Monday, 10 November 2014

Big news!

Rather than my usual musings on Israel, this time I have some personal news.

On Friday I asked my girlfriend, Ayelet, to marry me, and she agreed!

I know that a lot of our friends and family in the UK haven’t yet had a chance to meet her, and I was wondering how to summarise her here in a couple of sentences. Of course I can’t, but I thought I’d string together a few facts just so that you have some image of her.

Ayelet is an Olah Chadasshah (new immigrant like me), who moved from New York to Israel a couple of years ago. She’s a wonderful, caring person; connected to her Judaism, her family and her new home. She speaks Hebrew, Chinese and we are working on teaching her English too!

She also very much enjoys exploring the countryside, and on Thursday we went camping in Wadi Tzin, next to Sde Boker in the desert. On Friday we did the 16km hike up Chod Ekev, with the difficult climb up the side of the valley. I’d forgotten quite how scary the slope could be (at least for someone with my fear of heights – see photos), but somehow we got to the top and enjoyed a spectacular view across the desert.

The climb to Chod Ekev
The top of the mountain

At the summit I asked her if she’d marry me, and to my joy she agreed!

I’m sorry that we didn’t get a chance to contact many of you immediately, but we were racing the sun to get off the mountains before dark and the Sabbath, and then spent the next two days in a gorgeous hotel called Beresheet overlooking Machtesh Ramon. It was one of these places that really pampers you, with massages and private swimming pools and fantastic food. They are also right on the edge of the desert, so wild ibexes jump the fence to drink from the pools and one of them came and ate our left over carrots and cucumbers from the hike, from our outstretched hands!

We’re now back in Tel Aviv. Life seems a bit of a daze but we are both very happy and very excited at the thought of the upcoming adventure of life together.