Sunday morning we woke up and had a speaker, Neil Lazarus, come to the Kibbutz. I actually had seen him once before on Birthright and have been receiving generals e-mails from him about Israel and problems in the Middle East ever since. I have to say that he was even better than I remembered and he had a great way of making us understand the current situation here while somehow making us laugh hysterically at times.
In Israel when you go grocery shopping and get a cart you have to pay a 5 shekel (looks like a nickel) to get the cart. Then at the end when you drop the cart back off you get your 5 shekels back. This could be quite annoying at the times when you may not have a five shekel. So Mr. Lazarus gave us a great marketing gift with his name and website on what looks like a five shekel. Too funny and actually quite handy to have!
Afterwards we packed up our things and left the Kibbutz. We then went to have lunch with members of the Jewish Federation. I am living in Rhovot (about 30 minutes outside of Tel Aviv) for Part 2 and I, along with the other boy and girl I am living with there, met with some people who told us what to expect. There will be lots of volunteer opportunities with mainly people who don’t speak English. So hopefully by the time I complete part 2 I will have made a difference in the town and also improved my Hebrew!
After the lunch we finally made our way to our new home for the next 3 months – Ashquelon! We had a “welcome” ceremony put on by the Ethiopian children that are living there. There are currently 220 Ethiopian families and 100 Ethiopian children living in my absorption center and it is quite the experience! Here is a picture from the welcoming fun: [See if you can find me!]
The children are very excited we are living here, and are always jumping up and wanting to play with us which has been really nice. After the ceremony we all had dinner and they gave us time to settle into our rooms. The next morning we woke up early to grocery shop, have more time to get settled, and do our first round of volunteer work. I think this is where this entry ends and a new one begins.