A few weeks ago I announced the premature end of the 365 Challenge and hinted that there might be further changes in the near future. Honestly, I had planned on ending this blog entirely and starting a new one. The reason for this was because I knew well in advance that two important events would occur this very day. But then I realized, why bother? Why not just mold this blog to suit my purposes? And so, I am doing just that.
So what were these two important events?
Well, starting at 10AM, TJ and I began the two-hour ceremony required to complete our conversion to Judaism. It started with individual interviews with a Rabbinic Court (Beit Din) and ended with submersion in a Mikvah...which, to shed light, I suppose one could compare that last part to a Baptismal pool.
Then, at 2PM, we turned in our apartment keys and made the journey to Washington National Airport, where we currently await the boarding call for a flight that will take us to Houston. We will be there visiting a friend until Monday, at which point I will become a resident of Guadalajara in the Mexican state of Jalisco for the next two years. The journey that began in February is finally bearing fruit!
The morning was filled with an indescribable joy that was unfortunately overshadowed somewhat by the knowledge of what the afternoon held in store. We still had some packing to do. We had to arrange a key drop-off with a friend that has generously agreed to babysit our car until the drama with exportation is resolved. We had to make it to the airport, check our luggage, and clear security by 7PM.
It wasn’t until we were on the Metro that we realized our flight was leaving from the OTHER airport. In a week as stressful as this one has been, this bit of news actually worked out in our favor. Our flight was leaving from the CLOSER of the two airports. We couldn’t believe it. Had we known this earlier, we could have perhaps enjoyed the morning a little more, but at this point, TJ is just glad to be relaxing and playing “Plants vs Zombies” on our iPad, and I’m just grateful to have a Margarita coursing through my veins. And rushed or not, I won't even pretend that I didn't get a bit emotional this morning. I'm becoming such a softy in my old age.
As far as changes to this blog, I simply want to focus more on giving it a worldly feel. I know, I know...shouldn’t be a problem, since I’ll be living in other parts of the world. Good. Because I want my readers to get a real taste of what’s out there. I hope I was able to do that to some extent during my time in DC, but looking back I know there were not only more things that I could have shared with you, but also more things I could have shared with myself.
I wonder, have you heard of a diaspora? If not, it’s okay. I hadn’t until this past year.
A diaspora is the movement of a group of people, typically those sharing a national or ethnic identity, away from their homeland. This is something that TJ and I have been preparing ourselves for since February. We have had the opportunity to meet many other Foreign Service Officers and their families during our time in Virginia. Together, we have all established a diaspora that has ensured that we have friends around the world. People we can visit, and who can visit us in return. Peers that we may eventually be working and living with in other countries. People that understand all of the benefits and hassles of this lifestyle.
But there is another type of diaspora. The Diaspora (note the capitalization) refers to the exile of the Jewish people as well as Jews living outside of Israel. As new converts, we now fall into this category as well. As the partner of someone who makes his living moving to a new country every few years, it is my hope that we one day have a tour in Tel Aviv. How amazing would that be?
Until then, please sit back, relax, and enjoy the show. There will be photos. Stories. Local Humor. Recipes. Tales of Suspense!
But before we make that journey overseas, I promise to share some exciting photos of my trip to the Texas Renaissance Festival this coming weekend. Weather permitting.
Life is good, my friends.
Welcome to the DIASPORA.