Saturday, 30 June 2012

500 Dollars

It started off with a girl showing us her version of a completely rando,. improvised song, a song that makes no sense, and it evolved into the song being stuck in my head for so unbelievably long that I had to go watch ALL the you tube videos that this girl has ever uploaded in the whole world.
This is Christina Grimme, and she is just cool. I wanna be her more than anything in the whole world. She just has a cool face and stlye and voice and OHMYGOD.


A Reason.

There are only a few people in the whole world who can make some sort of impression on your life, and for this past year there have been a few people who have done that, and I'm scared that they wont ever be as involved in my life as I would like them to be, and then the change will stop. I've realised, through my many existential life crisis on the back seats of buses that I'm yearning for people to change my life in some sort of significant way. Maybe I can't realise it now, an maybe I never will, but I'm sure that ill never stop looking.
As for my own purpose in life, I want to make a difference, either to people on a significantly personal level or to people on a larger scale. I want to make things better, in the world, in my life, in my community, maybe in others.
I want people to realise that things do happen for a reason, sometimes big and sometimes small. Maybe it will be something someone says to you in passing or the way that they treat you over a long period of time that causes you to make small changes in your life for the better.

I'd just like to have someone care enough about me, to see what happens to me in the future as I do about other people.

I feel as though there haven't been people in a while that really need to be changed or need my help and that scares me. I feel terribly uncomfortable being in a bubble filled with people who  are all changing at the same rate as me and that are so self absorbed with their own amount of change that they have forgotten that sometimes people need a little push from their friends to have that. I feel as though we live in a bubble of things being controlled. Everything I do has to go through this man who sits behind a desk in a fancy office and doesn't really care about the people he's meant to be looking after. I feel like everything is planned put, but not by me. Like I have no control over my own life and that's freaking me out. As much as i like routine and knowing what's going to happen, I like knowing that I have decided what's going to happen and have made the choices based on an informed decision. I don't like not knowing, and more importantly, not knowing why.

Now that I've had a weird moment all over the internet, here's a great song to cheer you up and to think to.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

A Host Family Balagan.

Friday (Night) 15 June

The community of Karmi'el had invited us to sing at their service that night. We had decided to sing Haskiveinu, even though we knew it would be an awfully sad song and that we would almost undoubtably be shedding tears by the time the song was over. We were welcomed into the community with open arms, and they seemed all to happy to have us.
After the service we were split up amongst host families for our first shabbat dinner in the quaint, little town. Jade and I were paired up and sent off to a rather awkward dinner where our hosts kept attempting to give us their children and make us drink their tea, whilst criticising youth movements and vegetarianism. We managed to escape to Shoshana and Liz's host families where we found out that they had been having a party all night. Shana had managed to break a few glasses within the first five minutes of being there, and the two of hem had had far too many shots of vodka from their lovely Russian Hosts. Soon, Josh and Sophi joined us and we all shared stories of our host dinners. The two of them had lived their family, and have since been spending a lot of time with their son, who is disabled. Jordy and Lily joined us after that, baring gifts of cake and other goodies from their host family, with only good things to say. They keep bumping into them at the pool.
We left the party, to hang out in a park near by the Russian guys house. I had made a friend throughout the night who was now teaching me how to dance. It was more like he was just pulling me around the little patch of grass and I was following.
I fell asleep on the couch in our apartment.

Karmi'el Bvakasha?

Friday 15 June
I woke up to a painfully hot morning in the middle of the North of Israel, having reluctantly gone to bed the night before with just a sheet to cover myself, in an unfamiliar, painfully bare apartment on the 7th floor of a sketchy building. Wrapping my sheet around my body, slightly cold from just having woken up, I padded to what I assumed was the Living Room. The walk was short. I sat on the Fake Couch, pushed up against the window wall, and looked over the smoggy city I now call home. I sat in the sunshine streaming through the windows for a while and then decided to find myself some sort of comfort in the form of a nice cold shower. Not having unpacked my overly large suitcase yet, I scrounged through the bin bags the Northerners had left in search of some loose fitting clothing that would be comfortable for a while, and got in the shower. I let the cool water rush over me and forgot what the world was for a while.
A whole new apartment, and a whole new set of people, a whole new life.

ALL the Dinner!

Sunday 10 June
The Last Ever Hebrew Class was more of a party than anything else. We sat in a circle and sung songs and ate yummy things like Bam Ba. We even played pass the parcel.

That afternoon, we all got dressed up and clean in what Rebekkah and I like to call: Shnat Chic for a dinner together at Spaghetim.

Sprite Day 11 June
For our last ever Sprite Day, we all set off for the Tayelet practiceing our suprised faces. Dana wasn't meant to knowe that we knew about the surprise Segay Tour, but she did anyway. We started off with a little picncik and then she ran a kind of sikkum peulah. She made us chill out on the grass with our eyes closed while three people at a time would answer questions like: "Who did you get close to? Who did you feel like you could tell anything to? Who did you feel you should have gotten to know better?"
People tapped my knees and shoulders a few times, and I really started to think about the relationships I had with people. I didn't have many regrets, and only wished I had more time with a few people but other than that it was an eye opening experience.
Then it was time for our surprise Segway tour!
They go really fast, Naomi and I were having races and really enjoying ourselves. If I could, I would take a segway EVERYWHERE!

From the Tayelet we ventured off to Modiin for dinner at Noas house. As usual, dinner with Noa is no easy feat. She made us cook our own meal and it tasted delicious. Jeffrey and I were Rosh Pasta, and spent the entire afternoon arguing over what Jeffrey is good at, and what he isn't. We made an assortment of salads, cannelloni and other pasta-y goodness.

Tuna Tuesday 12 June
The last ever Tuna Tuesday. It was the Southerners turn to run the peulah that we had been planning, and it all went amazingly well.
We started with time to write letters to people you may not see again, and had a cute little post office.
Then we had some starters of Pesto Pasta and salad, beautifully made by Sophie and Jordy.
We played a few rounds of To Wash the Miniture Cookies, wich worked as well as it could with 29 sad teenagers.
We ate the main course of burritos and more salad, and had more time to write letters, while the Southerners practiced our song.
For dessert, we treated them to actually hearing the song, and looking round the room, I saw may a tear stained face.
Down in the court yard, we had a candle ceremony, and lit each others canles and shared some beautiful stories with our friends. I loved that moment, it was the most amazing expirience. Rebekkah lit my candle, and I lit Naomi's. I feel like we had gotten way closer in the last few weeks, and I miss her very much.

