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Last weekend in Israel

October 21, 2011

This weekend marks my last as an Israeli resident. Early next Friday morning, I’ll be flying back to the States to begin the next stage of whatever the future holds, and in doing so will abandon all efforts toward the five-year process required for non-Jews to achieve permanent residency or Israeli citizenship. I was almost two-fifths of the way done, but was still solidly in third-class immigrant status — after first-class immigrants (state-approved Jewish olim), second-class immigrants (Jewish-enough-to-immigrate, but not-Jewish-enough-to-be-called-Jewish olim), but still with more rights than a foreign worker. If and when we come back to Israel, I’ll have to start the immigration process all over again.

To celebrate what I love best about Israel — the vast historical significance of everything, everywhere — during the little time I have left here, today we went to Apollonia National Park, a recently excavated ancient city founded by the Phoenicians and abandoned in the 13th century toward the end of the Crusades. It’s also one of the nearest national parks to our soon-to-be former home, and the tenth such national park (out of a whopping 60+) that I’ve managed to see during my time here.

Due to the beach’s proximity to my house, I’ve often been to the area, but never entered the park itself. The view was spectacular from the top of the fortress’ keep, and the Mediterranean is sparkling and shockingly clear in every direction.

View from Apollonia, looking north toward Caesarea

Ballista stones at Apollonia / Arsuf Fortress, Israel

View of the Mediterranean Sea from Apollonia, Israel

Going back to the U.S. where “ancient” has a completely different meaning will be disappointing, and I’ll miss the blue skies and beautiful, predictable weather. But I’m also looking forward to the mindless ease of existing in, interacting with, and enjoying my home country on a whole new level, and with a deep appreciation for American culture that I never had before living in Israel.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. October 21, 2011 7:45 pm

    Good luck Katie. I’ve enjoyed learning about Israel from you. You’ve prepared me for the strange and wonderful experience of living here. I just spent the day in Caesarea, so I know exactly what you mean about appreciating “the ancient”.

    • October 21, 2011 9:58 pm

      Thanks, Tracy! It means a lot to hear that. I’m sure Israel will remain at the forefront of my writing here, as I’ll continue working for my Israeli employer from afar and will no doubt be returning frequently.

  2. October 24, 2011 7:10 pm

    I’m glad you got to enjoy your last weekend here. Best of wishes to you and I look forward to hearing about your next adventure!

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