Israel diary - 3
The Kibbutz experience
...or Volunteers, volunteering and very long days
The kibbutz movement is a very interesting part of Israel's history.
I don't and won't pretend to know any more about it than I have
picked up along the way in Israel. What I will say without any fear
of contradiction is that the kibbutz movement and kibbutzim are
changing - whether they like it or not. The kibbutz that I'm on,
Ashdot Ya'akov Meuchad is one of two kibbutztim right next to each
other. They are situated 15 km south of Lake Kinneret (Sea of Galilee)
on one of the main roads to the South of the country. The other
kibbutz is called Ichud. The two used to be just one - but subsequently
split due to political differences....
Enough of all that, you wanna see who's here...
Back row: Sing me Lee
Front Row: Audrey Hélène Chemda (our volunteer leader)
Check out the pages of the other volunteers here...
Last weekend we went on a volunteer trip. From the kibbutz we went
west towards Haifa, through the Carmel mountain range to a chapel
where it is reputed that the Prophet Elijah challenged the followers
of the earth god Baal to a contest. The site of the chapel, Muhraqah
is situated one the norhte east side of the Mount Carmel range overlooking
the plain of Esdraelon. From the top of the chapel it possible to
(on a good day) over as far as the mountain of Megedan where the
ultimate battle between good and evil wil take place (hence Armageddon).
We also went to a village of artists. The village was set up as
a community of sculpters, painters and other art crafts. It's full
of personal galleries of their work. It's a bit of a strange place,
giving the impression of more of a zoo where the artists are on
show in their 'natural surroundings', however most of the art is
excllent and the place is very chilled out. We spent a bit of time
a guy glass blowing.
After all this culture and biblical history, it was time for the
This week has been mostly working, sleeping and tele watching.
I've watched more tele here than I have for a long time. Mainly
it's VH1 as it's one of the few half decent channels that's available.
I've been racking my brains thinking about what I've been up to,
but with little success. It may well be that the Larium is starting
to kick in with a vengance. I've brought everything with me for
my world trip, I'm using Israel as a bit of a trial expedition,
and this includes Malerial medication. In Sub-Saherial Afirca the
profolactic of choice is still Mefloquine despite a pretty comprehensive
set of potential side effects. They reckon that around one in three
people has some sort reaction to the drug. So they recommend taking
it for a trial period before going somehwere that you really need
to take it. It is important that the drug is taken in an environment
that is safe, recognisable, but I chose something else, I chose
Israel, a kibbutz, strangers..... To be honest though, apart from
some pretty bizzare dreams I've not noticed much of a difference
to my mental condition (no comments please). I'm due to take my
last tablet tomorrow - so we'll see how it goes!
The next installment...