Wednesday 13 June
Pack up day. I have never proicrastinated more in my entire life, and by the time I got around to cleaning everything it was way past midnight, and I had spent the entire day orcastrating the packing up of the Etgar Kitchen with the help of Naomi, Emily, and Jake. It took so long! I was still cleaning 5 minutes before we were meant to have our Etgar Farewell Dinner, and so had the least amount of shower time. Literally 5 minutes.
The dinner was a bit useless, and slightly awkward. I won an award for best "Actress in a Horror Movie".
uhhhhhh.... yeah.

That night we all huddled around in the living room, and projected Mean Girls onto the wall. Classic, I fell asleep.

Naomi, Tara and I slept in the Boys Stuff Room, finally being able to see the floor, on an awkwardly comfortable Christmas Bed. It was so beautiful.
We planned to wake up really early and go on an outing to Ben Yehuda Street in search of presents for their siblings and parents.

The End of Etgar

Thursday 14 June
Our morning excursion wasn't as successful as we had hoped, and after waiting around for what seemed like ages, we decided to have some breakfast at Timol Shimshom, fulfilling one of Naomis Shnat To Do's. We had an assortment of breads and dips between us, and it was soooo good. Nothing like some pesto and apricot jam in the morning.

Back at the flat we all finished up our packing and took our stuff down to the bus, and waited for Machon to arrive. We reluctnatly got on the bus to our respective cities.
Rebekkah and I sat next to each other and talked nostalgically the entire ride to Haifa. We stopped briefly to eat one and a half ice creams unhealthily quickly and had an Oreo eating competition.

Saying goodbye is not something I'm really good at. When I hugged Alyson I just couldn't do it any more and burst into tears. From then on Niagra Falls was on my face and as I hugged 18 other crying, snotty Shnatties I realised that these were the best friends I could have ever had and that our time together had been far too short. I wiped my eyes on my sleeve, realising it wasn't very absorbent, nor was it helping, but rather just spreading the tear-y, snotty goo farther across my face than necessary. I hugged more people, and everything was a blur of tear-y goodbyes and see you soons' and laughing and sobbing. All of a sudden I was spinning in the air, a huge hug from Dan Rattan, and a giggle erupted from my throat. The sound was unfamiliar. Distantly, I heard Michael telling us to get on the bus and in a flurry of people and more hugs I found myself wedged between Ruthie and Naomi, hugs and more tears. Laughing uncontrollably at the ridiculousness of it all, and shouts that the door was closing with Naomi trapped inside I fell onto my chair, waving frantically out the window, tears running down my face and the rest of my dear southerners fighting for window space.
A splutter of tears and congealed spit in a big group hug in the middle of a bus that now seemed far to big and sad was all that remained. 
We looked around slightly panicked as to where we would be going, and attempted to cheer up but couldn't.

Dinner at Sushime, in Karmiel, with Galit, was a solemn occasion that night.

The Last Shabbat

Friday 8 June

I spent the whole day avoiding hanging out with people to organise my notes from the past four months. That night we had scheduled a Last Shabbat dinner with the whpole of Netzer. We planned to have a kabbalt Shabbt in the gardens of Beit Shmuel, run by Tara and Jemma.

The sun was setting over a slightly chilly day. We all sat huddled around in a circle, 24 faces gazing at the oldest and the youngest members of our group as they bent low over the two candles, welcoming the shabbat. A few muffled voices could be heard over the wind reciting a blessing normally reserved for women only, but we were breaking the stereotype. The wind whistled through the arched corridor, and the candles refused to stay alight. The group broke into song. They were well known psalms and contemporary songs that we had sung so many times over the last four months that we had had together, and most of them brought back fond memories. I looked down at my knees, pale and slightly purple in the chilly afternoon breeze. I wore a purple skirt plucked from my room mates cupboard. It was tight, but not tight enough to be trashy.I looked around the circle at faces that have become so familiar, and voices that sounded around me in unison made my heart soar. It would be a long time until this would happen again.

After dinner, pasta, an Etgar speciality, the rest of the southerners and I found ourselves sitting in the very same place we had met the Northerners way back when we donned winter coats and scarves to pop down to the grocery store. We sat at a table, convenient I know, and wrote the song that would be our special farewell.

The night proceeded way past spoon hour and we moved from the convenient table to the large hall way in front of the elevators where we met a group of American Teenagers on a school trip from Phoenix. The one girl had already made Aliyah at the ripe old age of 17 and would be starting school in the Spring time. She was Modern Orthodox, and dressed quite conservatively considering she was off to bed. They seemed really interesting, and we spoke for a while about her decision to make Aliyah and the kind of programme they were on.

The Machonicks left soon after and I found myself on the Balcony with Jake, as one usually does at 2am on a Friday night, or should I say Saturday morning, writing a the farewell peulah. We went inside, peace was way too cold to be on the Balcony for any longer and watched a couple episodes of Misfits, before retiring to bed for a well deserved rest.

Saturday 9 June
There is only one way to describe the antics of Saturday morning, and its in this video.
The Etgar Lipdub 2012 Avril Lavigne- Sk8r Boi
I hope you like my solo :D

Peace Out.

Saturday, 23 June 2012


Sometimes I ust feel unbelievably unloved in the world, and whilst stalking all the silly people I feel the need to stalk all over the internet I came across two little girls who made the whole world seem a little brighter.

They're called Lennon and Maisy Stella and they're the cutest most adorable things ever, I just wanna nom on them all day.

Lennon is a twelve year old, musical genius, with cute glasses that make me wish I had eye problems, just to be as fashionable as her. Her little sister that plays guitar like she's had many more years to practice, is only eight and often sings back up or harmony in the songs she performs with her sister,. but has an incredible voice and a load of confidence for someone as young as she is.  So take a listen and I promise you'll be singing along in no time.
This is a cover they did of an amazing song, it's called "Call Your Girlfriend" by Robyn.


Monday, 18 June 2012

Jerusalem a Glow

Yom Tikkun!

We spent the morning volunteering at Leket L'leket where we picket Onions for people who cannot afford food and get donations from them, people who use the land to farm, and the rest of the produce gets sent to soup kitchens around the area, and even some of the best crops to super markets.

We spent the afternoon in a school teaching troubled kids to read, and went to an organisation called Windows for Peace, where we had a lecture abut the organisation and a tour of Jaffa City. Our tour guide seemed to think that because of tourism and urbanisation the fishermen would soon stop fishing and she even hinted that the government is putting things into place to have them forceably removed. it all seemed a bit strange to me, and so I took pictures instead.

