By Palina Mahilina, a student of MA program in Child Development, 2016-2017 Cohort.
After a few months in Israel, I suddenly realized – I’m homesick. I miss my close friends, medieval city centre, meeting people I know often and unexpectedly. I miss beers and coffee for slightly more than 1 USD, so normally I don’t think twice where to go if we need to talk about big things in our lives. I miss the children I used to teach and their parents, I miss colleagues, I miss my bike. Of course, instead I got easy going people, avocados that are sold in kilos, strawberries from December on, and feeling I’m in constant exit room quest.
When I was small, 9th of May would be celebrated as a Victory Day in the World War II. I would enjoy parades on TV, listen to stories from veterans and poems about heroic deeds in war. When I moved to the EU, it turned to be 8th of May – not the day of military power, but the day of peace – Europe day.
This year in May, while approaching to Uni, I noticed Slovak flag, then Latvian, then I saw many more. I didn’t expect that flags would make me so happy – as if I got the piece of medovnik ( honey cake very popular in Central Europe) in my favourite café.
Haifa Center for European and German studies was taking part in organising events dedicated to European day. Earlier I have discovered I can enhance my German language by signing for free language course. So on this day I was coming to University to be… a teacher of German for Israeli school children! For 50 minutes I was myself – teaching again, dealing with class issues and smiling.
Going from my German lesson to the lecture to join my MA group, I understood, my homesickness stepped away. Celebrating diversities gave me the feeling of being home for a while.