A Day in (and with) Israel.

June 13, 2017

07:30 Alarm sounds. Hits snooze.

07:45 Actually wakes up.

08:15 Catches bus to hospital.

09:25-14:30 Meets the International Masters of Public Health students (included presentations, a lunch break, and end-session wrap-up).

I think this deserves a little explanation. This was the beginning of a very full day! So, in Israel there is an international master’s program where students from all over the world spend one year earning their degree in public health. It’s pretty revolutionary in my opinion. And I met this past year’s cohort of ~21 students (from 18 different countries), from all different walks of life (physicians, engineers, all different kinds of professionals). I sat through their project presentations, which essentially were public health interventions designed from the bottom-up. Based on what is known as the COPC (Community-Oriented Primary Care) model (pictured below), these students identified health problems in a community of choice, prioritized, assessed, and designed programs which were incredibly thorough in thought and process. Every step along the way was well-researched, analyzed, and scientifically supported. Their interventions were comprehensive, culturally-sensitive, and purposeful. I was so inspired to see what I know took many hours of work and critical thinking, and what eventually will accompany a 250+ page report, talk about intense. It was the perfect picture of public health at the most fundamental level. Really a beautiful showcase of what it means to be “community-centered”.

COPC-Diagram

Aside from the academic involvement, I quickly noticed the dynamic of this incredibly diverse group. Cultural norms played a huge, and apparent, role in the way they interacted and handled conflict. It was unlike anything I have ever experienced. Overall, the take-away message for me was that nothing is simply “right” or “wrong”; instead, there are different “right”s. And accepting this truth opens a whole new world of understanding, respect, and cooperability when dealing with someone whose views are different from your own.

14:30-15:15 Travels to District Health Office.

15:30-17:00 Meets with Head of Emergency Services.

During this session, I learned all about how Jerusalem prepares itself for natural disasters and emergency services. It was an engaging conversation, and what I can say about all my involvements so far is that everyone is so willing to teach and has been extremely inviting and I can’t be more thankful for that. The people I’ve been around have made my trip more enjoyable than any individual meal or museum visit could. In general, I’d say the city is very well-prepared for almost any type of attack, and there is incredible consideration for, and respect between, the different religious populations here. It goes a long way to say that if such conservative and religious peoples can coexist in peace, AmeriKKKa has a lot to learn.

17:00-18:00 Visits Barbur Art Gallery.

Because what is sleep when you’re on the other side of the globe with limited time and a laundry list of things to see? This non-profit gallery showcases local artwork and really is just one large room (not any bigger than a typical Miami apartment) with only a couple pieces. But the home-y feel and welcoming managers/owners made this such a worthwhile visit. A real hole-in-the-wall, a major treat, and the perfect end to my busy Tuesday.

19:00 Goes back to apartment; Eats leftover pad thai and cheese pastry.

20:00-21:00 Works on lit 🔥 review.

21:00-23:00 Plays Sims 4, because I’m a child.

23:30 Well-deserved schleeeeeeeeep.

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