Category Archives: Life on the Outside

What if?!?

I was looking at some pictures from a trip to Arizona a friend had recently took; and as I was scrolling through them, I briefly thought,

What if?

It wasn’t a “what if” that makes you long for the past or wish things would have turned out different, it was just a simple-let-my-mind-wander-to-the-scenario of, “what if“.

Growing up in Michigan, I always aspired to go somewhere warmer.  I knew I didn’t want to stay in Michigan for college, so I began looking at possibilites. I chose Arizona State University.

While I was there, I honestly thought I would spend the rest of my life in Scottsdale.  Get married. Have a cute little family. Live in North Scottsdale in the school district where I was teaching.

But God had other plans. BIGGER plans. BETTER plans.

My “what if” scenario looked very different than what my real life has become…and I honestly couldn’t even imagine my life if my “what if” had turned out to have been my “what is“.

No, I’m not married. No, I don’t have a cute little family. No, I’m not teaching anymore.

BUT, I have Brasil. I have Africa. I have Israel. I have all the people in my life that I would have never known and loved had I never left Scottsdale.

And in a strange way, I DID end up living in the desert…. just on the other side of the world.

What if?!?

Who would’ve thunk it?!?

Since I moved down to the “Central Bus Station” area, everyone always asks me if I feel safe there…. to which I usually reply, “I haven’t had any problems.” I’ve been told to be careful because of all the “Africans” living there and all the violence they cause. But as I said before, “I haven’t had any problems……..


…… and it wasn’t caused by the refugees.

As I got off the bus this morning, I was suddenly caught in an unexpected downpour.  I had no umbrella or protection, so I stood under a building to attempt to wait it out.  It didn’t quite work as planned.

About 5 minutes into waiting, one of the drugged-out prostitues (who was walking down the middle of the street, oblivious to the rain) approached me in the nook of my shelter.  She started rambling on about this and that and nothing she said made any sense.  She did manage to ask me why I was standing there and I told her because of the rain. She didn’t quite get it.

What happened next was pretty crazy, but considering her state of mind, probably not so much in her world.  She grabbed my arm like she wanted me to go with her.  I told her no, that I was staying there and she got furious. She started screaming at me (in jibberish) which was getting on my nerves, so I decided to just brave the rain and make a run for it.

When I went to leave she grabbed my hair and yanked me back. (Literally I flew back, and luckily I didn’t fall).  I  turned around and told her to stop. At that very moment a guy who was across the street ran over and pulled her away from me.  He told me to just go…. so I did.

I heard her start to yell at him, but he was much bigger than both of us, so I’m pretty sure it didn’t fase him at all.

As I ran the rest of the way home, I thought to myself, “Everyone is always worried that I’ll be attacked by some drunk guy down here, yet it ends up being a high prostitute.” Who would’ve thunk it?!?

Well, certainly not me! (though after volunteering at the shelter, I should have imagined it: those girls are intensely violent.)

I’ll admit that I was a bit shaken up when I finally got home, and I just kept thinking, “what if that guy hadn’t come? what would I have had to do if she didn’t leave me alone?”

Thankfully, I didn’t have to find out, and I really hope that I don’t either. What a morning!

2 1/2 More Weeks!

Only 2 1/2 weeks until Christmas?!?


These past couple weeks have been BRUTAL on me, and quite frankly, I’m ever-so-happy to see them behind me!  I’ve been baking and hosting like crazy, and this past weekend was our big Help Portrait Tel Aviv Event.  All this to say that I’m ready for you, Christmas even if you aren’t showing yourself anywhere in my world!

Help Portrait Tel Aviv 2010



Candy Cane Christmas Cookies


My Christmakkah

Saying Goodbye

Yesterday morning I lost my little Falafel.  She wasn’t doing so well for the last couple of weeks, and it was breaking my heart, seeing her suffering; but I was hoping she would re-cooperate.  I woke up to see my little sweetheart take her last breaths.

She is the third animal I’ve lost this year, and I just don’t think my ❤ can take much more right now.

In memory of her better moments:

a LITTLE piece of FALL.

Honestly, besides my family and friends, there really isn’t TOO much I miss about the States.   Sure, there are things here and there, but overall not a lot…… EXCEPT FOR FALL!

I love everything about FALL.  Colors of leaves. College Football. Brisk weather (but not too cold). Hoodies. And most of all PUMPKINS!

Pumpkin Spiced Lattes, Pumpkin bread, Pumpkin Seeds, Carving Pumpkins, Pumpkin Candy Corns…… everything Pumpkin!

Living in the desert doesn’t exactly spell success for all things Pumpkin, especially when its still in the high 80’s/low 90’s…. so you can imagine my bliss when I received a package in the mail from my friend, Crystal, containing Pumpkin Goodies!!!

Pumpkin Syrup from Caribou Coffee, Pumpkin Pie Spice, Pumpkin Bread Mix from Pillsbury, and not to mention Coffee Beans as well!  The GREAT PUMPKIN STRIKES AGAIN!!!

Signs, signs, everywhere signs.

This past weekend I did something I haven’t done in FOREVER!  At 6pm on Saturday night a friend and I decided to take an impromptu road trip to…. well, we didn’t have a destination in mind…. to anywhere I guess.  We grabbed some essentials: Israel map, toilet paper, snacks, water, OFF spray, torch, etc. and hit the road!  We decided to head south and see where the roads would take us.

The concept began as a Night Road Trip, but turned into an ALL-Night one with a Morning tacked on as well.  We ended up traveling the entire south of Israel, down the west and back up the east.  We had an exhausting, yet fun night and it was something that I NEEDED so much!  Just getting out of the city and satisfying my road-bug craving made my ❤ sing.

I took lots of pics, but my favorites ended up being crazy signs you see along the roads of Israel.  Here are a few of my favorites, just in case you end up driving in my country anytime soon:

And finally, after a looooong night filled with signs, we headed back home to Tel Aviv, making a quick stop in Jerusalem:


It’s Sukkot Time Again

This month has been one big holiday… first Rosh HaShana then Yom Kippur, and now Sukkot.  Last year at this time I was in my old apartment in Ramat Gan, and my flat-mate turned our varanda into a beautiful Sukkah.  This year I have no varanda, so I wasn’t really going to do anything for Sukkot until inspiration struck early this morning.

The sukkah is a temporary dwelling of remembrance (click here to read last years post explaining the meaning and origin of this Jewish Holiday); therefore, I’m making my temporary dwelling in my living room….

Mine is far from professional, but if you’re interested in one that is, take a fast forward look into building an outside sukkah:

Chag Semeach Everyone!!! חג סוכות שמח!

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