Israel Diary 2

Israel diary - 2

Tales of Kibbutz, Tiberius and concrete.

I'm now relaxing (?) as a volunteer at a kibbutz called Ashdot Ya'aqov Meuchad. The kibbutz is located about 10 km south of Lake Kinneret (The Sea of Galilee) in the North of Israel. The idea of volunteering is quite simple. As a volunteer, you work eight hours a day 6 days a week on the kibbutz and in return you get room and board and to experience kibbutz life and facilities (e.g. laze in their pool).

The work that you do varies considerably. Generally, though it's the jobs that no one else wants to do! here at the kibbutz there are volunteers working in the kitchens, date farms and Spancrete the kibbutz's cement works, hmm guess where I got landed! The factory makes reinforced concrete beams for buildings. I work with the crane on the morning shift which starts at 5 in the morning (stop laughing, it's killing me!). The work is not exactly taxing - although the heat is a killer! I finish relatively early in the afternoon which leaves the rest of the day to myself to do, well, not a lot! I tend to catch the sun, swim a little - it's a tough life! The kibbutz is fairly isolated however, which means that there is little to do during the week, although Friday scores pretty highly as a top night. The music here is generally very good. They play generally a very good combination of the latest songs mixed with a good smattering of those, "God, I haven't heard that one in a awhile - it's really quite good!" songs. The party last Friday for example was great. There were two completely different types of music being played. Inside was commercial 'studenty' type of stuff, with what can only be described as a 'bitsa' (bitsa this and bitsa that) set outside. The stage outside was decked with hay bales, while glow stick wielding dancers gyrated. The music ranged from a sort of jungle, through a bit of happy hard-core and then onto an Arabesque mix (I don't think that it'll be the next big thing in the UK mind!). Did I mention that the party was billed as a 'sex' disco? Well, I thought that it was probably some sort of drag thang. Hmmm, not quite. Well, it wasn't exactly a "...what it says on the tin" moment, but trying to dance to Britney Spears whilst a hard core porn film is being projected on to the wall is a most disconcerting experience (mind you, dancing to Britney Spears is pretty disconcerting in its own right!). Currently it's pretty relaxing here - but we'll have to see how long it is before that turns into boredom! There are only four volunteers here which makes for quite a quiet time. We've got two guys from Korea, Sing and Lee (Hi guys!), and Antonio from Spain. Spot on gentlemen one and all - I'll try and get a picture to put up here soon...

Oh yes, and my folks came up to visit me.

The next installment.


Created b y Dan Leigh 21 June 2001