Firstly, due to being in separate hemispheres, the weather is very different. When I arrived in January, the weather in Australia was warm and sunny due to the season being summer. However, as the season in Palestine is winter during January, the weather in Hebron was extremely cold and wet. It took a lot of getting used to. The winter is much harsher here, and the experience of the cold is much worse as well, due to the lack of central heating in the buildings. The need to constantly wear multiple layers and a coat indoors took a bit of getting used to.
Secondly, the food is quite different to Australia. In Australia, common breakfast foods include cereal, toast, occasionally eggs and oats (separately, of course!). In Palestine, common breakfast foods includes bread, hummus, olive and za’atar (mix of dried thyme, oregano, and salt), fried eggs, fried tomatoes, and fresh fruit and vegetables. The main meal of the day is lunch, which is usually a rice based meal with some meat with a vegetable based sauce. For the rest of the day, the food is mainly quick snacks. However in Australia, we have a lighter meal at lunch with the main meal being dinner.
Finally, Palestine I have discovered, is much more focused on family and community spirit. It is not uncommon for families to visit with their relatives multiple times per week, as well as receiving visitors relatively late at night. This is community spirit is everywhere, and is accompanied by an overwhelming spirit of hospitality and kindness. Australia is very different in that is not uncommon to only visit with family maybe once or twice a fortnight. And while people are kind in Australia, they will not often go out of their way to help you, as is the case in Palestine”. Stephanie from Australia who is participating in the Teach English, Speak Arabic in Palestine program