A normal day in Arad – Volunteering. This time at my actual place, Orange Beam, where I folded many, many boxes and put products into them—Miren and something called Mus-Lam and Mus-Kal—different lotions. It was nice. Jessica and I had an amazing lunch with all the other Artist Colony people in someone’s apartment.
After lunch we got a ride back to the mall where we looked to see if they have any frames—jessica needs one for boaz. We then walked home, grabbed our laundry and did laundry for the last time ever in Israel (not including socks and underwear in the sink, of course). We have been doing laundry together for 9 months. Michal also did her laundry with us so as our stuff was in the machines Jess and I walked around “center town” to look for frames, we found some nice ones. As she didn’t buy any but we did talk for like ½ hr in an A/C room which was very nice.
So we wanted to have all of the Yam L’Yam girls camp out at the outlook point in Arad and have a little ceremony and make bracelets from my rope and all that girly shit, that I have become accustomed to on YC (as Jessica says, I’ve become a girl). So after our apartment meeting, Jessica, Michal, Elana and I got a ride from Shai to the outlook. We brought tents—something that we didn’t hve on Yam L’Yam—chocolate, flashlight, sleeping bags, rope, and knife. Katie was still on her way back from Beer Sheva where she was visiting her sister. Naomi was waiting for Katie and Monica was somewhere. So the three of them didn’t end up coming. But the 4 of us had an experience unto our own.
We set up one tent. It was so windy, that we were scared that our stuff was going to fly away. We sat, talked, ate chocolate, watched the stars and satellites, and took funny pictures. Eventually it was time to go to bed. We wanted to wake up early and see the sun rise. But sadly, we did not sleep much. Around midnight some kids came by to bother us asking if we had any aish “Excuse me, Excuse me! Do you have fire?” meaning a lighter. We were pretending to be asleep so that they would go away but after a lot of pestering we just told them no. they stuck around for a bit but eventually they left.
The weather was literally bi-polar. It would go from being crazy windy, to extremely warm. So you couldn’t stay in the sleeping bag. Either too cold or too hot—like hot flashes. Ultimately Jessica and Michal got up and set up the second tent so that we could all have more room. Michal was hitting me in the middle of the night to stop scratching my mesquite bites and she didn’t want to get any more—our first tent had a whole in it.
So we had set the alarm for 4:55: for a 5 o’clock sun rise. Too bad it was too cloudy and hazy to see the sun rise. We were disappointed but that’s life. We went back to sleep for a bit and by 6 we were packed up and started on the ½ hr walk back to our apartments. Elana stayed at the bus station for her volunteering at Masada while the others walked home.
We got home. I put the hot water heater on. Made a sandwich, ate, showered and went back to sleep in my bed. I called volunteering to see if they wanted me to come in but they didn’t need me to come in because they had meetings with prospective clients in Tel Aviv all day. So I stayed in my apartment and got caught up on TV. It was a very relaxing and needed day.
So we have a lot of random food in our apartment that needs to be cooked. So I made a sauce like chicken dish. I cooked potatoes, onions, and garlic in potato paste; boiled chicken, cut it up and let it all simmer together. Added some honey and some other spices, and wahla—lunch, dinner, and then breakfast again for Tuesday.
Leah was planning on having a Mama Mia! night but it didn’t happen b/c of schedules but it is on for next week. Too bad we had already bought some drinks. So we had a drink while we caught up on our shows and then went to bed.
5/18 Tuesday Erev Shavout
So the Marava kids got off for Shavout. As I was eating breakfast, packing and what not Nicola and James walk through the front door! I was so happy to see them. I hadn’t seen them in weeks. They were being bad and not coming to our very last Shevet Weekend! But I couldn’t blame them really, they wanted some time together. So I left and the Shevet plus other art kids who were also coming to J’ru for shavout were waiting for like an hour for the bus. I ended up needing to run back to the apartment to get money and the straightener for Cara.
As the bus pulled up, most of the Marava kids were on it. They all jumped off, we all hugged and what not. We then got on and drove to J’ru. We were dropped off at Gan Saker and greeted by Boaz where we had lunch—bagels, and salads. It was a lovely day and really nice to be with everyone again, even though many people were missing.
We then drove to the Yitzhack Rabin Youth Hostel in Ramat ? We got our room assignments, and relaxed for a bit, we needed to sleep b/c we would have a very long night ahead of us. Instead, everyone was catching up. Benji flooded his bathroom with the shower. I sewed his buttons and other wholes in his uniform. People were laughing and sleeping. Jessica was yelling at everyone to be quite. We were a family. Eventually everyone napped. Then it was time for candle lighting, services, and dinner.
