What to pack for an overseas trip?

In less than 2 months the kids and I will be jetting off to Israel for my brothers wedding.

What the hell do I pack?

For me? For the kids?

Thank heavens the kids each get a full 20kg luggage allowance but still… what the hell do I take with?

The weather will still be pretty warm (end of Summer beginning of Autumn), so at least the clothes will mostly be light weight.  Im more concerned with toys/fluffy bed companions for the kids.

Also, carry on luggage for the kids.  How much stuff do they need on the plane?

I am taking the kids iPad and my iPad mini (which I am getting on the weekend).  I dont know wether to take the LeapPad.  I will also take some paper and crayons but what else?

Who has been on a long haul flight, with a 3/4 hour layover?  Help me out here.  What did you take with for your kids?

A worthy cause

When I was in Israel at the WIZO seminar I met a lovely lady from the UK delegation, she also happens to be an ex-Saffa and a wonderful lady.  We have kept in contact on Facebook and today we when we where having a chat she mentioned that she was going to be participating in the AVIV Challenge in April.  She will be going to Israel for a while to live and work on one of the projects that WIZO raises funds for.  In order to do this she needs sponsorship and is almost half way there.

Please take a look here for more info on Darcy and the AVIV Challenge and to see if you are able to help her out.

I think I can

I think I can write again, just not about my time in Israel…

Maybe its too personal, maybe its too fresh, maybe I just needed to write about it in the moment and that moment has passed…

Whatever the reason at least I know I’m not completely blocked.  I will still try to put that time down in words but for now, well, for now I will write what comes to me…

watch this space

Ok, ok, I know I owe you all a big post.

Internet access was sporadic, mainly due to the fact we were in session or touring from 8:30 to 23:00 almost every day!

The trip was amazing, the places and people were awesome.

Im hoping to have my pics edited and uploaded to Flickr tomorrow and a proper post as well.

Its good to be back!

Goodbye South Africa, Shalom Israel

Hello and Shalom from the Holy Land!

I’ve been here 2 full days and am having an absolute blast, I don’t have access all the time so for now I will just give you a rundown of my first few days.

We arrived at the airport very very very VERY early, like 2 hours before check in opened…  We sat and had coffee/lemonade and then made our way back to the check in area where we met up with Dominique who was up from CT for the WIZO SA conference.  We checked through and made our way through passport control.  We did a little browsing, Dom bought some jeans and had an early dinner as she doesn’t eat on planes.

We eventually boarded and got ready to take off.  The Turkish airways plane was very comfortable and the entertainment was not to shabby.  I was a bit disappointed that one of the advertised movies was not in fact a selection and landed up reading most of a novel I had bought.  I managed to sleep for a few hours and of course after waking a few times during the night, I slept straight through the cabin lights being switched on and breakfast!

Dom made an excellent travel companion as she slept through most of the flight and didn’t insist on chit chat!

The only downside to the first leg of our journey was the incredible ear ache I developed on our descent into Istanbul.  I really thought I was going to burst an eardrum and need to be hospitalised on landing!

The second flight was relatively painless, from the security check point and passport control, to boarding and the flight itself.  I ate the snack with gusto as I was starving at this point.

Matt and me!
Matt and I!

My brother Matthew was at the airport to great us and I couldn’t help but almost squeeze the life out of him when I hugged him.  He bargained with a taxi driver and didn’t win, 160NIS was a bit steep for a taxi ride to the hotel so we opted to catch a train into Tel Aviv at 14NIS this was much better, we then caught a taxi from the station to the hotel which only cost 35NIS.

I had a small battle with my cheque card at check in and Matt rescued me by putting the hold on his credit card while I sorted out the shit with my bank.  Damn Std Bank had put a hold on my card because they thought it had been stolen, Paul contacted Std Bank and within half an hour the issue was sorted.

We spent a fantastic day together, it was great to catch up with him, I love his sense of humor and I think he was very happy to have someone here who actually thinks he is funny and gets his sense of humor!  He went back to Jerusalem as I had a full day of touring the next day and we met up again for dinner on Thursday night  and he slept in my room so that today we could travel together  to Jerusalem to spend Shabbos with family!

My room was is lovely.  Very luxurious but all the way at the end of the passage so a bit of a trek, I need the exercise though so I don’t really mind.  The delegate from India was supposed to arrive on Wednesday, she never rocked up and didnt pitch on Thursday either, I hope that I don’t have to pay for the full room…


My view
My view
My travel companion, Dominique and our trusty driver, Arye
Dominique, myself and our amazing driver, Arye

On Wed afternoon we were taken to Beit Halochem which is a post all on its own.

Keep checking back for more updates!

Scarce as a wild yak in New York…

Tonight I leave for Israel.

I am so excited.  My brother is meeting us* at the airport tomorrow and taking us to our hotel and then according to my itinerary I am free until 5pm, so I will get to spend some quality time with him!

Now, I have heard that Israel is basically one massive WiFi hotspot so hopefully I will be online more than I am offline but incase Im not…

Don’t do anything I would do while Im away.

*I am traveling with the delegate from Cape Town, a lovely women I met on Sunday, I think we will get on well and have a blast together.


I have been chosen to represent WIZO Aviv Johannesburg at the WIZO Aviv International Seminar in November.

Its 10 days in which I will get to tour all the sites that we raise funds for and attend the seminar with Avivs from all over the world.

It is such an honour to be chosen.

The cherry on the top is that I will get to spend Shabbos with my brother who will be taking leave from the army especially to see me.

I cant wait!

(I dont have a passport so I have to organise one soon!!!!)

In the army now…

This week my brother Matthew started his basic training in the IDF (Israeli Defense Force).  He has been living in Israel for over three years and has been waiting for his army duty to start.  I am so proud of him.  Not only for doing his duty as an Israeli citizen and a Zionist but for making the move to Israel, for growing up and taking responsibility for himself (he is only 23).

I love him so much and miss him terribly and now add worry about him to the list.

I really do have two very special and amazing brothers, a soldier and a police reservist.

Matt and Cliff at my wedding, Feb 2006
Matt and Cliff at my wedding, Feb 2006