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Israel diary

"I flew to Israel Tuesday 19 June 2001 having left work the previous Friday. I intended to work on a kibbutz for three months, returning to the UK 27 August. I would be home for ten days before flying off again to start the rest of my round-the-world trip. The plan was initially to try not to spend all the money that I'd spent the last couple of years saving up and hence the idea to go and work on a kibbutz for three months. Things didn't quite go according to plan..." Comments added 16/09/2002

List of diary entries:

Israel diary - the start...
Link to Diary 1.
Link to Diary 2.
Link to Diary 3
Link to Diary 4
Link to Diary 5
Link to Diary 6
Link to Diary 7
Link to Diary 8
Link to Diary 9
Link to Diary 10

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Antonio's Page
Audrey's page
Helene's page
The last Days at Ashdot Ya'akov

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Israel Diary

Arriving in Tel Aviv

If I have to sum this place up with one word, then I'd have to choose, "hot". It was 15C when I left Heathrow Tuesday morning (thanks for the lift Dave!) and 30C when I arrived in Tel Aviv 4 1/2 hours later! Another word to describe the people would be "friendly" - but I'll reserve that one especially for the family (more of them later), but everyone has been extremely helpful to me whilst I've been here - well apart from the individual who, after we had spent a long time trying to communicate, and finally we had worked out that, "yes, I want the bus to Petah Tikva" and we were getting close to "was this the place to get it?", interrupted our conversation by him leaping onto a minibus that had stopped for a second in the middle of the street. Now this might not have been a problem, but I then worked out that it was the bus that I needed as well - tosser. On the other hand though, he was Russian anyway so perhaps he shouldn't count.

There are a lot of Russians in Tel Aviv. The signs read in a confusing Pollack-esque of Ivrit (Hebrew), Arabic, Russian, English and bizarrely also in French. I've no idea what the Arabic or Ivrit signs say, but the French ones make no sense either! Signs like "Le petite Jarden" grace the frontage of a clothes shop!? But now a word from our sponsor...

This section has kindly been brought to you by MEGA-GLU-FLEX
Glue makers to the stars...
(I'm told that it's for arthritis - but it is a real name for a real product)
I heard this advert about a dozen times a day for the whole time that I was in Tel Aviv.

Miriam, Danny, Yael and the rest of the family should be stuffed. I mean that in the nicest possible way. They are possibly the most friendly, lovely people in the world. I was picked up from the airport, taken into Miriam's home, fed and watered. I've been taken around the country on various trips, to Matalan, to Nazerath, Har Maggedon (or Armaggedon as we know it - the final battle ground where good will triumph over evil...). Great food has accompanied us at every turn of the trips, pastries, cakes,quiches and all sorts of dishes and delicious delicacies appear as if by magic!

This wonderful family are members of an organisation called 'Servas'. It was set up shortly after the 2nd World War to try and avoid such things happening again in the future. The idea is to spread peace and understanding through the world. This idea is nothing new and admirable. The way that it is done is so simple that it might just work. What happens is that you can go and stay with people in the country that you're visiting for two days. You do what they do, live where they live and see what they see. In this way you get to meet people who live in the place that you've come to visit rather than staying in a hostel or hotel meeting other tourists from countries all over the world - except from the one that you're in. You get to see how the people live, to participate in their lives and hopefully to get an insight into the way that their culture works and therefore an appreciation of why they live the way that they do. This next bit's the important bit. Having subconsciously gained all of this priceless information you are then much less likely to countenance aggressive action against your new friends and the country that they represent.

I apologise if all of this is a little bit scatty and disjointed, I'm still trying to get used to the heat, "don't bother", the lady at the Kibbutz office said, "I've been here many years and I'm still not used to the heat". Great, I've got only another few days to try and aclimatise before I have to start working in it! I'm going to a kibbutz called Ashdot Ya'akov Meuchad which is on the southern most tip of Lake Kinneret (not the Sea of Galilee as it was pointed out to me - two names, same place as far as I could work it!)

Between now (Thursday) and Sunday when I leave, there is a family birthday party that I've been invited to ( I'll try and get some pictures loaded up), and parents, you'll be glad to hear that I'll be observing Shabbat (well, a party on the beach is almost the same isn't it?!)

The next installment (when I've written it!)
Created by Dan Leigh 21 June 2001