The Fifth Woman in the Room:
It started with a Chareidi woman telling us that we should step up to the Torah. Really read and believe what its all about. study and know the Torah inside and out because we can really learn from it. She told us she moved from Australia, from an average to normal secular life, but had found the Torah and her Judaism and moved to Israel. She told us all about the process of her becoming more and more religious and getting married. She told us that she now had 12 children and a husband whom she loved very much.

And then she took off her scarf.

We all sat in shocked silence, as she put on a different head covering, leaving some of her hair visible. She proceeded to take on the persona of a Right Wing American woman who had made Aliyah and Jewish people to live in the land that was theirs, thereby kicking all the non-Jews out.

She took off her head scarf completely, and placed it around her neck. She stood up, pulled her skirt down, to reveal a pair of trousers, and took out her sunglasses, placed them on her head, and made a few phone calls. She was now a secular woman, who lived in Tel Aviv, with two children and a Lesbian Lover. She represented all the people who have a particularly secular stance and mostly aren't bothered about the world.

We played Superstar whilst she changed completely to a Hidjab and a Buirker to take on the fourth woman in the room, an Arab, who doesn't have Israeli citizenship. She told us about the troubles she faces during her time on the other side of the green line and all the hardships that Arab people face in general.

Over the couse of the evening we were allowed to ask questions and she answered an stuck to her role through each of the different characters she took on. At the end of the night she told us all about herself, the fifth woman in  the room, and she explained that she made Aliyah, and used to be in Netzer. She had been in many dialogue groups with the women that she based all the characters off, and really felt that this was a great way to educate young people about what was going on and a good way to really distinguish between the different sects of Judaism.

I really enjoyed the day, although I was absolutly exhaused by the end of the night.

The Etgar Aprentice

Sunday 3 June
The first day of The Etgar Aprentice, run by Liz and Josh. In all honesty, I didn't know what the Aprentice was mean to tbe, but we spent a whole week being quite confused as to how you're fired and still have to participate in the challenges.

We had our penultimate class of Hebrew where we finnished off learning new words and we recapped most of the work we had done throughout Etgar. We had a small party where I pretended it was my birthday and Alyson and I made new friends called Jeremies. We spent the rest of the day playing with the Jeremies and I took a lovely nap at the wrong end of my bed.
Much to my disapointment, I was woken up, moderatly rudely, by Liz to take part in one of these silly challenges that I really hated. This one was cleaning. I hated cleaning, because i always clean and no one else did and it really upset me. I was super tired and moderatly sick, so I didn't really clean.

The penultimate Hebrew lesson found us all sitting in the small hall trying to understand just what the hell was going on. You'd have thought we progressed, but not to the extent where we could fully follow along.
The penultimate Tanakh lesson involved a weird excursion to Jaffa gate to yell lines of the Tanakh at random strangers passing by. Josh and myself took it upon ourselves to tell people that the Temple was amazing. I unfortunately, the group of bewildered tourists didn't find us at all amusing and quickly scurried away with a hiss from their tour guide.
I thought it would have been a cultural experience for them.
We also figured out that there is no word in English to fully express Betaiavon, nor is there a word in Hebrew to express Penultimate.

Sprite Day 4 June
Our last Tachles History class with Mark Lazar found us all in the sweltering heat of the Beit Shmuekl roof at 10am. Josh, Dan Rattan and Rebekkah lead a traditional Ma'amad about the sights you cansee from the roof top. We heard all about Jaffa Gate, The Tower of David and the Old City walls.
Tara and I were next. We lead a less traditional Ma'amad, Netzer Style, including a discussion on Equality in the different sects of Judaism over looking the Kortel. I learnt a lot from leading on a trip like this, mostly about where to do the activity and leading a discussion. Writing down questions to ask is always a good thing, and I should have done that because I realise now, I'm not very good at just winging those kinds of things.
Next Shindlers Grave for a discussion about Heros in History and how people start off with bad intentions that end up being good, or visa versa. We spoke about Nelson Mandela and how he was able to do good things, when at first he hadn't started off too good, but I really dont agree wioth that and was too tired to really argue with them. Besides, Americans know more about my country than I do apparently.
The Tayelet for Naomis Peulah about the History of Jerusalem through a cute childrens story that started off with Giant Monster Feet.

Dinner at Mark Lazars house was AMAZING! We had good food, good wine and amazing music. I looked through all his records and all I wanted was to listen to the Beatles White Album. But Alas...All we got was hectic discussions about a secret rabbit and weather or not to do the peulah that night.

I took a walk with the Dans to /machon, and met Lily iutside at the bus stop. We taked for a while but got on separate buses, me home, and her to Family.

Back at the flat. the Aussies were prepareing for their Peulah. Gangashlach we soon found out, there were all sorts of fun challenges and silly questions. I made the worst sandwich in the history of sandwiches (without a plate ofcourse...)
After cleaning up the mess we had made in the living room, there was flour and sauce everywhere, we headed to the Old City to see the Jerusalem Light Show.

Tuna Tuesday 5 June
Our Reform Judaism class was all about how people treat Religion as a comedic thing. It was meant to be something deep, but I was too tired to get into it, and didn't find the comedian funny at all.

At Tnua Time, Dana lead a session about ideology.
She made us stand and sit on our chairs through the session based on what we believed in, and soon I found myself lieing on the floor, whole heartedly believing that what I belioeve in was exactly right and that I would teach it and tell people about it.
I'm not a huge fan of Danas Ideology sessions, because whenever she runs them it always feels as though she is telling us what is right and what to believe in and I just don't agree with that. She has no right to tell us that because we don't want to make Aliyah and that we don't think that all of Netzers Ideologies are exactly correct, that we don't belong in the movement. A lot of the time, she tries to indoctrinate us and it's not fair. We're people too, and we have found a place where we feel a little more comfortable wit ourselvces and can relate to the other people that are also in our movement, so why should that be a problem?
We also spoke about how we think affects our Ideological stnces. I like to think in a universalistic way, while some people like to gear their thinking more towards one specific topic, or through feminism.

Also, I hate the way that she thinks we shouldnt be able to change the ideology. If that were to happen, we wouldn't be a movement now would we.

