Monday, July 31, 2006

Don't Tell My Mom

I am writing this with the utmost confidence in my knowledge that no matter how often I invite, nay beg, my parents to read my blog, they never do. (I know, go figure.) So, assuming those of you who know my parents can keep a secret, this blog post is just between us, OK? You, me, and the 430 or so strangers who will read this today.

Some time in the next very few days, I'm scheduled to go to Tzfat (Safed) on a work assignment. Ironically, this is not even for a journalism assignment, but rather a PR assignment for an organization that is doing humanitarian efforts in the north. I'll be driving around Safed with their "peeps," going from bomb shelter to bomb shelter, watching them giving out meals and spreading some cheer (and, I hope, spreading some cheer myself). Normally I would not endanger my life for a PR job, but I must admit that all the instincts I developed in those Journalism School classes are kicking in, and I'm very curious to go up North myself and see what's happening with my own eyes (and, of course, to blog about it). I'm taking a friend's suggestion and bringing a change of clothing, in case for some reason I can't get out once I'm in. And,of course, my camera and a notebook.

While I consider myself a successful freelance journalist and writer, this is the first time I'll ever have deliberately entered a danger zone for my work. When Professor Blood, my Reporting I and II instructor, offered to sit shiva for me after I win my Pulitzer Prize, I decided that I'd rather stick to more mundane and happy topics, and stay alive long enough to see my work in print. I am more than happy to watch reporters braver than myself earn their Pulitzers. So, I must admit that last night and this morning I had a bit of a panic attack about these plans I've made. But then I realized that:

a) More than half the time I'll be in bomb shelters.

b) When I'm on the road, if a rocket comes our way, we'll get a bit of warning and can duck into a shelter (I hope)

c) Ergo, I can put "dying in Safed" in the same "freak incident" category in my brain as "being hit by an Egged bus in Jerusalem" or "having a brick fall on my head in Manhattan." Not for lack of Hezballah's TRYING to kill me, you understand, but because, Thank God, Safed has a sophisticated and expensive early warning system and plenty of bomb shelters.

At least, this is what I am telling myself so that I will not have more panic attacks.

Anyhow, the reason I'm telling you this is so that those of you live in or near Jerusalem can feel free to bring me toys, books, and magazines to bring up North. Please drop off all donations on MONDAY (that is, TODAY). You can send me an email at chayyeisarah at yahoo dot com and we'll arrange a pick-up place for this afternoon/evening. If I don't know you personally, then I'll have you meet me someplace public with tight security.

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