Mariessa, originally from Great Neck, New York studied at Ohio University and majored in English. She is now interning at the Deborah Harris Agency.
I have been living in Israel since February 12th and I am still in awe that this is really happening. There are days where I am on the #77 bus driving to Emek Refaim for work and it hits me, I am really living here, I made this dream come true. I finally am acting like the brave, spontaneous, confident woman I have always wanted to be and all I had to do was move to Israel to make that happen.
My program with Career Israel started with orientation in Jerusalem, and has taken me through the Old City, to the beaches and nightlife of Tel Aviv, hiking the trails of the Negev and then finally to my home at the Student Village apartments in Hebrew University. It really has been an amazing journey so far and I still have so many trips and adventures to look forward to.
I have had some great experiences so far on this trip, but some of my favorites include getting to know my new home, Jerusalem. I have taken walks around the Mount Scopus campus, eaten some delicious food near Ben Yehuda Street and shopped for Shabbos at Mahane Yeduda’s outdoor market. A lot of these experiences also include getting lost and wandering around until I find my way back to the bus stop or train. I used to have a fear of getting lost in a brand new city, but getting lost in Jerusalem means more sightseeing and finding fantastic “hole-in-the-wall” restaurants, like Café Mizrachi in Mahane Yehuda market where you can find the most amazing pasta.
A big part of my adventure so far has been getting to know my roommates. We have cooked potluck dinners together, tried out new restaurants such as Rochelles on Derech Beit Lechem, gotten drinks in Zion Square and have had epic sing-alongs in our shared apartment. We all come from different backgrounds and are in Jerusalem for different reasons, but we can all agree on one thing –we are not leaving Israel the same as when we arrived. Israel, and Jerusalem specifically, has definitely had an impact on all of us and I cannot wait to continue my journey here and see where Israel takes me.