's raining, but on average the temperature is around 62 during the day and 52 at night. Needless to say, me and my teammates took advantage of the sunny days and spent PLENTY of time at the beach! :-) 

I have become quite the chef over here! I have always liked to cook, but I took it to a whole new level over here in Israel! I've made a lot of stuff from scratch because they don't have certain ingredients I need. I have a Better Homes and Garden cookbook back at home, so I was going to their website and Paula Deen's website finding stuff to cook. My roommate, Maurita, is very happy! Haha she has loved everything I have cooked! I can't lie though, all the food turned out pretty delicious! I think this is going to be my new hobby. I'm seriously thinking about taking some culinary classes so I can learn the proper techniques and learn how to use different spices and create different flavors. Growing up both of my parents were always cooking so I was always in the kitchen. My dad made sure that I knew how to cook before I went off to college. He said "Bones, you need to be able to fend for yourself when I'm not around to cook for you." I've done just that! I'll post all the stuff I've cooked so far :-) 

In this city called Ramat Gan they have a drive through safari. I went one day and it was one of the coolest things I've ever gotten to do! Driving though and being that close to these animals was definitely scary, but it was also a lot of fun! There was 250 acres of land with over 1,600 animals of different species! Here's the link so you can check it out :-) 

We got to go home for almost a whole 2 weeks for Christmas break! That is almost unheard of in professional basketball overseas! I can't complain though, I was so excited to get home. Even though my flight got cancelled, I had to stay at the airport for another 5 hours, I had to fly to Germany first with a 2 hour layover, I had to fly to Philly for another 2 hour layover and then finally fly to was all worth it when I saw my family :-) My family didn't know I was flying in that early, so I had my best friend Christian pick me up at the airport and take me to my mom's work to surprise her first. She was definitely surprised and of course cried :-) We ate dinner there, then went to the house to surprise my older sister and my dad. When we got to the house, Christian went inside and acted like she had the surprise in a bag. She told them to go into my dad's room and wait for her to tell them to come out and see the surprise. In the meantime, while talking to them and rattling the bag, she was trying to quietly unlock the door so I could sneak in the house! I ran down the hallway and jumped in the room! My sister started screaming "I knew it! I knew it!" My dad just put his face in the pillow and smiled and then told me "You can't be doing that bones, I'm too old!" Haha :-) It was so much fun! The surprises didn't stop there! My little sister had moved to Kansas a month before and informed all of us that her and my niece wouldn't be able to make it back for Christmas. Well, one day at work she found out that she had 4 days off for Christmas. So of course I told her I'd fly her and my niece home! She said not to tell my parents because she wanted it to be a surprise! :-) On the day she was supposed to get in, my older sister, Ajia, was out shopping with my parents so she was an accomplice. We hid my sister and niece in my parents' room so when they got home they would walk in and see them :-) Of course, it was another successful surprise and my mom cried again :-) This Christmas break was by far the best! It was spent with family and people I love the most...doesn't get much better than that :-) 

Games have been underway over here in Israel! In the beginning of the season there was a strike between the Israeli players and the basketball federation that postponed the start of competition. It got to the point that they actually cancelled the league and started meeting with players about going home. It was scary because most countries already had their teams and rosters set, so all I could think about was "what the heck am I going to do!?" Luckily, they reached an agreement and we finally got the season underway! We're doing well right now. We are 8-2 in the league and in 2nd place. With the shorter season, every game counts because the playoff system has changed. The league is so much more balanced this year. On any night, any team can win so there are definitely no nights off! I think it makes it more exciting for the fans here to watch because the games are more exciting when you see us out there fighting for a win every night. Next week we are going to start playing 2 times a week so we can move the games along. 

Oh yeah! I almost forgot! Yesterday I booked my mom's flight to come visit me the first week of March! I'm so excited because this is the first time I've had a visitor over here and it's my mom!!! :-) 

Well, that about does it for all of our catching up! I hope I didn't talk your ear off :-) I'm trying something new with sharing my pictures with you guys, so let me know how you like it! 

Here's the link to the photo album:

Hebrew Lesson of the day: 
klum (kl-OOM) = Nothing

You can also follow me on Twitter @Alysha_Clark

Until next time,