Israel volunteering – planning….

For those of you who know me you may know I am heading back to Israel to do some volunteer work for a charity in Jerusalem.

I am pleased to announce that I have a date I am flying, I am flying out on thursday July 16th.

This last week has been hectic as I am due to move out of the house I rent this weekend.

I have a lot of things to arrange, hand over bills to someone else, find somewhere to store car, but first renew tax, get address on paperwork changed, and then box up all my things and go.

These last few weeks hasn’t been without some worries. My job was due to finish last week, but due to a lot of praying and things getting busy and people on holiday or ill, I have been given an extension on my contract until the day I fly, which I am really thankful for.

On Monday of this week I went to get my visa. This was paid by my employer in Jerusalem but I had to pick it up and get it glued into my passport. I got myself a coach to London, forgetting to bring my Oyster card with me (I tend to go to London about 4 times a year to see friends or go shopping or trade exhibitions) so decided to walk to Kensington where the embassy was, half way through walking there, I put my hand in the back pocket of my trousers and realised I had my Oyster card from the last trip a couple of weeks previously.

On the way there I spotted the embassies for Iran, Ethiopia and for various other countries I didn’t recognise from the flags which are probably in Africa or the Middle East. Once I got to the small junction on the map I printed out I found, there was a small not that significant office next to a fire station with two policeman outside one of the holding a quite impressive gun, upon getting there I was asked to wait on the other side of the road and wait for of the staff to meet me. Got a chance to briefly chat to a few other people there. Eventually a man came out with me thinking he was another customer waiting to me seen, once it was my turn to be brought in I had to show my passport about three times, then was turn away as I didn’t have any passport photos with me, so quick 200 yard dash to Boots down the road and £4 later I got some, once back I went through a typical airport style doorway metal detector and remove everything from my pockets was turned out, I was asked to turn on my phone and iPod and that had it removed from its pouch as well to be checked. Once through the office I filled in a form which had some boxes in Hebrew I didn’t understand, give the forms through to the clerk at the counter and waited about 15 minutes and read some magazine in Hebrew (well read the pictures) after then I have passport all stamped and ready to go. Spent the rest of day in Oxford Street as pleased I got some bargain priced clothes from a shop with 70% off so I got two pairs of jeans and three shirts for a total for £21.

Later that day I got my plane tickets, I decided to opt for BMI rather than British Airways who have roughly the same price, as BA are in trouble and asking their staff to work for free. BMI offer a print your own tickets and wack on a hefty £4 charge for credit cards, which include their own Amex card which I ordered in January just get a free flight out of it (I will get the flight another day though)

All in all a good day with some sunny weather and its nice to have a slightly shorter week too.