Becca Winchel is an amazing girl. She has long dark hair that hangs, gently curling next to her face. She is as pale as a statue in a museum and has tired, scared eyes, so she always looks as though she is on the verge of tears. She speaks with her hands and has an odd sort of manner about her. She uses large words that would confuse most people. She speaks about 7 different languages and is the cutest little thing you've ever seen. If she wasn't so tall you would think her to be a really smart five year old.
That day we all sat on the grass in the Tayelet telling stories and doing imitations of eachother waiting for lunch to be delivered, pizza and salad as usual. It was her farewell picnic.
The corridors of Machon were even more dull than usual. People stopped smiling, and you could see panic cross their faces as they realised that they would never see her agian. Friends of hers frantically dialing her number on their phones, hoping to catch her before she got on her flight all the way back to America. I sat in the hall way trying not to feel empty inside, as Lily and Annie choked back tears at the thought of one less room mate to keep them company.
Oh Becca, you are dearly missed.

I had to be home for the finale of the Etgar Aprentice that night so I hoped on the bus and made my way home.
Plants Vs. Zombies theme night saw us making odd mascotts and playing silly games until Daron won against Rebekkah, and our team lost. All in all a great night, even though we were all exhausted.
Later that night, the Machon poeple came over to drown their sorrows in our living room, and headed to the Kareoke Bar at the top of Ben Yehudah.
I went to bed.

Wednesday 6 June
Tara lead a Tikkun Day peulah about all the different things we were going to do, and all the places we were to volunteer at bright and early on Thursday Morning.
We learnt about the chareidim and their different political stances. Not all of them are super right wing! Some even lean more to the left, and I'm quite pruoud of myself, that I know the difference.
Naomi told us about a place called windows for peace and Jeffrey introduced us to the book we were going to use whist teaching kids to read at their school.

The rest of the day was spent hanging out in the flat, doing nothing in particular, although we did watch some episodes of That 70's Show.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Another Brief Interlude:

I have just burnt my tongue on a steaming hot cup of tea, despite the terribly hot weather outside. We have spent the last few days sweating out of every pore in our bodies trying to stay cool, and have about three fans and air conditioning to make the heat a little more bearable.
The whole flat is noticeably trying to avoid the topic of the Northerners who have come to the end of their programme.
Were all desperately clinging to one another, trying to hold onto something that feels real. Something, so that we don't feel like the entire world is falling apart and there is nothing we can do to stop it.
I cannot speak because my mouth cannot form words. I'm torn between happiness, excitement, sadness and a deep resentment for the way that things have to turn out.
In a way I feel numb.
I feel everything.
All at once.
I'm home sick for a place that isn't quite home to anyone, but that has been a home to a lot of people before me.
I cannot sleep.
Repetitive dreams plague my thoughts.
Why won't it stop? 



When I type a lot, I feel like I'm playing the piano.
A rhythm of tapping and a melody of the words that flow through my thoughts and come out in words that will guide my misguided soul through the inner workings of a place that I do not quite understand.
There is a simple beat that plays the music of my body that quickens and slows with the world. It tells me how I'm feeling. It guides me through things that i might not understand just yet, and it gives me the option to slow or stop. To move forward or back and every night when I lay in bed and I can hear this beat that never stops, only changes, I know I am scared. I know that I have too much control and do not want to relinquish it because if I do I am afraid that it will stop all together and never start again.
If I do not keep the beat beating then I will cease to exist. I feel as though we all have  apart to play in the great symphony of life and when people stop playing their own beat, the world loses a little bit more of the soul that erupts with every beat of a heart and every step that people take. The volcano of life:

I am my own melody and I walk to the beat of my own heart.

Monday, 11 June 2012

Falling Apart

There are some days when the whole world seems to be falling apart, and before you know what's happening you're crying your eyes out on a bus, your friends don't want to talk to you and there's an ass
hole who just won't shut up.
It's days like these that We can really thank the rest of the universe for the friends who do want to talk to you, and cuddle you, serenade you with songs from musicals, and in between your sobs you smile a little, hug them back, nod and let a little giggle escape your lips.
Here's a song to remind you all to think about the good things.
Because, at the end of the day, its the whispered good nights to room mates, and the kisses from your friends on the cheek, the reassuring pat on the back when you're upset, and that catchy tune that wakes you up, reminding you that it's a new day.


Wednesday, 6 June 2012

An Ideological Crisis.

The Netzer Ideology is one of the main discussion topics here on Shnat. Mainly because we're all pretty passionate about it, and also because we spend nan entire year trying to come to terms with our own ideology in the movement and living it out in Israel. Often, people find that they don't fully agree with this ideology, or what they thought is very different to what we're lead to believe through our years in the movement prior to shnat.
I think its also to do with having so many different opinions where ever you are throughout the year.

So here I was, at 4am one Sunday morning with Lily in the kitchen eating scrambled eggs and carimalised onions having one of the most intense ideological discussions I've ever had.

It started with a story about a boy on Machon, who was being a typical Right Wing, closed minded fool, and being rather rude to my friend.

We spoke about this thing that we're all supposed to go back to our countries and practice called "Israel Advocacy" and while he techniques are interesting, the out come can often be negative, depending on which way you look at it. Our lecturer who gave this class, pretty much shattered all the preconceived ideas of what shnat is about, and why were here. I felt as though I was being turned into a minion on the one hand, but also, being enlightened to what was going on around me-to which I hadn't previously known.

First, Humiliate your opponent.
Then, Answer the question.
Do your Research. Know your facts, and if you dont...
Manipulate the situation to your needs.
The aim is to H.A.R.M.

From this we moved to talking about the Ideology, and why were in Netzer. We started discussing things like the pilars: Noar, Tzioni, Reformi. (Reform Zionist Youth)
What they don't really tell you about is where you put commas and full stops, and how those can really affect the meaning of the movement.

  1. If I had said Youth Reform, Zionist, You'd probably think of people who have changed their interpretaton on how old you can be and still be called a youth, Right?
  2. If I had said Reform, Zionist Youth, you would probably think of Reform Jews, who are also Zionist and mostly under the age of 25, Right?
  3. If I had said Reform Zionist, Youth, You would thing of Youth, who think in a Reform Zionist way, Right?

Well, I was under the impression, that we were number 2, and I was really shocked, that I hadn't taken time to figure this out before, because I had been indoctrinated, using other unique methods, by Madrichim who had come on shnat and learnt these things. Maybe without even knowing it, which is the true beauty of Propaganda.
I came to Netzer, and on their Gap Year program as a South African Reform Jew, who was kind of a Zionist. I got here, and have since realised that what they really wanted, and what everyone thought was that we were all people who were focussed on Zionism, and were maybe not that religious, and that we kinda did our own thing.
But that was not the case.

