It’s been a rough couple days. I’ve been working a lot of morning shifts, and honestly speaking, they’ve taken the energy out of me. But it’s not only the lack of sleep that’s exhausting me here. Sleeping less means that my body is tired, but working more means that I’m mentally pooped. I haven’t written too much about work here on my blog, mainly because professional confidentiality applies to volunteers as well. If you only knew some of the stories I have to tell!

Sorry, didn’t mean to tease.

Yesterday morning I went to the dentist with six friends and five other guides. Mind you, even I don’t really enjoy going to the dentist, so I can somehow relate to the friends’ unwillingness. The trip there and back took a lot of effort from all the guides, and by the time we got back at noon, even our muscles were sore. In the evening I went back to work, and the only thing that went through my mind was: “Here again.”

I think the hardest part of this work is the strain that autism puts on all of the guides’ patience. The house I work in is low function and high autism, meaning that we concentrate more on the disability than we actually get to enjoy the work with friends. In Tatiana’s house they actually get to do therapeutic chores and spend time with the friends. In my house we mainly clean and keep order.

It’s hard to try to keep your love for these people even in those moments when you have to pin someone down and hope not to be punched or slapped or kicked or screamed at. There are times when the guides (including me) go home with headaches, scratches, bruises and tears.  And the most painful of them all are the tears.

I have 44 days left here in Israel and I want to remember the friends as they are during the good days. Their sometimes so comical personalities and the hilarious moments I’ve had with them and the guides. I want to remember what a rewarding trip this was for me, instead of this being merely a six month mental strain. I will definitely look back on this trip as a groundbreaking period in my life, and I hope time will gold all memories, even the hard ones.