ShnUpdate - Savyon 13.04.18

Etgar \ Gideon & Emily

The shnatties started their pesach holidays by having a surprise birthday party for Talia and Joe with music and lots of cake. Then on Friday the group parted like the Red Sea and went to different Seders held by different families. Then some people stayed with their family, visited Haifa and others came back to relax in the flat. Zoe went to the Dead Sea to camp with Max.

Joe and Emily volunteered in a cooperative shop which were moving location and needed extra help. It was a great way to improve our DIY skills and we had fun with power tools - until we’d left w few marks in the wall.

10 shnatties and 2 suitcases full of food decided to brave Habonim beach where we swam, jumped of rocks into a cave, sunbathe and sun burned into the transformation of a beautiful zebra.

From Sunday onwards, the Shnatties returned from their holidays in paradise and were back to the daily grind of sessions and seshes. We’d all missed each other a great deal over Pesach and it was a lovely moment when all 16 of the Etgarniks reconvened in the flat for the first time.

We were privileged to have the presence of various families of the Shnatties to the flat this week (a little shoutout to some of our readers back at home who came to visit 😜). We’ve all enjoyed having some fresh faces in the flat, and we can’t wait for more family members to come and visit.

After a week of chofesh - and before that we had our conflict seminar - this has been our first week of regular sessions for a while. It’s been comforting to get back into a sense of routine and continue some of our courses.

It’s been another great week in the life of Shnat Savyon and we hope you have a great week too.

Emily and Gideon

Machon \ Michael L.

After a very intense first month of machon where I’ve made some incredible friendships and taken part in some exhilarating classroom discussions on all sorts of topics from youth movements ideologies to past and present israeli politics and history from ethical and objective standpoints it was finally time for our first much needed chofesh. Over chofesh I spent time with my South African friends from Habonim-Dror, went to visit family in Efrat and went camping at Chof Golan for Doofest.

The first leg of my holiday was a very impromptu trip to Tel-Aviv with my across the hall neighbours from Capetown, the 4 of us piled into a very homely 1 bedroom apartment in Yafo where we put together a lovely alternative seder with a seder plate. I finally got to cook a meal for myself after having months of withdrawals from all the cooking I got to do at my job before I left for Israel, I’d missed my job and cooking just as much and sometimes more then my friend and family back home for instance when I found myself cooking a creamy mushroom carbonara that I’d cooked hundreds of time back home it was almost as if I was back in the kitchen at work and it was a perfect start to my Pesach. The following 3 days we explored Tel-Aviv's rich nightlife with a few girls we had met who were on chofesh from the army, we also visited the Yafo markets, the beach that was right next to our apartment in Yafo, spent several hours just walking around taking in the city and playing several games of settlers of catan which was another reminder of how much I missed my job back home and couldn’t wait to get back to. My last day in Tel-Aviv was abit of a disaster, I wanted to get a bus home from the beach but rather then catching the inner city number 10 bus I hoped on what turned out to be the regional number 10 bus and found myself half way back to jerusalem which would have been fine provided I had my bag which was back at our flat, I got my friend to send me our address but only realised it had a typo in it when I got there to find what definitely wasn’t our apartment building after several hours I made it back and collected my things in time for the last bus back to Jerusalem and cried tears of joy finding out that the pizza I had left in the Edgar flat remained untouched for me took sit back and watch friends with.

The following morning I received an unexpected call from my cousin whom I’ve seen twice in the last 5 years and always had a terrific time with telling me to come see him that day in Efrat. I had a great evening with my great uncle and auntie, my uncle and auntie my cousin and even more cousins I didn’t know I had. We played lots of different card games into the night specifically a family favourite game called 500 and then the next morning went to visit ammunition hill because after seeing 3 museums a week with Machon I couldn’t go my entire chofesh without seeing one.

The next day my machon roommates and I prepared yourself for a camping trip to Chof golan for Doof fest with all of Habonim-Dror South Africa and Australia. This music festival might have been the strangest 3 days of my life where I came to the conclusion that I really really hate psy trance music and that living with it for 3 days where it played 24/7 on two different stages wasn’t the smartest way for me to finish my chofesh and certainly wasn’t going to return home well rested. We witnessed people get into all sorts of crazy costumes from wizards to demons and dragons. While we were there we got to join in meditation and art classes as well as play on adult size jumping castles, slack lines and what an Israeli told me in broken english was a harness swing that looked something far less innocent but was fun nonetheless. One thing we were not prepared for was the heat of the day and were lucky enough that on the first day I had helped some Israelis carry their equipment who offered us refuge from the heat in their campsite that contained a fridge, freezer, bbq, giant sun shelter and 4 couches as well as plenty of food they insisted we exchanged for company. The last day of doof and chofesh was potentially my most trying day so far in Israel, we hadn’t slept or showered for 3 days we were incurring the wrath of the festival and we all just wanted to be home but we still had lots of bags to carry back on a 4 hours bus trip home on the hottest day we’d experienced yet there was lots of complaining and I had no phone battery left to drown them out so I ended up laying out my camping mat and pillow and going to sleep on the aisle of the bus. Once we arrived at Jerusalem central bus station I enjoyed the best falafel I’ve had yet and went straight to bed to be somewhat fresh for class the next morning.

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Masa Gap Year programs offer college-bound high school graduates a year of valuable life experience before college, with Israel providing the perfect environment for them to explore their interests, identity, and future steps. Through a combination of academic coursework, volunteering, traveling, and an immersive experience in Israeli society, Fellows return home with the life skills to make the most out of their college experience. Learn more about Masa here.

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© 2016 Orit Sagi, Netzer Olami, Photography by Danit Ariel & Roy Elman