Maybe, in South Africa, we do things a little differently.
Maybe we focus a little less on the whole Zionism thing, because we have a whole heap of stuff to worry about in our own country, and would, in all honesty, spend way more time bettering a society which we understand way better, than one thats half way round the world.
Maybe it's our fault that we just don't understand because we focus on bettering the world, so it will be a better place to live in for future generations.
Maybe we focus a little too much on the whole, lets be jews thing, so that at Camp, we have amazing services and send people on Shnat, to the land of the Jewish people, and let them find their own spirituality.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but does that sound like a bad thing to you?

Louring kids in with a false sense of purpose as to what they're doing seems wrong to me, and maybe we should change Netzer South Africa to Reform Jewish Youth, with one of our platforms being Zionist, and not the other way around.


We're plagued by a world where brands are everything, but we rarely ever take the time to sit and think about what we really want out of life. Weather it be the latest trends in fashion, or having the coolest new gadget, were all brain washed into thinking that these things are what we need. We no longer communicate with our friends through letters out of convenience. We no longer talk to people in person, because its so much easier to IM someone, even f they're in the same room as us. We no longer phone people, and if we do, it's from the fancy phone that probably has some sort of branding behind it. We find ourselves judging people on possessions and looks, rather than on the real person inside. We've decidid what we think about people before we even know their name. It's an unfortunate reality, and we should all conciously make an effort to talk, interact and not let ourseles be bought by large companies and industries. because we're too lazy to do anything about it.

This is Brand Spirit
A man called Andrew Miller has made this his mission for the next  days. He's going to paint one object a day white, reducing each object to its purest form and by so doing, removing its branding. He's taking objucts that everyone knows, weather he buys them, or gets them from friends.

86/100: Canon

I think it's an amazing Idea, that really puts across the point, that we're all too consumed in the world that is now built on brands, advertising and technology.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Back to Front

depends on the rhyth of the person
the exact time that it hits
when it leaves
it doesnt do to dwell on the past
thats whay we live in the present
the age of the robot
the age of thought
the age of fear
and the age where bravery will still trump it everytime
there is no copy paste here
not in the present
not where we find the point
the point
the point of what?
thats the big question
its not about finding the answer
its about
but you cant discover anything if youre afraid
you cant express it through fear
we have to be brave
we have to be the heros
we have to define
we                                                          <--- You should start here

Something Different


If you had a Rand for every time I've said Desmond and the Tutus on this blog you'd probably be a millionaire. They've released their new singles from their new album Mnusic, and they even have  few new videos on youtube. I absolutely love them, and I wish that stupid Look and Listen had had their CD before I left.

I want to be him. I'm working on my harmonica skills, and by the time i get home, I'll probably be as good as him.

Tussen Stasies

19 March 2012

Dear Jozi,
I'm feeling rather nostalgic for the early mornings when I would bust huge missions getting out of bed to make tea, braving the cold of the kitchen floor, forcing myself to get dressed for school. Trying to explain the best past of you to foreigners is so difficult.
They don't understand the beauty of being able to go to The Boheimian  or Tipsy Gypsi every night, for a drink or some sweet tunes to the bitter taste of Zamelek. They could never even begin to understand the concept of being able to drive a little ways out of the city down to Splashy Fen, or having RAMfest not more than 4 minutes from your house. They will never understand the Jagermeister girls, or the thought of POGO pits. they will never understand the kind of mutual understanding of gig goers, to llet you go to the front because you're short. They will never appreciate going stage diving at Cool Runnings Fourways and our constant protests and petitions to let the municipality not close down our pubs and bars. I miss only needing to know that its the purple house on the corner and one street down from the Wimpy. I miss
I miss our drunken escapades through the streets of Melville for Joburg Burning and staying out just those few more minutes to cath the last acts in the form of 340ml and Fire Through the Window.
So here's a video, that pretty much sums up the beauty of our Country, our city, the people that we all to easily forget come from the same place as us. We forget that we're united under the seven colours that make up our flag, those seven colours that greet me when I wake up in the morning. Weather we speak Zulu or English or Afrikaans the gesture for a lighter remains the same in every language. We forget that we're all part of the same generation. We forget that we're fighting for the same cause ansd no matter how hard we try, racisim is still a big part of life for us. People here dont understand the kind of society we come from, where you have shacks and mansions on the same streets. Where the languages of Africa are all around you and you have no choice but to listen past sounds and clicks but to peoples eyes, their hands their emotions that they're pouring into their words, trying to express themselves.
They don't understand.

Things I Know

So, while I'm here in Israel I do quite a lot of remembering all about the things I used to do at home. I often read the blogs of the wonderfully creative people I know back home that blog about our beautiful country, and who, subsequently, keep me updated on all the social issues we as South Africans face.

I've had quite an identity struggle here in the land of Jews, in my little flat filled with people from all sorts of exotic places like the US and England, and Germany, and Spain, and Argentina and Australia. Putting all these people together as Jews on their gap year trying to be one and also trying to be patriotic means that there's often quite a few  ideological debaters and all those arguments about accents.

I keep myself grounded by listening to the soothing sounds of Home Grown music like I used to everyday on the radio and on Friday nights at the Boheimian.

Someone who you reading this blog wil only possibly have heard of is a girl with anamazing voice whose song lyrics have been keeping me sane for the past few days. She's just uploaded her songs to Soundcloud and her Facebook wall is filled with praise for her songs and her amazing vice.

Without further adeu, I give you Talya Davidoff, Born and raised in Cape Town, South Africa.

Hello, June.

Friday 1 June
Apparently its not possible to get a visa easily in any country.
We headed to Tel Aviv really early on Friday morning. Literally, we were awake before 6. We took the tram and then a bus to get there on time, stopping at an internet cafe to print things, that we would later find out were the wrong things. At the bus station, we found a cab and took it to the building where the Visa office was supposed to be, and after waiting around, and getting slightly lost and confused we made it to the sixth floor, and into one of those awkward security rooms, where we had to sift through papers and walk through metal detectors for like 20 minutes.
In the waiting room, we found that we had all the wrong documents. A nice man decided to help us out, he let us print the right things,a dnt hen directed us to a place that had clearly been making money out of people not having ID photos, for it was literally right outside the office building.
Back up to the office, we dealt with the horrible frog like woman who kept telling us to sit in front of this weird camera and who took our finger prints.
Eventually, we finished all the paper work, handed our passports over, and have been hoping for the best ever since.

Seeing as it was excruciatingly hot in Tel Aviv, we headed to the beach, meeting up with Becca at the shuk and buying some lovely foods for lunch.
We picnicked under  a tree and fell asleep on the beach.
We got a shirut back to Jerusalem and were home at about 7.

