If you follow me on any social media sites you’d know by now that my amazing family travelled all the way across the globe to give
little ol’ me a visit! Even though I was only able to spend a weekend with them, it meant absolutely everything to me. The moment I told them I got the scholarship to travel to Israel and do public health work, everyone (even my abuelita in Panama) got to arranging flights, tours, hotels, alladat. It was such a breath of fresh air to see my little sisters for a little while and be able to be the goofy self that only those two creatures can pull out of me. I was added onto two of their tour days and boy oh boy were they action packed! We saw more sites than any tourist should attempt to see in a day. Here I’ll list just a few because I can’t even remember them all:
Day 1 in Jerusalem, Ein Karem, and Bethlehem:
The Israel Museum
Church of the Visitation
Yad Vashem (The Holocaust History Museum)
Church of the Nativity
Day 2 in the Old City:
Mount of Olives
Tomb of King David
Abbey of the Dormition
Church of the Flagellation
The Western Wall
I’ll leave it up to you to do quick Google searches on whatever strikes your interest, but it goes without saying that these sites are incredibly important both historically and religiously (as if those two could really be separated). History isn’t my best subject (hint hint why I’m in medical school, lol jk) so I had to do some looking up myself and asked lots of questions along the way. Overall, we exhausted our feet and wore out our bodies going from one place to another, but with great gratitude and appreciation, we experienced all this and more.
I’ll use this platform to say at least once that I truly do believe I have the best parents in the entire world. They’ve given so much of themselves to all of their children, and I can only hope to return some of it to them one day. Furthermore, everything and everyone that I’ve experienced and known along the way has shaped my life in one way or another; I couldn’t be more humbled than in this moment right now. I thank God for you, mom and dad (if you ever end up reading this). Every single day.
This post will be kept short, but one moment in particular stood out to me this weekend, and I wanted to share it with you all: At dinner, sitting across from Lita (short for abuelita), she tells me in her cute little accent,
“Israel, you know if it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t be here in Israel right now.”
“No Lita. If it weren’t for YOU, I wouldn’t be here.”
(Is someone cutting onions right now? I’m not crying, you are).
Peace & love (& sacrifice & family & praying grandmothers),
The I.T. Factor