Israel: a Dream Come True

ISRAEL

You see, it had always been my dream to go to Israel, since before I came to Colombia. I had tried to organize a trip myself, and it didn’t turn out.  I had planned a month-long summer vacation course at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, getting myself into terrible debt in the summer of ’83.  At the last moment, it fell through, and I was down in the dumps, really down and depressed by the whole thing.   So I put the whole idea in God’s hands and said, “If you want me to go, You have to do it!  It’s on the altar.  I won’t touch it anymore!” 

And that was that.

I had forgotten that Psalm 37 says, “Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and He will do this.”

The following fall, the school began planning a four-month program in Israel for the students from Decimo, the junior year.   I quickly perked up my ears but decided not to say anything.  I had put it in God’s hands.

So, the first year, the school sent……… two other teachers:  Maria Claudia and Cazu.  Fine.  I won’t say anything.

And the second year, the school sent……. two other teachers:  Xenia and Nestor. OK. That’s just fine.  I will wait.

And the third year, the school asked me:  “Do you want to go?”  “Well,” I thought, “I’ll think about it, and….. Yes!  I thought about it!  I will go!”

Stay out of politics.

This was right in the middle of all the turmoil with the teachers, and Jacky Saada told me that if I wanted to go to school, I shouldn’t get involved in politics!  So I didn’t.   Just stuck to my work and teaching.

Therefore, when the Board asked me to plan to go to Israel in the fall of 1986, I jumped!  Only one problem.  The teacher who was supposed to go with me, Maria Theresa Blanco, biology teacher, was fired along with the other teachers.

“But we are sure that you can do it alone,” Board member Jaime Lechter told me.  It was flattering, but I had to think about that one.  So in the end, I said that I was willing to travel alone with 33 teenagers to Israel since we would be staying at a school that had discipline and a madrij to take care of some unruly kids.  BUT, I refused to be alone with these 33 angels for five days in Spain on the way.

The Board was kind and decided to send the psychiatrist, Martha Amaya, along with us during the time in Spain.  Which was necessary.  Would you be willing to wait up alone in the hotel lobby while the kids wandered into the hotel at one or two in the morning?  Did we have cell phones back then?  NOT.  Once again, don’t get me wrong.  The psychologist was not for me.  She was there to help me with the kids!

Five days in Spain… Madrid, Segovia, Avila, Toledo… were wonderful.  Would easily go back.  A good steak at “El Buey” in Madrid with Steven Rausch and Sacky, and a couple others.

But Israel was of course even better….