It’s been one week here in Israel under the internship program with UGA’s Global Health program. I can’t begin to explain how much I have learned, and I also can’t believe how much there is still left to know.
Today, our group visited an ancient Roman city called Bet She’an, and it was very interesting, but the temperature reached 104 degrees Fahrenheit at 8:30 AM. I drank 3 liters of water today! Never went to the bathroom! That’s just crazy.
We ate falafel at this arab restaurant that was open, was pretty good and didn’t make me sick: score!
Then, we saw a gladiator arena where they literally fought animals to the death, and finally we went to Megiddo, which is where Armageddon is supposed to happen according to the book of Revelations in the Bible. It was SO hot, so we weren’t there too long, but we did go underground into this ancient tunnel for water from a spring that King David built, actually. Pretty awesome and so much more comfortable and cool down there.
It was a long and very hot day. We are back to work tomorrow. I have to go to the hospital by myself, and I need to get myself going on my data collection. Hopefully I’ll feel confident and courageous tomorrow and all this week. Wednesday I am going to Tsvat with Dr. Schuster to meet the hospital director there and see if I could do some research collection there as well. I would like to, because it’s a lot more active with the Syrian patients.
Friday (which is the start of the weekend here, Friday and Saturday. We work Sundays), we are going to Jerusalem for 3 days. Apparently we are spending the night there 2 nights. I had no idea. So that will be really great. I’m excited to have a 3 day weekend. All these trips make the weeks go by a little faster. In addition, our tour guides are just insanely great, and I am trying to soak up their knowledge which seems endless.
I am really pretty homesick for familiarity. This whole thing is probably the hardest thing I have ever had to do. I mean, it’s really intimidating to walk up to world-renowned surgeons and hospital staff who are all doing their work and ask them to fill out a survey or talk to me for 30 minutes about an extremely touchy subject… but I know that research is what modern society build our systems upon, so I just have to remind myself that what I’m doing is also important. I am definitely an outsider coming in to a place where I feel tolerated, but not necessarily welcomed or understood.
It’s really interesting to feel that way, because I think many refugees also encounter similar feelings and issues related to language, customs and a feeling that this is not home, but we have to figure out how to make it work.
Bet She’an Roman pillars Bet She’an Roman rubble….Armageddon Site, excavation in progress. Megiddo is a “Tell” which means it is cities built on top of cities, all buried beneath one another. There are 25 layers to Megiddo because of so many years of conquering by various groups of people.