This week was an especially busy one for the gang. It began with a reflective closing seminar about our time spent on lotan and how to go forward as a kvutsah. As part of the closing seminar, our wonderful madricha debboush plus shashu(a good dog) took us on a hike. Interesting geographical features were observed and many sparkling gems were found not including the shnatties. At the tea house a special jam session was organised and one of your very own shnatties sang with the different kibbutz members and volunteers.
In our last session we looked back at the very first session we had with Debby, were we talked about our thoughts and emotions we had going into lotan and reflected on whether we they were realised or overcame.
During our time on lotan we met a wide variety of amazing and interesting people. These included a group of German volunteers, Green Apprentices, Israeli shin shins and kibbutzniks. It was especially hard saying goodbye to them at a bonfire party thrown for us and at a wonderful mamad/dancing/ dessert potluck session.
Leaving lotan presented unique challenges for the gang. A 'midibus' was ordered, however a tiny minibus arrived for us, where had to play luggage Tetris to fit things into the coach.
Arriving at the camel ranch( none were to be rode) we were greeted by a freezing cold but welcoming atmosphere. We met some noar telem(Israeli netzer branch) shin shins who ran sessions for us. Mamadim (services)and Kef(fun) were shared all around. A particularly enjoyable part of the seminar was a hike to an ancient town. We also enjoyed a spark filled bonfire/ cuddle session.
We met Ben, a netzer educator, who ran fascinating peulot(sessions) about social and enthic inequality plus Jewish peoplehood and identity. A lovely traditional camel rancher meal was served and the atmosphere was improved by us all sitting on the floor on cushions. Although it was upsetting saying goodbye to the shin shins, it was uplifting knowing we'd see them soon.
Finally, the shnatties were treated to a proper midibus, which even had space to spare, which transported us to Tel Aviv.
In Tel Aviv, the shnatties arrived to a beautiful apart with WiFi on tap, a proper kitchen and room for storage. This marked an absurd departure from kibbutz lotan. We were taken on a tour of the local area by our excellent madrichm Raviv and Orit, who showed us the shop, health centre and where to unwind in the park.
Our first dinner in the big city was a pizur one, where we were given money to spend where we want. Most of the shnatties went out for sushi, others enjoyed a romantic pasta dinner and one of your lovely authors went to the park to eat and met a lovely jacuzzi saleswomen.
The shnatties were given a session about how to divide chores to let us live better communally and with greater intention. We also started a new idea called date nights, to enable us to get to know the kvutsah better.
We are looking forward to our time in Tel Aviv volunteering for causes we care about.