Tag: 10 sentences

The 6 things Israel have taught me so far

As another warm and early day started here in Haifa, Israel, Ive spent some time thinking about what Ive experienced so far. Israel is definitely a completely different world, but maybe not in the ways you’re thinking. It is located in the Middle East, byt yet so different from what I experienced in my travels in Saudi Arabia. It is probably one of the biggest political discussions that is going on, and it is a case thats far from black and white. But I wanted to let you know the 10 things Ive learned by volunteering here so far, side by side to Jewish and Arabic people.

  1. I believe Israel will for long time still be a country with issues, and there will always be people who have opinions about the conflicts going on here. But thats far from all thats going on here. Israel is a country of so much history, beauty, vibrant food scene, undiscovered beaches and so much more. Just because Israel is a place of great conflicts, doesn’t mean its not safe to visit or worthy to see. Ive walked through the city at night and day, been through remote areas and still haven’t stumbled upon anything that made me feel unsafe.
  2. It is expensive. And thats coming from someone from Denmark you guys! It’s at least as expensive as in Denmark, if not more. I bought a shawarma the other day, and it was 40 shekel! Id say thats the double of what I’d have paid back in DK.
  3. The Sabbath. Whether its through Jewish or Arabic religion, the Sabbath is a special day. For the jews it starts friday night and lasts until Saturday night. No one does anything, most shops are closed, no one is working. Even the secular jews save this day for family and friends, and nothing is allowed to come between this. I think we in the western country could learn something from this. Just having 24 hours each week with nothing to do.
  4. Tel Aviv plays, Jerusalem prays. Whether you’re religious or not there is something special and “holy” about Jerusalem. In several religions it is the, or one of the, most holy city. To stand by the Western Wall, visit Jesus’ tomb or see the Dome of the Rock will definitely make you feel small and walking around here even as a non-religious tourist you will definitely feel the Holy Spirit.
  5. There is diversity for everyone. After by travels to Saudi Arabia, I wasn’t sure on what to be expecting about Israel. Would men stare and give me looks if Id go to the beach in a bikini? Yell something at me if I was wearing short shorts and a crop top? If I smiled at a stranger on my way would he take it the wrong way and start approaching me? But none of my worries turned out to be needed. Maybe because the diversity in religion, the country has grown into acceptance of other people travelling around in the country – but still staying within their own beliefs and laws.
  6. It is amazing. Many friends were surprised to see me going here, sending me messages telling me to be safe, stay out or harm and to come back asap. Most often I think that is because they do not truly realise what is going on here. Im not saying terrible things aren’t happening, and I cant even start to describe how my heart aces when I hear about the terrible things going on by the Gaza. But that is not all of Israel, far from. It is such a beautiful, gorgeous and special place to be. I feel so blessed to get to experience all these things and I will definitely be coming back in the future.

 

 

The 10 things you learn working with children

Bonjour a tout le monde

The french holidays are soon over, and once again I’m with my host family on holiday in Saudi Arabia. It’s some of an experience. Living with your host family for so long, when you’re not used to it can be a bit challenging. However, there’s a lot of new experiences you get, and old ones gets refreshed. I have here written 10 things you experience and learn when you’re working with children everyday:

  1. Patience. I think this one explains itself.
  2. They will come knocking on your door. If you live with your host family, you will definitely have tried this. Maybe just in the beginning, before the children learned you need your privacy, but they will come knocking, to play with you, see your room etc.
  3. If you order a different plate than them, dont expect you’re gonna eat it alone. Especially not if it’s french fries. Even if they’re old enough to ask first, the chances are that you’ll end up sharing with your host kids.
  4. You’re not always the best to play with. When you’re with the same children every day, at some point you stop being so interesting and fun, and you’ll even experience the children preferring to play on their own than playing with you.
  5. They can make your day. You might be having a rough day, and you may not really be in the mood to play. But then you toddler will give you a hug and say your name, or even give you an “I love you” and suddenly you’re entire day is suddenly a lot better.
  6. Life is more simple than you think. You ask a 2-year-old, or even a 7-year-old a difficult life-question, and they surprise you with such an simple answer, that still makes sense. It makes you realize things look more complicated when you grow up, but that doesn’t mean that’s how it is.
  7. It’s okay to have a meltdown now and again. Working with children for a whole year in the city of love always seemed like the perfect dream to me. But working with children as an au pair is a lot more challenging job than I ever imagined, and sometimes you just loose it. It’s okay though, to have a meltdown now and again, cause it is really hard sometimes.
  8. You ask questions to so much more. If there’s one thing that can make you questions things you never thought about questioning before, it’s children. All their why’s, and where’s and how’s make even grown ups start questioning so many new things.
  9. Parenting is so important. I know this one seems very obvious, but I’m gonna mention it anyway. I’d like to think my parents has raised me and my siblings as polite, thankful people whom still respect other people. So that’s all I’ve known. But being an au pair makes you see that not everyone has the same values as you’ve been raise by. Not even the ones you thought were essential for parenting. Don’t take me wrong, I love my host kids, and I know most au pairs do. But you’d be surprised by how many children you meet as an au pair, who hasn’t been taught right from wrong or has ever been disciplined. And even though it might be obvious to you, it’s rarely the parents can see it themselves.
  10. Love without conditions. Children can be mean, disrespectful and really annoying.  But let’s face it, at the end of the day, when they want to give you a hug or kiss, your heart melts for them and you love them anyway.

Who is Lizzie or 10 sentences that sums me up

Since I officially launched my blog yesterday, I think I better start out with one of the more simple post: who am I? Maybe you’re wondering: “Who is this girl sitting behind her screen at home, writing this blog?” Therefore I have made these 10 sentences about moi. Go ahead and read them: get to know me better.

  1. My name is Elisabeth Bertelsen and I am originally from Denmark. However most of my friends call me Lizzie and since my first published short story I’ve tried to go by “Lizzie Husum” as my sort-of artist name.
  2. I love writing, and perhaps one day I will get my own book published. I’ve been published with 5 short stories so far, but to be honest I’m dreaming of more than just that.
  3. I do not work well under pressure. Trust me, 3 years at my gymnasium with tons of homework and assignments has made me realize that. I would rather begin 2 weeks before than 2 hours before.
  4. I do have regrets. Like not spending a year abroad somewhere after my 9th grade. Not having travelled more. But that is also why I have decided to go to Paris as an au pair. Seeing lots of my friends traveling around the world, I really can’t wait for it to be my turn!
  5. Im very impulsive. Really. I am a thinker, but when it comes to action I somehow always do before I think. So sometimes I end up in messy places, or situations I hadn’t planned. But hey, I’m working on that, and it gives me some fun stories to tell.
  6. When I was a child, my biggest dream was to get a unicorn. Like I spend all the time in class dreaming about riding on my unicorn instead of listening to my teacher. Whoups. And I’ve also waisted a lot of shooting stars to wish for one.
  7. I want to be very cultural and Im trying to read a lot of books, watch a lot of movies, eat a lot of food. But when it comes down to what I really want to do before bedtime, it’s reading a good old romantic. I mean, have you ever actually read the Fault in Our Stars?
  8. I love children. I know a lot of young people today just think they’re loud and annoying, and won’t have anything to do with them before they’re like 30. But when I’m going to Paris to look after 3 children, I’m so excited, and I couldn’t imagine anything better to do.
  9. I feel really international. I have never lived any place other than Denmark (until september, yay!) but I’ve never really felt completely danish.
  10. I love other cultures, and some of the best friends I have are from another country. Or at least their roots is not entirely danish. Everybody has a guilty pleasure – for me it’s cute mugs, soft things and scented candles.