I really wish I traveled more in Israel. I wish I saw more of that beautiful country. Though, Im sure I saw what I needed to during my 2months there.
I was able to do some shopping trips in Eilat with the volunteer girls, other trips (which I was very fortunate to do) with our much loved Volunteer Leader, Voulla. Then I really made a dent in my wallet when I went on a shopping trip with the one and only, Nathan (who, might I add, bought more than i did).
A miracle happened where the “boss of the dates workers and volunteers”, Ran, organized a trip to Masada and The Dead Sea for the volunteer girls. Wow, what a trip to remember. The Dead Sea really is one of the greatest wonders of this world we live in.
You float! You literally can only float. There isn’t exactly sand at the beaches that are along this sea. The shore line is just crystallized salt (which is rather painful to walk on).
We had the opportunity to go to the Dead Sea Spa where we could use the different mineral baths, the outside pool to wash off all the salt and the amazing Dead Sea Mud which us girls had lots of fun with smearing all over our bodies and faces (we looked like idiots, but our skin was loving it).
What I really loved was the drive from Yotvata to The Dead Sea. Literally just driving through barren desert – which is, as I now realize, one of the most beautiful parts of the world. The desert is a scary, powerful thing. Like the ocean, it has so many dangers – natural and man made. Here in the deserts of Israel, they have the Iron Dome – in short, it shoots missiles to collide with incoming missiles so it doesn’t hit the ground and cause chaos (as far as I know, this was Israeli invented, Viva Israel).
The work I did in Israel was “date picking”…for the life of me I have no idea why they call it that because not once did I actually pick a date. When I arrived I was on the Efron, bending the dates branches and tying them to the palm leaves, prepping them for harvest. Then I moved on to bagging dates, pretty much where we take these black bags and wrap them around the bunches of dates so that when it is harvest time, the dates drop in the bags. Just before I left I was able to experience a bit of the harvest. You sit on this “efron” that grips onto the tree then shakes it. All the dates then fall in this machine then need to be sorted – thats where I come in – I then sit at the end of a conveyer belt and make sure that the “good” dates are put into separate crates the ones with the “not-so-ripe-yet” dates.
I am sad though that I was unable to experience more of the harvest. I, unfortunately, left early due to a broken foot.
As much as I would love to say that I fractured my foot while climbing the trees, or maybe that I fell off the efron, I cant, because I broke it in a much more embarrassing, “not-so-hardcore” way. It was the Shabbat evening I decided to really just let loose and have fun. In short, I had one too many to drink and fractured my foot, while dancing at the Phsara. Yeah, I know. How lame. But we have a saying here in South Africa that applies very well here, ‘Die Sambok het my LEKKER gevang’.
It was tough, I will admit. Being on a kibbutz in the heat we had and a cast on was not easy. But hey, I even worked the last week of my time there, with crutches and casts and all. What I hated though, was that I had to rely on my friends (one friend specifically, who I was SO blessed to have during that time) to help me dish up food, make coffee etc. But, i was surrounded by good and helpful people who always tried their best to make “light” of the situation.
Which brings me to the next and second last part of My Adventure In Israel – the people.
Much love, light, and blessing,