Today is a real turning point in our Klitta. We are going from getting used to our new environment to really feeling like we belong and settling into the routine that goes with our new life.
Today, I wrote the Ulpan examine. While the people who have been teaching us tried to take the pressure off the day the ministry tried to make it really proffesional. The girls in the class were busy taking pictures. Our shirut leumi girl Yael, made cards with the prayer for taking a test. Yael also gave out water during the exam. Our teacher brought in chocolates before the exam started. The examiner had a giant name tag identifying him as the Mashgiach. There were less than 15 taking the exam and it was easy to recognize who the person was that we had never seen before. He was going to enforce a rule of no pencils allowed until he called in for approval. He also didn't speak a word of English. At one point he had to ask the class the translation of a word, as the synonym and example on the white board was not helpful.
The exam was broken into 2 parts with a short break in the middle. We have spent a lot of time doing practise exams, so they were not too far off. The first section consisted of reading 3 stories and answering the questions. We are at a point where we can understand enough of the story to answer questions without knowing all of the words. I was fine on the first two but I had a lot of trouble with the 3rd. Either I completely missed the mark or I got the whole thing right. Others said they had the same problem.
After the break the exam consisted of a technical section, which I have always done well at. There was writing a letter and a story. I did OK on the letter. I feel like it needed one more sentence. The story section was close enough, to a sample question that I was able to modify from practise tests. I wrote about playing hockey which made me happy. I wonder what the marker is going to think when they read a story about playing ice hockey.
In the last couple of weeks, I have settled into my learning routine. I learn Mishnah Brurah Monday, Wednesday and Thursday before Mariv. Tuesday is the big learning night and I learn a potpourri of topics. I go to the Shabbos afternoon Shiur which covers a potpourri of topics and finishes off with halachos of Karbonos. It so much more interesting, when contemplating if you can by flour at the grocery store. There are generaly pracitical lessons that can be applied today. During the week the Rabbi gives a short Dvar Torah in Hebrew plus a short shiur after that. Channah and I learn together in the father and children learning program after Shabbos. I had them rename the program when I started bringing Channah. We have a Rabbi who knows us, cares about us and is a true role model. In Toronto it took years just to find a Rav we were comfortable with.
On Sunday, I start my new job. I will be making more money then I did in Toronto. That is before factoring in the benefits that did not come with my last job. It seems to be a great place to work. I have to be on the company bus at 8:08.
We are starting to get involved in community projects. Rachel runs the local appliances gemach. We are also getting involved in shul programming. Channah has adjusted to school and loves going. She is also taking ballet lessons. Rachel is in the process of getting all of her licensing taken care of. Business is already doing well, she needs all the paperwork in order before she can do major advertising.
In general, my overall mood is happy. That is the way a home should be.