Hi people! My name is Lavinia, I am an EMIS student from Austria/Romania and for the next two years, I will be providing you with exclusive behind-the-scenes information about our life in Hakfar Hayarok!

This is my story;

I didn’t fly straight to Israel from home, first I visited a friend of mine in Belgium, I packed all my stuff and went from Belgium to Israel. Since the airport was very close to my friend’s house his mother offered to drive me there, happily, I agreed. We arrived about two hours early, so I had plenty of time to; check in, wander around the airport and even have a quick look at the duty-free shops. Well, at least I thought it would be like that.

My friend walked me inside the airport. We went straight to the screen with all the flights and looked for the flight at 13:55 to Istanbul (where I had a layover). But it was nowhere to be seen. His mom called to ask him where he was, so told him that he could go, that I would find my flight. He looked at me very dubiously, but left. Okay I thought, here I am at the airport… so where was my flight? Suddenly, a horrible, horrible thought crossed my mind: what if I am at the wrong airport?  “Naah, that’s impossible” I said to myself brushing off the idea. Nonetheless, I went to the airport staff and asked “Exuzez-moi, nous sommes ici?” and pointed my finger to the unpronounceable name of the airport. “No”, she told me, “this is Brussels Airport. You have to go to Charleroi!” Without wasting another “Au-revoir”, I ran out of the airport and bumped into a taxi driver, who immediately noticed my despair and asked me: “Where to?” “Charleroi”, I told him, “We have no time to lose!”

Those 57 minutes it took us to arrive to the other airport felt like two life-times.  Finally we made it and got out of the car. The taxi-driver came to me, pointed his hand to me and said, with the calmest voice: “230 euros, please.” If I had had any water in my mouth in that moment, the taxi driver would be wet to the socks. After an inner mental breakdown and some quiet grieving over the lost money, I gave it to him and ran inside the airport.

After 15 hours of flying, waiting and various other struggles I finally made it to Hakfar Hayarok, to EMIS, to my new home.

To me, my more than struggle-some journey to Israel represents all of the obstacles I had during the application process: the hard time convincing my parents to let me go, the doubts that I, too, had at some points, and so many more. It was a constant up and down of feelings and emotions, but in the end I made it, against all odds I was finally stepping into my new life, and it felt surreal, surreal but amazing.

By Lavinia Gavrilovici
Edited by Sofia Arthurs-Schoppe

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