Friday, July 20, 2012

Nightmare in Madrid...

So... I've been promising for a while to write a bit more... I thought I'd share a journal entry with you from the day I arrived in Israel. The flight from Madrid to Israel was a bit traumatic and I was not able to post about it until now, since Israel checks everything that is posted in its country. I didn't want to get into even more trouble.:)

I write daily- its a bit of a new years resolution to myself, but I had to break it due to this flight... I was annoyed to say teh least, but that explains the first line of the entry... enjoy;)

July 2, 2012
An unexpected turn of events prevented me from writing last night...

Sunday, I dreaded leaving. I think AGAIN I knew I was in for an innnnteresting trip... puilled myself together just in time, Airport with Matt, Margo and Sam, met up with Carol who bought us these awesome coffees, flight to madrid- I didn't realize I was flying in business class. EPIC. Great food:) I think I need it for what was coming next.

Got of the plane in Madrid, went to McDonalds, which I'm now grateful for, and made our way to our gate.We didn't realize we were really early- but again- a super good thing. I got my boarding pass, which they wouldn't give me in Tenerife... and so began the nightmare.

they asked us all kind of questions and seemedreally polit, so I answered nicely and smiled- but didnt give the most direct answers ever. They took my bags, then took me into a room where they patted me down, searched me, swabbed my clothes for bomb residue, checked my all felt very invasive. After a few minutes they let me get sorted out again and took me to another room, where I waited.

I saw them take everything out of my bags, swab all of my clothes, and sort through everything. One by one, my electronics came to me and I had to show them how to turn them on, take them out of their case and show them they worked. The Itouch case wasn't exactly helpful... it didn't want to come off and caused a bit of trouble... in the end I broke it a little, which is disappointing, as it was my brand new case.

I waited in the room for over 2 hours... I figured that at the end, they'd give me my stuff and i'd be on my way, right? Wrong. They called me into the space where my stuff was and showed me my things. All of my electronics in my duffel with clothes and everything from my backpack in a box, then my backpack with only my wallet and my face mask in it. They put everything else as checked luggage. I had to beg for benadryl...  I wasn't allowed my electronics, my journal(thus why I couldn't write), no anything.

I've NEVER felt so alienated and discriminated against in my entire life. I felt like I was being punished for being a kin,driendly, helpful human being. I got on the plane and cried. I had non of my usual coping mechanisms.... my journal, my music... It was a rough flight. It ended with me getting to see a MAGNIFACENT  sunrise:) We landed, got our stuff and money. I knew we should've gotten food and water, but no one listened to me.... got on the sherut(the Israeli bus taxi) and we were on our way to Jerusalem. 20 minutes into it, I felt like I was going to vomit and fought that for the rest of the ride. I made a full plan on what to do... it got very close.

Get got to the campus, walked up to the university. I was starving and dehydrated but decided just to take a nap and teal with the rest later... I woke up 3 hours later, ate a MASSIVE lunch then we went to the Old City for a walk:)...

I cut some things out and added a few things.. but that'd the gist...  Sam was with me the whole way. I think we were suspicious due to the fact we have passports that have all kinds of stamps in them, we are humanitarians which can sometimes be a red flag for activist, extremist what have you, and we were clearly Christians- we were studying about Jesus in Israel.. which I suppose we could've left out.. but.. yeah... we apparently had lots of the red flags... no one warned me beforehand.. just learned the brutal way. But hey- great story, huh? ;)

Oh... 1 more part... on the way there, I purposefully tried to carry everything on, because it was better to not lose things, right? Then everything ended up getting taken from me, as I was suspicious... then on the way back, they pulled me aside and asked me how I had so little for being there for 2 weeks.... it's called a laundry machine.. and no I didn't say that;) 

With that,
I promise that I'll get pictures going really soon- I took over 3,000 pictures, so I need to get them all edited, cropped and pick which ones to put up on facebook and which would be boring to you but fun for me to look back on one day;) Thankfully the professor had us write reports daily(which I got behind on but finished the last day), I collected brochures and post cards the whole way and fun things like that... so... Ialso have to get on my little scrap book my mom got me at Christmas.... looking forward to it... so much to do, but I get to look back on my whole trip through it...

Overall INCREDIBLE experience, met some people who have really truly been changing my life and my perspective a little at a time and I feel truly blessed for being so fortunate to have been chosen by God to take this trip at the time I did. Now to get my Dad there..;)

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