Liza Koens & Justine Gamsu
Participants from Melbourne Australia

Our first day working for Magen David Adom, Sunday 13th of November. Our shift started at 8am, with our first call-out interrupting our equipment check at 8:10. Our energetic driver had us on our toes the minute she put her foot down on the accelerator, which was at full capacity. The radio was also at full volume, so any sleep that we’d missed out on the night before wasn’t going to visit us anytime soon. It was our first real experience of ‘the crazy Israeli drivers’ – and boy, those rumors are true! Our day continued in this way, with only one stop back at the station. We helped a man who had attempted to overdose on sleeping pills, transporting him to the nearest hospital. Our second case was an elderly woman who had suffered a stroke and was experiencing severe chest pain. We weren’t able to communicate with her as well as we would’ve liked to due to our limited Hebrew capabilities. However, to our surprise, she began to speak to us in English-which was music to our ears after having been thrown in the “Hebrew deep-end”. She clung onto our hands and told us stories of her childhood and what it was like growing up in Israel. Before we had a chance to catch our breath, we received the next call, and so our afternoon continued. This first day made us realize that regardless of our limitations, the biggest thing we can give is love. When people are at their worst, sometimes all they need is a hand to hold, and for someone to listen to them- and on that day, we could be that person. We’re so incredibly excited and proud to be a part of MDA, and we are looking forward to what’s in store for us over the next five weeks.