Hello World! I have some unfortunate news to share. My camera broke! I have no clue how, I jut went to go turn it on yesterday and it decided not to work anymore. A friend told me she had the same camera once and it did the same thing to her. I asked her what she did and she said, “You could bring it to a store but that will be too expensive. If I were you I would go buy a new one.” What unfortunate timing! Fortunately I still have pictures taken from this weekend that I was able to upload onto my computer. For the future though I may steal some pictures to post on here – the blog is more fun with added visuals don’t you think?
I’m trying not to stress about it, and instead focus on the positives.
I’ve been thinking lately of getting into photography as a hobby, I love to take inspiring photos as it is. Maybe this is my push to get a nicer camera?
On to happier news, I had a very rewarding few days last week. Along with all of my blog publicity, on Thursday I had the opportunity to sit in on a meeting with eight members of the Ashqelon Foundation (the organization I am creating the newsletter for). The majority of the meeting was in Hebrew, but it was interesting to try and understand what was being said. I also enjoyed seeing how an Israeli work meeting ran – which, not too surprisingly, is very similar to business meetings in the states.
I was introduced at the meeting and was even able to say a few words. I first attempted to thank everyone in Hebrew, but my slow dialect led me to just speak in English. Oh well, one day I’ll get there (again, only positive thoughts here). Toward the end of the meeting I was given a ‘Keren Ashqelon’ plaque/flag in honor of my voluntary contributions! Even though I am doing all of my volunteer work from the goodness of my heart and through my desire to help others, it still felt really good to be recognized for my efforts. I have also been invited to an employee dinner in a few weeks which I am really looking forward to!
After the meeting one of the employees gave me a ride back to Ulpan and then Ariel and I made our way to the grocery store and shuk to buy our food for the week. After we got home and put everything away I went to a coffee shop nearby to study and catch up on my Hebrew work.
I missed a day of Ulpan last week because I had caught a little stomach/fun/cold virus. I needed to get out of my apartment Thursday because I was just so sick of the environment. It was really relaxing to study and have a large cappuccino to drink; a nice change from my previous few days.
On Friday morning I woke up and went for a run by the beach. Then Ariel and I bussed our way to Afula, Israel. What is in Afula you ask? Kibbutz Geva – a.k.a. the Kibbutz where Miriam lives!
Miriam’s mom lived on this Kibbutz for a few years when she was our age and over the years I’ve been listening to her stories about Geva. It was really neat for me to finally be able to see and experience what had always felt like such a far-away place. I also enjoyed visiting the Kibbutz as a friend of a Kibbutznik rather than as a tourist. It was a lot different this time around.
Miriam lives in the ‘volunteer section’ of the Kibbutz with other volunteers. Everyone is around our age and they come from all over the world – Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, South Africa, Scotland. Surprisingly, out of all of them Miriam is the only Jew!
Kibbutzim are very unique and there really are nothing else like them. Except maybe communes – but even still, those are a lot different. Mostly all the volunteers came per a word-of-mouth recommendation and/or their desire to travel. Although you don’t make any money living on a Kibbutz, you also don’t lose any either. As long as you do your share of contributing volunteer work you receive all the necessities free of charge – food, lodging, laundry, etc.
The Kibbutz literally has everything you need in life. There are communal cars that people can use, because of course they are going to want to get away sometimes. But for the most part, the estimated 700 people who live there were born, raised, and have died on Kibbutz Geva.
Saturday evening Ariel and I trekked our way (2 bus rides, total of 3.5 hours) back to Ashqelon. I came back to Beit Canada, settled in, and soon fell asleep. Today is Sunday, the beginning of the week here in Israel. I had a short Ulpan class this morning and I am headed to the family club to volunteer later this afternoon. Tomorrow I am having my last education day (so sad!). It is focusing on “Israel through a mirror- How Israelis see their society and how they reflect their society’s values.” I hope everyone has as much of a relaxing Sunday as I had this weekend on Kibbutz Geva.