This was the week that everyone had been dreading for a long time - the closing week of Etgar. For the unlucky ones this was the penultimate week of our Shnat, and for the the slightly more fortunate it was an ending which ushered in the start of a new part of the program. From this coming Sunday, the Northerners will have their final week together on Kibbutz Tzuba and the Southerners will have their 8 day break period before they begin living at Kibbutz Lotan, so this was our final week as the whole group.
After most Shnatties spent the weekend recovering from the gruelling 5 day tiyul, we began on Sunday with our final Ulpan session, where the Northerners finally became natives by making a classic shakshuka (the most effective way to learn Hebrew, of course…). After we said goodbye to our lovely Hebrew teachers we began Sikkum seminar with an afternoon outside together where we sang our favourite songs, ate lots of melons and all hung out together. That evening we ate as a group at undoubtably Israel’s best hummus restaurant, Hummus Ben Sira, and after that Sima ran our first session properly reflecting on our time together as a group and everything we’ve achieved together on Etgar.
On Monday, the marathon feedback session began. All the Shnatties had their say about what was good about the program, want went wrong and everything in between. That afternoon, Leigh & Jess ran messy, wet extravaganza where the kvutsa’s knowledge of one another was put to the test, before Gideon & Talia ran another reflective sesh, getting the tears growing in the group.
Tuesday was a nice mid week break as everyone went down to the dead sea for some floating and chilling on the beach. Some people attempted to float to Jordan but the journey was too perilous and they had a pizur lunch waiting for them at the shore. After having washed the salt out, the kvutsa’s skills were put to the test with an 1 hour workshop on laughter.
After being given an extra hour to sleep in, the kvutzah got very sweaty with an intense game of laser tag. The game was fun competition between north and southern hemispheres, with the northerns barely coming out on top. With the action out the way, the afternoon led into further reflection on both etagr, shnat as a whole and how we have shaped each other over this short period of time. Because Etgar translates to challenge. Even dinner is not something that is a given, as we saw the kvutzah split into groups running around Jerusalem trying to find clues. The end result was a lovely dinner at our madricha’s house. The food was amazing as we squeezed in Leora’s living room. We all left happy and with a food baby.
Thursday started with some morning singing of some of our favorite songs we have sung together. Followed by a top to bottom clean of the flat we have lived for the last 4 months. During all the commotion of cleaning a 16 person flat, our leaders gave us a farewell speech as well as some heartfelt singing. With the flat cleaned and people able to see their feet, the kvutzah went on an excursion to play bowling. With bellies full from a baked potato dinner, the kvutzah was thrown a surprise children’s birthday party by Talia. There was dancing, pass the parcel and bowls of sugar filled snacks to end our week.
Sikkum tsevet ❤