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My Journey to Muss- Jillian Sigel

This summer, like most summers I spent at a summer camp in northern Ontario Canada. 

This year was different in that I was a counselor (instead of being a camper). The summer was also different for me in that I broke my hand on the first day of camp, so all of the preparations for Israel involved me having to deal with a healing hand and only really being able to use the good hand. I got back to Seattle four days before we left for Israel. On the one hand, the broken hand was a curse.  It made packing and getting ready challenging. On the other hand, it was a distraction from the scary thoughts I may have otherwise had in preparing for a trip to Israel that I may have had. 

Instead of worrying about being so far away and the fact that I didn’t know anyone on the trip very well, I was more concerned about my hand. Having been to camp for so many years growing up, I wasn’t worried about being homesick. I have been away from my parents before so I have developed skills to help me deal with the times when I am sad.  At the same time, I thought this would be easier because unlike camp, I have a cellphone and laptop so I can call and FaceTime with friends and family back home. To me, the unknown was what kept my mind busy.  What would the other students be like? What would the dorms be like? Would I like to study in Israel? These were some of the questions racing around my head. At the same time, I was really looking forward to living and going to school in Israel.  I’ve prepared so many times for this trip only to be disappointed with not being able to go because of COVID. 

The idea of a multi-week field trip, where the outside world was my classroom, really excited me.  I’ve been to Israel before, and I’ve toured places before and always enjoyed my trips, however doing so with friends with the idea of learning for school was totally new and something I was really looking forward to. Before I knew it the four days had flown by, my alarm was ringing and it was time to go to the airport.  The questions had remained with me until I fell asleep on the plane from Los Angeles to Tel Aviv. When we landed in Israel there was too much to do for me to worry anymore, instead, I was focused on having the best time possible.

Jillian Sigel