So, I’ve now been living in Israel for 3 entire weeks…last Tuesday, marked the 3rd week.
How I am adjusting:
Since September 5, i have not been able to transfer ANY money from Bank of America to my bank in Israel. Website thing doesn’t work. Problem has been escalated numerous times. Bank employees don’t even call me back.
I’ve slowly been transferring money out of B of A to CHASE bank.
Bank of America tech execs finally got back to me, to tel me that there’s no way for them to bypass the online system. There is no way for me transfer money from American bank to Israeli bank, online. So, the only way to get money from America, in Israel, is to pay by credit cards, or to write a check, or to go to a money changer in Israel. My new friend, Glen, connected me with a money changer, who is originally from Brooklyn. Crazy system..am not sure what to do about this, long term.
Speaking of getting over the $$$ hurdle, just want to acknowledge the many angels who fell on my head from the sky….Frances, Richard, Jean, Shoshana, Miriam, Gadi (Eliyahu Hanavi), MY SON – Joshua!!! — my hero!, my grandchildren, neighbors, friends, Melody, Glen, Lisa, Walter, Shira, Ofer (my furniture guru), Yitzchak (my shipper), Holly, Meir, Phyllis, Gayle, all of my HLAA friends (what would i have done without you over the last 3 years?)…oh my gosh…so many people…i cannot even think straight right now, but, if i have missed you, please forgive me.
Signed up to learn Hebrew, at government ULPAN…had to cancel, cuz i was and sill am too exhausted. So, found out about an ULPAN that is less intensive (less grammar and more conversation). It is given by AACI (Americans and Canadians in Israel). It is also closer to me..right around the corner; i can walk to it.
I cannot make my own doctor’s appointments, because i cannot hear the person on the phone (they all have accents). The healthcare system won’t allow me to make appointments, in person, with the front desk people. This is awful…so wrong and so unfair. I am hard of hearing/almost deaf. It is almost impossible for me to hear people on the phone, especially if there is background noise present.
On Thursday, I had the distinct pleasure of meeting some wonderful people at AACI (Americans and Canadians in Israel). Sheila (a counselor, who is a font of knowledge about health care system, etc.), Gabe Pransky, who founded the organization, http://www.shirapranskyproject.org (this website has tons of information about the rights of disabled people, including, deaf and HOH people) and Miriam, who is in charge of support-group organization. I shared my story with all of them…told them about how difficult it is for a deaf/HOH person, who speaks no Hebrew, and who cannot hear very well on the phone (especially when the speaker is Russian, or some other nationality, with a thick accent that cannot be understood by us). I told them that i want to start support groups…that i am uniquely qualified to run these groups because I am a highly trained (over 20 years) speech pathologist, who is also trained in audiology (this is requirement for SLP’s in the USA). Everyone i spoke with is eager to talk more about how we might start support groups for deaf and HOH, not JUST in Jerusalem, but, all over Israel. This has been my burning desire, since long before I arrived on August 23.
Yesterday, I got to spend almost 5 hours with my grandchildren, Josh and Kara.
I actually made it to the bus station and took a bus to Yad Binyamin, all by myself! I’m very proud of myself for figuring out what to do, considering the fact that I cannot read the Hebrew signs and cannot hear the clerks on the other side of ticket windows. Using my Google translate app on my iPhone and some feeble attempts at speaking, i bought round trip tickets!
I saw the kids’ schools and met their teachers. The kids showed me their lovely artwork; played a very difficult card game, called JAIPUR, with my grandson, Yehuda. He tried to teach me, but i had great difficulty, until i slowly read the directions. Yehuda was so patient with me; we played for almost 2 hours!). Before i knew it, it was time for me to catch the bus back to Jerusalem.
Despite the fact that i could not stay outside for more than a few minutes, in the scorching heat, I was able to ride in the car with Josh and the kids. Mostly, we stayed inside the cool house.
What a joy it was to finally step foot in my son and Kara’s home and to be hugged and kissed by my precious grandchildren.
Adina gave me a very special present…a charicature drawn of her, by an artist in California. I treasure that beautiful artwork.
Devora and Adina showed off their new Rosh Hashona outfits..gorgeous..they looked gorgeous.
Chani is the most cheerful baby girl. She speaks in paragraphs. I could understand every word she said. She loved being held and kissed by her Bubbe.
Kara gave me a beautiful present…pewter, tea candle holders, with scented candles..so pretty.
What an amazing day i had. I will never forget this very special time. My heart is full and i am looking forward to spending more special time with my babies.