As usual, on Shavout, there was a discussion as to why we eat dairy—we were just given the halachot regarding kashrut and not sure of the laws so in order to make sure that they didn’t mess up they only ate dairy, another reason that Boaz explained was that it doesn’t fill you up and make you feel heavy and tired that way you can stay up and study all night long. After dinner we grabbed some jackets and headed towards Beit Ar El.
When I say we, I really mean, Jessica, Katie, Naomi, Julia, James G, Boaz, Joel, and Joe. Others would either join us later or go to town. We were given a list of different Shiurim throughout Jerusalem in English that we had the option of going to.
The schedule that the JRKs + Naomi chose:
Beit Ar El to hear the last of Mike talking & Rabbit Yosela of Shalem
Hartmen Institue on the way to Rechavia
Conservative Yeshiva at Agron
Snacks at Beit Ar El
Shacharit and Sun Rising at the Kotel
Walk to the Hostel
Jessica Katie Joel and I walked home from the Kotel at about 6:30ish. We wanted to go earlier but Boaz wanted us to leave all together. The walk home was funny. We kept all singing dumb repetitive songs just to keep going. We couldn’t stop b/c then we would fall asleep. Smol, smol, smol, yimin, smol…It took us about an hr to get back. Everyone who hadn’t gone to the shiurim was up for some reason. The rest of us went to bed. I got up at like 12:45 to shower. Lunch/breakfast was at 1:30.
It was a very relaxing and sad day. Emma, Moran and Ami came to visit. Mike was sick so he was unable to join. They were our special guests. We read Magillat Ruth. We talked about a year and had a rap up. Boaz gave us siddurim—yay for art scroll!—and the ncsy benchers that we have been using all year along with havdallah sets. I had Boaz, Moran, and Ami write in the bencher. It felt like a year book going around and getting your teachers and friends to sign.
We went back to the room. I packed up and headed to the central bus station to see and say goodbye to Raanan and Sharon. The buses weren’t running in the area that I was and there were like no taxis and traffic was horrible so it took me forever to get to them. But eventually I met them at the Central 1 and had some tea. We caught up and said bye. It was really sad but nice. We split up and I caught a bus to Beit Ar El.
We slept in Katie, Naomi, Julia, and Anna’s old room because we would need to be there at 7 in the morning for Desert Queens.
Thursday 5/20 – Desert Queens
We were picked up at 7ish from Beit Ar El. It was a bunch of Section 2 girls, us from Arad and Maya. Shir and other Section 3ers were supposed to come but there was no transportation for them. We drove to Ashkelon and picked up the Aussies then to some parking lot to meet up with the Desert Queens. We got shok in the bag and a baguette. We were split up into different cars. I was with Jessica, Ale and Naomi. We drove by Gaza and along the Egyptian border. It was very unusual to see the Israeli Soldiers on our side and a single Egyptian on the other side with maybe a gun walking along the border. The Egyptians use prisoners as their guards.
We jeeped along the White River-Nachal Lavan. It was really fun. One car got stuck and we had to tow it out. Israeli women love to sing and dance. Every event was an opportunity to do so. We had lunch which was a pot luck of different salads made by the women and drove on. Eventually we came to a look out where we were able to make kites and fly them. I haven’t flown a kite since I was a little munshkin with Grandpa at La Jolla. After wards we had dinner at a park which was also prepared by the ladies. There was a bonfire and good fun. The bus didn’t come till an hour after it was supposed to. I wanted to get together with Shawna for a bit but it was just too late and we were all tired. We were dropped off in Rechavia and stayed at Katie’s apartment. We were too tired to go out. But we have had many wonderful nights on Ben Yehuda.
Friday & Saturday 5/21-22
We all woke up relatively early. We heated up the pastries that we might have stolen from Shavout and had breakfast. Jessica and I left and went to Yad Lakashish. She had never been there before and I needed to buy a couple more things. Rivka wasn’t there but I told them to say bye for me. I bought more wall hangings—some for the JRKs. Jessica was a bitch and wouldn’t tell me which one she wanted and almost refused to accept one. Katie easily picked the green one. Jessica is going to make Boaz decide for her.
So we took a bus to the CBS. I was going to the Haimovitchs and Jess was meeting up with Boaz. I held the ceramic pitcher so Jess couldn’t break it. I left them and Moty picked me up and we went to Nachalat Binyamin to meet up with Tal. We got baked potatoes and walked around Tel Aviv and the beach for a bit. Moty and I went back to their place, Tal would be over later for Shabbat dinner. Efi’s mother had been staying with them for like a week. It was a really relaxing weekend. Moty and I worked on this really hard puzzle. When we all got stuck we decided to kinda cheat. The puzzle pieces had numbers on the back so we turned them over and organized them by that. Efi’s mother, Efi and I loved it. Moty wasn’t too happy about it.
Efi’s mother drove me to Beer Sheva and then I took a bus to Arad. It was much cheaper for me and really nice company. I learned all about her life. Mom and dad she says hi!