The entirety of the people left in Jerusalem were on their way out for these milkshake things, so we joined them, and sat awkwardly  not quite at a table, and everyone refused to believe it was their either. I fear the world is loosing its imagination.
Lily finished watching Fight Club, I fell asleep.

Saturday 2 June
We had chocolate chip pancakes and watched more movies. And by we I mean Lily, I fell asleep again....
We also used some of the fruit we had bought to make amazing smoothies!

I like to Bake.

Sunday 28 May

After arriving back from the Kibbutz, I had the worst hey fever so Lily got some food for me from her institutions cheerochel. We sat on her windowsill high above the rest of the world and I listened as the noises of the weekend grew louder as the Shavuot went out with the sunset. We discussed important issues through dirty window panes, in broken Afrikaans for fear that her room mates would find out the truth about her hair. Eventually she came clean which lead to the hair straightning party.
Lily, Gal, Annie, Other Annie and Amanda all helping eachother ... straighnten their hair...

I went home in a snotty state and crawled straight into bed hopeing to wake up a little better than I had been.

Sprite Day 29 May
As per usual on Mondays, we all don our Sprite Day T-Shirts and head out of the classroom for an on location, education expirience. This time was a little differnt though, we went back to Meyer Sharim, dressed 'Modestly' and had Mark Lazar tell us more about the Chareidi Community.
I wondered out loud to Rebekkah about why we have to dress modestly and be like them when were not. We clearly stick out and I'm sure its just as insulting for us to pretend to be them, than it is for us to just wear our normal attire.

After Meyer Sharim, we went t the Shuk and were given the task of interviewing people about their lives: How they came to be in Israel and their story there after.
I met a wonderful Thai Woman who was a migrant worker here in Israel and she told us how she and some of the friends she made were exploited by their employers because they didn't know their rights her. She told us about how she found it hard to be in a society different from hers where she didn't understand and was constantly discriminated against. With words ringing in my ears and through the thoughts that constantly plague the inner workings of my mind, and a slight smell of fish penetrating my nostrils, we set off to find some doughnuts for lunch.
We headed home after a brief sikkum, and I spent the afternoon doodling in the kitchen.

That night we spent our time on the roof talking and having existential moments through our toes at the Old City's wall, and contemplating other languages. I wish I could remember what Zoe had taught me...

Tuna Tuesday 30 May
We watched the second episode of this weird ass TV show called Black Mirror. The last one was all about Technology and how it affects us socialy, and this one was about how people are manipulated by the media into doing things they don't want to do. I wont spoil the ending, but I encourage you to go watch the Show for yourself and make up your own mind on what the world is coming to.

We spent a good few hours baking that night in preparation for our Bake Sale the next day. With strict instructions to be ready to SELL SELL SELL! the next day.

Wednesday 31 May
The bake sale found us standing on Ben Yehuda street for 6 hours peddleing our wares, and Dan Rattan stuck in a conversation about Nazis and how Reforem Jews just dont exist.Besides those allegations, we were also accused of wanting to bring people to Israel to kill all the palestinians, wich I assure you, is not the goal of Netzer Olami.

Jemma ran an amazing peulah about our feelings with paint, which only made me remember how much I used to paint, and how lacking my life is in creative out let. I just want to paint ALL the time.
Paint paint paint.

That night we went off to Machon to try and sell the rest of the bakied goods.
I wrote a song for the occasion, to the tune of Hashkiveinu:
Netzer bake sale, come alive
Chocolate Balls, 2 for 5
Kikar Limon
We're at Machon
Have you tried the cake?

Thursday 1 June
I woke up groggy and dis oriented to a ma'amad being held in the Dojo. I wasn't prepared for it to say the least.
Noa ran a peulah about Noar Telem for us in the small garden below our falt, but half way through I got really sick so I ran to the bathroom, and missed the end, only reapearing for the sikkum of the week where we gave feed back to Jemma na dJake, as to how they were doing as far as maddieing goes.
We headed off to Ben Yehuda for tuna time and were tasked with doing silly activities like drinking water in under a minute and trying on clothes in a fancy store. It was all very entertaining watching Ben put on a dress.
I spoilt m,yself with a really cool skirt from a vintage store, that only cost me 10 sheckles. For those Saffas out there, thats R20. Bam, Sukkah!
Southsafah! The first ever. And with FROYO! BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!

A brief interlude:

I woke up today never wanting to eat again, slightly sunburnt, and hardly rested even though I had slept for a good ten hours straight. I lay in ,y bed for a while, thinking about the next few months of my Gap Year, and how I would hope them to turn out. 
I've lived in a different country for almost 4 months now, and suddenly realising its June kind of made me panic a little.
I know it sounds strange, but I feel like I haven't really done anything productive with my time. I feel as though I have spent this year being very selfish, so far. I've had to write my name on thing so other people don't use them, I've had to sleep in different rooms of my flat, just to get some sleep, because sharing rooms isn't as easy as people make it out to be. I've had to find an escape, to different places in the building just to find some space on my own. I've had to shower at odd times of the morning, just hoping for a little bit of privacy, but all that comes with having to change in the hall way because I cant turn my bedroom light on, for fear of waking other people up. 
It's been a wild ride, and I'm going to miss the home I've made for myself in my little corner of the room very much. I'm going to miss the lovely lavender and cinnamon smell that comes from above. I'm going to miss the slight breeze before the door slams at 2 in the morning from the air conditioning. The magazine pictures really make me feel more at home, and I know that I wake up with a few tid-bits of inspiration everymorning, and a constant reminder of a little message that Jackie sent me after I confided my big Shant Fears to her during kinnus last year.

It's hard to think that such an important part of shnat is nearly over, and sitting with the other Southerners on Thursday afternoon really made me realise just how little time we have, and just how much time has passed already.
We had quite the circular experience, talking about all the things were going to do whilst were in Karmiel and the different experiences we'll have during options and then kibbutz. I thought back to the time just before we started Machon and Etgar, and how we had decided to go to all the different shules as a group and how we would invite the Northerners but that we would be so close, and to a certain extent we had those times together, but none of us really anticipated the amazing connections we would make on our respective programs and now I'm having a hard time letting go of the friendships I've made in my dirty little flat that smells a little like rabbits, vodka and vomit. I love these people more than I could have ever thought, I love this house, I love having the city so close, I love the Dojo, as much as I resent it.

 A week and a half.
Thats it.

Sabbaba v'akol aval...

