Sunday (4/11) - Marava kids left. so almost everyone got out of bed at 6:45 to send off, it felt like a precursor to the end of the year--saying bye to people. they are only gone for 2 months, but its the last two months of year course. nicola and cara left from our apartment :(
Shevet had a day of learning about the Holocaust from a guide from Yad Vashem. The Guide was really good. After being to Poland most things were a review but every time I learn about the Holocaust we learn something new. We talked a lot about the Israeli perspective and how long it took survivors to open up and talk about the event. I then walked to the ulpan to pick up a bike with Joel. we talked about how every time we have a holocaust class it is usually similar stuff so we feel like we know a lot but there is so much more information that we don't know. we all have our favorite holocaust memoirs that we have read that others haven't even heard of. at the ulpan i realized that i don't want a bike b/c we have volunteering twice a week and its a 15 min walk, plus i'm almost never in arad and i don't want to take it up and down the 4 flights of stairs a lot.
later sunday night all of arad had a big holocaust memorial ceremony in an auditorium where a bunch of students acted out survivors stories. it was really moving and sad. in the states there is nothing like this. there was a siren both sunday night and monday morning for two minutes for silence. we didn't expect the siren, we only knew about the one for yom hazikaron. so when we heard it, we stopped what we were doing.
monday (4/12) - yom hashoah & the first day of volunteering - i met dikla and others at the uplan at 11 and we walked over to the artist colony that is like a min away. some of the kids were in the ceramics, others in clothing and i'm in Orange Beam, or something like that, they make organic balms, and lotions for chronic and acute pain, pregnancy and infant care that combine chinese medicine and other herbs. that day i just learned about the place and the overall artist colony--they moved there 3 months ago from the north. they are like a kibbutz where everything is communal but its not a farm. there is a day care and everyone works in a different artist workshop. they take turns cooking a delicious lunch for everyone. i left and went back to the apartment.
later that day at the ulpan we heard Rachel Bar-On, a Holocaust survivor, talk. She was a baby during the Holocaust so she told the stories of her parents. Some things didn't make sense, b/c if she was a baby at a camp she would have been killed, and yet she wasn't. We then attempted to watch the Uprising, but they didn't tell us to eat before hand, at 6, so by the time it was 8 we were all hungry and no one wanted to stay to watch a 3 hour movie while we were hungry. also something wasn't right with the sound so it was just a failure--everyone left.
tuesday (4/13) - Siyyur to Sderot and Yad Mordechai - Sderot is a neighboring city with Gaza, San Diego's sister city, and has been continually bombarded by rockets from Gaza since the second Intifada, 2000. The Tzeva Adom, Color Red Alarm, warns citizens of an incoming rocket. You have between 0 & 15 seconds to find coverage. We took a tour of the city--the shook, parks, schools, view of Gaza. There are caterpillar type bomb shelters for kids to hide in while at parks. All of the schools have either been rebuilt or in the process b/c it is cheaper to build a fortified school than fortify one that is already in existence. people have their own personal bomb shelters. the most dangerous place in Sderot is this one street b/c there are no shelters. bus stops have shelters attached to them. We visited the police station where they have some of the rockets on display. We went to the top of a hill and looked at over Gaza where we could see the high rises that have been built with the money sent over by Israel and the States to rebuild Gaza but is stolen by Hamas to build high rises for senior officials. There are neighborhoods reserved for families of those who have had martyrs in them. to the right we were able to see Asquelon--where we were for Boombamilla. While at Boombamilla I pointed out to the girls, Sderot and Gaza. It was already a pretty heavy day and then we went to kibbutz Yad Mordechai...
Yad Mordechai was named after the Warsaw uprising hero- Mordechai Anilewish. They have a bee farm there. but we only went to the museum. It was a cool museum, with each room decked out like the area, brick walls and what not, but we had a bitch of a tour guide, who wouldn't answer any questions, and just made the experience unenjoyable. we wished that we could just walk around the museum without her. the pictures were unique. i recognized one of the pictures from a book that was given to my mol group that i have not yet read. and then we went home.
This whole week i had been stressing about the BFL weekend that was to come, and trying to create a presentation that we would present to previous BFLers...Weds (4/14) Annie and I left for Jerusalem for BFL. We got to Jerusalem about a hour early so we sat in Aroma and worked on our projects. We met up with the others and went on the mini bus to the Judaen Youth Hostel. Some March of the Livings were there and also some very annoying mini Arsim that did not let us sleep that first night.
Weds-Sat (4/14-17) The theme of this seminar was very different from the last. this one was more about practical skills and implementing projects and lots of learning about failure. Neil Lazarus (Emma's 2nd cousin) tore us apart in our Public Speaking skills, very good. We learned about fundraising, emergency campaigns, failures, previous BFLer's college experiences and projects, we presented our projects (3 hours of presentations......) and got feedback, leadership in nature thing with wells, other leadership trials, and lots of other stuff... it was really educational and one of the best experiences that i've had in Israel.
on to the next post.