This past weekend I stayed my first Shabbat on base. I arrived at 8:30 Thursday morning (usually at 9am everyday), got my gun and the lowdown on how to guard for the 50th time and off I went to my first guard shift. I guarded 10am-2pm on Thursday. Not too shabby, not many people going in or out since it's the middle of the day, people on base to visit and sit with me, keep me company. I ended up sitting with my friend Dani who guarded 2pm-6pm for most of her shift to keep her company so there goes another 4 hours. 4 hour break and Dani and I went back to guard together Thursday 10pm-2am on Friday. We chatted the whole time and it passed really quickly. My next shift wasn't until 6pm Friday-10pm, again with Dani, right through Shabbat dinner time. It's a little weird to be sitting at the gate not able to do anything during Shabbat dinner, but they brought us plates of food which we graciously fed to the cats after a few bites, haha. Next shift, Saturday morning 6am-10am alone. Quite tough to stay awake and I ended up walking in, what I counted as, an 85 meter square for about 45 minutes and figured out that I walked a little more than 2 miles, not too bad. Last guard shift was Sunday 2am-6am then I got to leave base today (Sunday) at 10am. Exciting weekend, I know!!
Between shifts I slept, ate way too much junk food, watched TV, etc. It passed pretty quickly but it didn't feel like a weekend, I can't believe I have a full week now! Technically only 4 days since I have today almost entirely off so thats cool. I think I'll go for a walk to the beach, study Hebrew, go for a run later, maybe meet up with some friends in the city. Guarding the gate to the base on the weekend isn't bad at all since barely anyone is on our base on the weekend so there is not much opportunity to screw up and it's not stressful. My first guard shift I was nervous because I didn't recognize the people on the base and I didn't know who was allowed on and who wasn't, who to call, what questions to ask, etc. Thankfully, I guess, almost everyone on my base knows English, or at least understand it, hence the foreign relations base, so if I have a problem i can resort to English. We have many visiting military personnel who only can speak English, either they are American or from random countries like Romania, Ecuador, Japan, UK, Mexico, etc. Some of the American soldiers asked to take a picture with me and Dani when we were guarding. I think they thought it was cool to see girls with guns. People are always interested in our guns because they are big...really it's just that they are all bought from the US military so they are extra, leftover, big chunky types of M-16's. We can't afford anything more sleek over here, haha. My gun this weekend was made in Worcester, MA and Dani's was made in Hartford, CT...yayyy hometown love <3 Did I mention those American soldiers who asked to take a picture with us have been in the military 20+ years and I've been in almost 2 months? haha, ironic, I should have asked for a pic with THEM!
Still not doing much of anything on base, we have another month until our training course but we have a lot of time off for the holidays in between that which is nice. Once I start my course on October 23rd I'll be doing "12-2" meaning I'll be on base 12 days in a row then home 2 day, Friday and Saturday. After I finish my training on December 1st and start my job (don't know what it will be until after the course) I'll probably do 10-4, 10 days on base 4 at home. ie-i'll spend mannyy more Shabbats on base. It's fun though, believe it or not, lots of bonding and stuff, a little like college but in uniforms, with guns, and dealing with serious relations between volatile countries. so yea...just like college.
I hope to go looking at apartments this weekend in Jerusalem for Allie and myself. I want to move in at the beginning of October. Apartment renting happens very last minute and quickly here so I think I'm right on time. Hopefully one of the first places I look is nice and a good price so I don't have to spend too much time looking, that's be nice :)