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This week is really fucking hectic.

My best friend’s wedding is on Saturday, and I’m Maid of Honor. I still need to figure out what the fuck I’m doing for this wedding

School is starting to kick my ass. Next Monday I have a presentation, in two weeks I have a massive presentation in my Thursday night class, and my Wednesday night class  just sucks.

Speaking of my Thursday class, my group for this semester-long group project blows. One girl keeps changing her mind on what we should do and no one else gives enough fucks to stop her.

And to top it all off the guy I’ve been seeing for the last month or so broke things off on Monday. This isn’t terribly depressing, because we weren’t going anywhere, but damn does the timing blow.

I’m ready for this week to be over.

I really need to move out of my house. I went on a second date with a guy tonight, and afterwards he invited me over. And I said no. Not because I didn’t want to go, but because before I left my mom said she would be waiting up for me. I just want to be able to enjoy my life without the fear of my parents getting upset.

Unfortunately, I’m leaving Israel 3 weeks early…

For those who haven’t been keeping up with the news, things in Israel and Palestine aren’t too good right now. In June, 3 Israeli boys were kidnapped in the West Bank, and last week their bodies were found in a ditch. Since then, a Palestinian boy was kidnapped and killed as an act of revenge. There have been protests throughout the West Bank, and there has been a lot of violence here in Jerusalem - especially in East Jerusalem (which isn’t super close to me) and in the Old City (which I can see looking out my apartment window). Plus, Hamas and Israel are firing rockets at each other once again… From reports it looks like this might be the beginning of the third intifada.

With all this fighting, we have been told not to go into the West Bank, thus we can’t do our research. We tried to wait and see if things have calmed down, but they’ve only gotten worse, and it doesn’t seem like things are ending any time soon. Plus, the violence is, quite literally, outside our door, making it a little unsafe to be here. My research partner and I made the difficult decision today to end our research prematurely and return home this Thursdsay.

It’s a bittersweet feeling, to say the least. I don’t want to leave and give up on our research, but at the same time, waiting here and hoping for things to get better is a waste of time and money. Plus, if everything were to get better, organizations will be so focused on cleaning up the mess - they wont have time to help us. Nor should they make the time - I don’t want to take time away from those who need help.

I’ve got 3 full days to enjoy Jerusalem. It’s weird to think I’m going home, but at the end of the day I know it’s the right decision.

Things I want

-Chinese food

-My headache to go away

-A nap

-McDonalds

-The children in my apartment building to stop screaming 24/7

-Chapstick

-My puppies

-This cinnamon croissant thing from one of the markets

-Good shawarma

-My stipend check to come in

-My bed at home

I’m definitely feeling the culture shock/culture fatigue today. Don’t get me wrong, these past 13 days in Israel have been amazing. But damn, today is definitely not my day.

I spent the afternoon walking around the Old City of Jerusalem. I’m still in shock that I am back in Israel, and this time I’m not just visiting and going on guided tours, but I’m actually living here - with rent to pay and groceries to buy. Even if it’s only for two months, this is truly a dream come true.

Of course I’m overwhelmed with it all. I hate not being able to read signs around me, or understand what people are saying, or even know where I’m going. Part of my personality is always needing to be informed, and here I can’t be. It’s stressful. But it’s a good thing. I don’t always have to know what is going on, and I don’t need to feel overwhelmed with not being in control. It’ll be a good lesson for me.

Tomorrow’s goals - get some fresh squeezed juice at some point, figure out my financial situation, and meet new people.

Tomorrow is the big day!

I’m leaving for Israel tomorrow for two months! While I’ll be updating this blog with the stories I don’t want my parents to see, I’ll also be keeping a wordpress blog that will be more family friendly :) of you happen to be on wordpress, check me out at allycollender.wordpress.com

Next personal post will be in about 36 hours when I’m in Israel!

My trip is officially back on! Unfortunately, instead of living in the West Bank we have to live in Jerusalem but I don’t even care because I will be spending two months in Israel and Palestine and I am SO EXCITED!!

So fucking blown right now

I just spoke to my coordinator for my fellowship, and the school that is hosting the fellowship is reconsidering letting is go to the West Bank due to it being unsafe. My fucking masters degree is going to be in conflict analysis and resolution - in order to study areas of conflict, there is that risk of being unsafe. I understand this and I am still willing to go because I believe that learning the Israeli and Palestinian narratives surrounding the water crisis is worth the fucking risk. Goddammit the school has no issues with people going to Burma or Mexico - FOR FUCKS SAKE MEXICO IS ONE OF THE LAST PLACES ANYONE SHOULD GO RIGHT NOW. I honestly don’t understand - my undergraduate and graduate school has programs that allow students to go to the West Bank… So why won’t this school let us. I just cannot comprehend how a school can have a center for conflict studies with a focus on international conflicts and then not encourage students to research these conflicts.

I’m hoping for the best, but dammit I really wanted this to work out. This past year has been one of the hardest of my life. I am afraid of spiraling into another state of depression if this trip doesn’t work out. It took me forever to get out of my bad place before… I’m not sure if I can go through that again so soon. I just want to do this fucking fellowship in the land that I love and want to spend my life researching and helping.