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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Everything's up to date in Kansas City

So much travel this week.  Shira arrived today---hooray!  Now Lital has clothes for the next decade.  Kids have been so excited for her visit. We did the Israeli thing and picked her up from the airport with a bunch of  balloons.  Balloons are kind of a big deal here.   I leave this week for the U.S.  I know it's bad timing but both of our trips are connected to holidays in the U.S.  On the way to the airport to pick up Shira, Nehemiah started telling me that his gym teacher was from Ashdod and that if Hamas starts firing on us again she won't be able to come and teach gym.  I asked him if there are still some bombings right now:

N:  No, there's a ceasefire.

Me:  But what if Hamas doesn't want to listen to the ceasefire?

N:  They'll listen because they work with Egypt to fight us and Egypt told them to stop.

Me:  Why would Egypt want them to stop?

N:  Governmental elections.

It kind of got sketchy after that as to which government was having the elections etc. but since this particular line of thought didn't come from us, it is apparently the news as per a 4th grader who is learning through a non-native language.  
My Israeli passport in lieu of a real passport

In other news, I finally got the Ministry of Health to recognize my Kansas license.  I was stuck in a bit of a bureaucratic bubble that I think I would still be in if Michael hadn't made the astute observation that perhaps they just weren't used to paperwork from Kansas.  It turns out he was right--apparently if it doesn't have the words "letter of good standing" in the title then it can't be a letter of good standing no matter what it says--- and after several unreturned phone calls they called my translator/notary/lawyer to let him know that they will accept the paperwork from Kansas.  It's a good thing too because I'm not too sure what I would have done otherwise.  For all of you from the coasts who think of Kansas as a "flyover" state, you have something in common with the bureaucrats who work at the ministry of health in Israel.

While I'm in KC my ulpan will be on hiatus.  I am missing the 3 final weeks with my class and when I return will join another class for their 3 final weeks  (including our final written exam!)  Hopefully I won't forget all of my Hebrew while I'm away.  One of the trauma surgeons I work with speaks Hebrew so maybe he can quiz me on my verbs and keep me up to speed.

Now to the topic of our children with their Hebrew in school.  Hmmm.  We met with the pediatrician yesterday and she seems absolutely fabulous.  It was actually her recommendation to meet us first without children so that we could go over issues relating to aliyah/immigration etc.  She said learning in school happens from after Hannukah break until Purim (approaching spring break).  And she's not the first one I've heard this from.  So in other words, our kids don't really have to learn much this year except Hebrew and keep up with the math and oh yeah that's all done in about a 4 month span.  Phew.  Any educators out reading this?  I mean Israel is way advanced in high-tech, science/medicine lots of Nobel prizes here so I'm thinking someone somewhere is learning something but that seems like a super short time to learn it all in.