May 25- 27 2012

The bathroom of our flat was disgusting when I glanced in that direction on ,y way out. A bright green backpack on my back, hiking boots, a sleeping bag, and, unfortunately, a very negative out look on the world. No one wanted to go on this stupid hike to the stupid north for a stupid weekend. Especially after just coming back from our perspective hikes on Machon and Etgar.
Begrudgingly, I got on the bus, found a seat next to Dan Rattana and settled in for a three hour bus ride.

The negative spirits were broken by an over enthusiastic Machon group. Etgar sat at the front of the bus, bitterness on their faces, as they wondered why Machon were so excited at the prospect of sleeping out side for three days.
Machons cheery atmosphere suddenly changed to negative retorts and shouts about whose mother is what and the stony faced machon-nicks sat in silence before Jade made her way up to the front of the bus and publicaly announced that it was all a joke.
The mood lightened slightly after that, and the bus fell into silent whispers of snores from those who hadn't got quite enough sleep the night before.

We were woken by a tirade of Jeffrey. We were all unprepared for a Moses that swore every five minutes and wore a gangster hat, but unfortunately, that's what we were subjected to for the short hike to the beach. As with all our hikes, Guy entertains us with his odd games, one which involved Jordy being a penguin and us guessing every other animal you could think of whilst she desperately tries to depict this simple animal.
The beach was not a sandy affair as one might think it would be, rather, there were rocks, lots of rocks, and shells, lots of shells. All with peculiarly perfect little round hole through them. They were slippery, and hurt my bare feet to walk on them. The sea was salty and stung my legs. I reminded myself not to shave right before going to a beach in Israel next time.
I spent a good few minutes putting different stones in between Aries toes.

That night we slept under the stars, after making our dinner, true Israelie camping style: Poikeh and salad. It was the most amazing meal in the history of Shnat so far, and my favourite part, was sitting in a tree, above everyone who was chopping and making tea playing an African Drum and singing "The Lion Sleeps Tonight". The branches were sturdy enough to hold us up, and soon after a few more people joined the Tree Party.
I woke up in the middle of the night, rolled over, opened my eyes to a sea of stars shining brightly in the night sky. Through the trees I could make out a few constellations, and through the sound of Josh snoring I eventually was able to fall asleep, and if you had been awake at exactly that moment, you would probably have seen the biggest smile on my face as I lay under the best blanket in the world. I was completely at peace with the world.

Our hike the next morning started off with a bang! The Tikkun Fairys had come and granted some wishes for our Netzer friends, as they would continue to do throughout the weekend. The hike wasn't too difficult and I really got ot bond with some of the people I hadn't yet been able to bond with. Naomi and I are much better friends than I thought we would ever have been. The first part of the hike consisted of many a good try to rhyme my name with things in a game of Contact 123, which progressed over the next 6 hours to many a rendition of My Childhood Was Better Than Yours. Two of the best games ever invented by far.

We stayed in a hostel that night, safe from the beauty of the world, and quite cooped up in small rooms.

Virgin Sacrifice

One thing you need to know about Shoshanna is that she really doesn't like poeple making a big deal out of her birthday.
We made the biggest mission after dinner and our peulah to get her to go to bed and then to burst into her (and my) room, chanting with candles, and making her come outside for some cake and talks till the wee hours of the morning.
It was the most beautiful sight to see how excited she got about it, and I would lik to think it was a memorable moment in her box of Birthday Memories.

The night before, we had had a really long peulah, taking us all on our own Journey through the history of ourselves in Netzer.
We started witht he past, and the history of our sniffim. We all got to stand up and be a sniff, showing all the points discussed at veidar and seeing the real differences between all of them.

In the present we made a really cool video about al our ideologies and howwere a unique snow flake in the existence of Netzer Olami. This required Lily and I to write all sorts of things all over our bodies. We had Tikkun Olam on our feet, the pillars on our fingers and the importance to Learn and Do written across our backs, all in Ball Point Pen.
We then had the opportunity to write a peulah, to run back home. This time mixing up all the sniffim so there were differnt people working together. This was a lot of fun to do, and i cant wait to see all the videos, and the peulaot.

The past brought us to a room filled with tea lights and a chair in front of an audience. We were all asked to sit in the chair, and talk as if we were Us, only 10 years in the future.
Hearing people talk about themselves and their dreams for the future based on an imaginary past and a few tangible memories through Shnat and Netzer was the most incredible thing. People were silent around the room as everyone took their time to take a seat in the chair in the front of the room. We all waited with baited breath as our fellow shnatties spoke. We all listened intensely to the outcome of everyone's life. We smiled at the memories they had shared, and fantasised about the memories they would make in time as they carried on living their lives.
We joked after about the people making Aliyah, and about dreams to open businesses or make a name for ourselves in the world. It was amazing how everyone seemed so innovative. No one did nothing with their lives, even though they were different it was beautiful.

Sunday held a day of making, being and doing.
We used nature to make Art Collages.
We danced and made skits, some of us sat around singing songs.
We spent the most part of the afternoon learning how to make cottage cheese, pitah bread, salads and butter, only using raw materials and our determined spirit. Another hearty lunch for us, before leaving for home.

We stopped at a kibbutz on the way to Jerusalem, tired and sick we sat on the grass pondering the women dressed in white and holding wheat and other produce, doing special dances on a raised stage infront of friends and family. We joked about how they were virgins waiting to be sacrificed, and during an intense spooon hour session I felt as though we should all be naked and dancing in the fields, waiting to sacrifice virgins to a God.

It was very odd.

In the Future, I hope there will be Peace for the Children.

Saturday 19 May
Nicole and Liy and I made a huge mission to the Shuk and bought ourselves some lovely fruit, missioned around the streets of Jerusalem for a while, until we found a lovely little park in Nochlahot and made a picnic of Avo, Laffah, Nectarines and Rooibos Tea. It was so beautiful! We called Anat because it was her birthday, and sung to her in as many different languages as we could.
We played in the park for a little whie before saying our goodbye and heading in opposite directions.

Sunday 20 May

Yom Yerushalyim. A day for tourists and Right Wingers.
We went out that night to the old city, hoping to really find out what it was all about but instead ended up talking to a Rabbi from New York who brings tourists to Israel to really give them a Spiritual Experience. After a while, we left him to talk to Gal alone promising to meet up with him again, but when we returned to where we left he was gone, and we couldn't find him. Fearing he had been taken to the yeshivah, and would never be allowed to return we sent Bin after him, and Lily, Nicole and I ate Ice cream and Ice Cafe with Amarulah.

Our trip to the Kortel, was brief but interesting. Bin was slightly tipsy at this point, and decided to talk to some super religious men, and we went to the wall.
I stood, as I normally do, looking up at the wide expanse of wall and watched the women praying. Pushing to get closer to the Temple, and doing everything in their power to be able to pray as hard as they want.
I don't think I like the wall that much. It's just...

