After a long deliberation, Adam and I have decided to continue this blog for the first year that we are back in the United States. Why the debate? Well, it seemed a bit weird to continue blogging under the Fulbright name since Adam’s grant was completed in May. Also, we are no longer in Israel, so what is there to say really. It turns out there is still plenty to talk about.
Since we landed in the US, things have been crazy getting things set up for our move to West Hartford. Whenever you move there are lots of details to take care of, but when you switch countries it always seems more difficult. The best part of this move is that everything is done in English, so I feel like I can be an active and helpful participant in the process. Also, things just seem easier because we have done a lot of this before when we first set up a home when we got married.
Throughout the process of setting up our new home, we find ourselves comparing everything we do to how it was back in Israel. We don’t find that we are experiencing culture shock, but rather the differences are more noticeable when you first arrive in a new place. If you remember, some of our first blog posts when we arrived in Israel were about some of these differences. As we settle back into life in America, we feel that it is important to share more of the differences we have discovered.
In addition, since we are returning to the area where we lived before we left, we are not just settling in, but rather we are reestablishing relationships with companies that we once did business with. In doing so, the question of why we left them in the first place arises, and we begin to explain what we have been doing over the past two years. As soon as people hear that we have been living in Israel, their curiosity is sparked, and they begin to ask questions about what it is like to live there. From these interactions, we have learned that most people here have no idea what it is like in Israel and that they would like to learn more. It is our job to help them get a correct sense of what it is like including painting a correct picture of what is happening in conflicts like the one occurring as we speak. We are appalled by how biased the news is here, so more and more it feels like our duty to help educate those around us and to help foster a more positive relationship between Americans and Israel. Interestingly, that is the true mission of Fulbright. It is not just to visit another country and do academic research, but rather it is to build stronger relationships between countries. As part of the Fulbright Fellowship, we are good-will ambassadors and we feel like our job is not yet done. So we plan to write more about our interactions and how well we feel that things are going as we spend our first year back in America.
Until next time…