From the Mediterranean Sea to the Pacific Ocean

By Rachel Piper, Masa Israel Teaching Fellows, Ashdod alumna

Sam and I were strangers when we first met in Ashdod, little did we know we would spend the next few years together.

I met him, along with my 14 other roommates, when I hopped out of the cab from the airport, excited for the new chapter in my life. That night, we all went swimming in the Mediterranean together, and I knew it was the beginning of a wonderful adventure. Through MITF, we traveled all over Israel together: Eilat, Tel Aviv, Akko, Haifa.

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Rachel and Sam at the Dead Sea

It wasn’t until the Jerusalem snow storm of 2013 that I knew I was in love with him. We hopped on a bus when we heard the roads were finally open again and literally got stuck in Jerusalem for the night due to more road closings. He helped me make my first snow man, held my hand over the slippery ice, and walked down to the Kotel, more beautiful than ever covered with snow.

During our year teaching in Ashdod, we traveled to Petra, Santorini, Prague, and Budapest.

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Rachel and Sam in Santorini, Greece

Our year with Masa was over, but we weren’t quite over each other. While I went to grad school in Florida, he went back to California to start his career. A few days after I graduated with my master’s degree, I packed my life in my car and made it to San Diego by New Years Eve.

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Sam and Rachel in Budapest, Hungary

Two years later and we are finally living together again. Though it’s not quite Ashdod and the beautiful Mediterranean, San Diego and the Pacific comes pretty close. Thanks to Masa Israel, we share incredible memories, adventures, and a beautiful relationship!

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