Sprite Day 21 May

We had a n Israel Advocasy class. Probably one of my favourite classes ever. Our lecturer was a guy who normally reports for Sky News. His name is Neal Lazarus and he has the most amazing techniques for advocating for Israel. He showed us how to move conversations in the direction that we want and how to direct the conversation so that we can really take part in it. He showed us techniques that would allow us to win over an entire government, and how politicians use certain words in their speeches to get people to vote for them.
Theme Night consisted of us all dressing up really fancy and having English Tea. We all put on fake British accents, even the real Brits and ate scones and drank super average Israeli tea.
Rebekkah and I wanted to find this protest against Racism in Israel, but failed miserably. We met up with Lily and her American friend Zoe, and decided to go out to Timol Shimshom for a drink. I had Sahleb and they all had different kinds of coffees and hot chocolates. It was quite chilly outside.
We walked Zoe home and then went to bed ourselves.

Tuna Tuesday 22 May
We had candle lit dinner, all the people that weren't on Kibbutz and me. It was so sweet. We had baked potato and discussed all the things we used to do in the last weeks of school. Quite a nostalgic dinner I must say.

Wednesday 23 May
Volunteering!, although I dont think we went, i think it was just us lounging around in the house, or catching up on some missed sleep.
We watched the first episode of Black Mirror, wich pretty much made us all freak out just a little. It was so intense. Its about all these social issues and taking them to the extreme, and how we as people handle them. This particular one was about the media and how people can manipulate other people to get what they want out of it all. Tv shows, fame and all the things you would do to get there, and sell out when you're there.

Thursday 24 May
Hebrew again, a better lesson than Sunday because we weren't so tired, and over the world. I remember it being really fun.

A Hand and a Name:

Sprite Day 21 May 2012
Yad v'Shem

My foot steps echo across the museum and even over the dull hum of hundreds of soldiers and students on tours I can hear the resounding noise as my foot hits the floor. I vagely listen to the tour guide telling us facts and history we've heard before as I walk around the museum. I see images I've seen before and watch as people around me start to break down from what must be a terrible emothional turmoil.
I have goose bumps on my arms and a sinking feeling in my stomach as I genuinely switch off from the world around me. I barely feel any kind of feeling towards the words and images being hurled at us hoping to get some sort of emotional response. Its like were being forced to have some kind of emothional connection to people whom we don't know, but have a vague connection through "Religion", "Common Beliefe".'
I wonder how I should feel, and if theres something wrong with me for not doing it.
My mind is distracted by the people, I dont want political facts. I want stories. My ears prick up at the begining of a personal story of a survivour. The voice that had been a dull hum in the back of my mind is now brough forward to the front of my brain. Concerntration.
Broken specticles have been reassembled in a glass case next to an old picture. Our tour guide proceeds to tell us of the little girl who sewed her mothers specticles into her clothes whilst in the concerntration camps. She told us how the, now groen up girl, came to the museum with a bad full of shards. She said they were worthless in monetry value but had all the value in the world as a story of one more perso that will now be remembered.
My favorite part of the museum is the shoe display. A mixture of high heels, work boots, sandals and modest shoes lay under thick glass in a pilke of brown and black shoes. I stood over it, as i had three years ago and my knees felt weak. How sould something that we wear everyday, that we take for granted be so powerful? Shoes are so expressive of people, and its something I've been facinated by over my years of adolecence. Each shoe told a story- A bussiness man, a farm worker, an old woman, children and even a high class lady who wore heels- Its hard to comprehend that poeple from all oer the social and economic spectrum died in the same way. Striped of human qualities and alone in the world.
A unity beyond any that we could hope for today. Its just a little unfortunate as to the situation...
Five candles reflect thousands of little flecks of light through the dark mirrored room as a voice reads out the names and ages of children murdered during the holocast. My hads fumble in the dark, shaking, as I remember the yellow ribbon attached to my pin board in South Africa. Rosetta, aged 9. I think of her almost everymorning when I'm at home, and how it must have been to be that young, confused alone, during world war 2. What would you have done? What could you have done?


6 Million?

Numbers are too much to comprehend.

One name.

One story.

Thats all you need to remember.


Saturday, 2 June 2012

Tiyul Tzafon: Day Six: Connecting with Communities Outside Israel

A border tour took up most of the day and we found ourselves constantly in a state of mild delusion as we got on and off the bus at various borders. The humid air hitting us like a brick wall as soon as we opened the doors of the bus and stepped down the trecherous stairs onto hot tar roads. We would spend about half an hour sitting uncomfortably on the rocks, or the pavement watching cars drive pat, only vaguely paying attention to the endless stream of historical facts and emotional stories told by our madrichim. I felt my mind drifting many more times than just one as her eyes filled with tars and it became harder and harder for her to form sentences in a language we would understand.

I remember the long walk up a hill I had climbed under very different circumstances just three years earlier with a very different group of Jewish Youth. I saw the huge metal structure of a Dinosaur thing, and remembered fondly a boy who I spent a good few weeks in the hottest part of summer with, and the message he sent me before I left south Africa. Something about Pizza and how he felt in those years. Someone was shouting about Machon and I thought about another boy who I was desperate to avoid, and how all my emotions in one moment could change so drastically, and then if I was suffering from a terrible mental illness. I thought instead of how everyone's feet sounded against the ground.

A large fence stretched as far as I could see, and although we were essentially standing next to the border between two countries, the sound of construction on a new house was drowning out the historical information to back up my previous statement.
I was cold and tired, uninterested in politics.

Tiyul Tzafon: Day Five: Connecting with Nature

15 May 2012

The water dispersed as my body took up the space it once occupied. I opened my eyes under the water to see bubbles rushing to the surface all around me, in a green blur of algae and fishes. I could not see the bottom, it was pitch black, with no signs of life. I swam back to the top, oxygen filling my lungs as I looked arouind at all my friends swimming in the natural springs. There were shouts and screams as people dunked eachother under the water. I ducked down again, preferring the peace and quiet of the world under the water. I couldn't stay down for long. The pressure of the water as I dove down further pressed on my chest and in my ears. I quickly kicked back to the surface.
I climbed onto the rocks, finding foot holds blindly under the water. Our voices echoed around the empty space, normally only populated by bugs and tourists. The green moss squished through my toes as I jumped off the rocks and back in the water, this time, prepared for what awaited me under the rippled surface of the wide, green expanse.