Our second week at Kibbutz Lotan was nothing short of an adventure. After only a few short days, friendships with our fellow “eco-freeko’s” were already well formed, completed with far too many bad jokes and perhaps one too many late night chats around the bonfire. Now I know what you are thinking sounds like an American summer camp dream, but truth be told, the 5:45 am wakeups and hours slaving away over compost piles and 90’s documentaries on permaculture truly defy these standards. Catch is, we wouldn’t have it any other way!
Initially the shnatties and myself were disappointed to be spending our first weekend on kibbutz, away from what we are excited to call our home, in order to join our fellow madrichim in Haifa for Chavaiya (Noar Telem’s, the Israeli Netzer, camp) prep. Little did we know, the next two days were yet to be filled with madrichim as enthusiastic about Netzer as we are, and quite possibly the best quality food and air-conditioning we have experienced all of Shnat.
Getting to meet our camp “net-tzevet” (Netzer Staff) was definitely a highlight of our seminar, and we couldn’t have been more blessed to have such a diverse and lovely group of people. Not to mention our Saturday morning shacharit certainly left us all schvitzing, after teaching Noar Telem only just a slice of what is to come of our ruach! We also got a chance to introduce ourselves and to introduce some new tunes to our all too familiar prayers. Was truly a weekend to remember and we couldn't be more excited to run our peulot and to represent Netzer Australia- get ready Noar Telem!
Upon our return to the kibbutz (at 4:30am…) we were straight back into work at 9:30 that morning, as kibbutz life truly does not rest for anyone. This week’s classes have certainly varied from creating sheet mulch gardens, to mud making, to growing seedlings with noting but two seeds, a put of nutrient soil and a great attitude!
Due to the summer heat of the desert here, many of our classes that take place in the middle of the day have taken place indoors, however, this certainly does not contain the excitement and informative lessons that we continually have. So far, courtesy of our fantastic and worldly educators, we have had the privilege of learning about the implications if sustainable houses, the principles of permaculture, market gardening and the agricultural industry. I can’t personally say I have ever done a course quite like this before, where not only do we learn the science behind the ideas we want to implement into our own lives, to actual hands on experience. I could never have imagined that in the span of only two weeks, I would be educated in how to grow my own herbs, and how to build the garden to plant them in. Also who knew my knowledge of cow poo would be far more extensive than my four years in high school mathematics?!
It feels weird to summarise a week in our lives here on Shnat because when you learn what feels like a lifetime’s worth of knowledge in the span of only 4 month, time itself starts to become very warped. However I don’t think I could be more grateful for the opportunities I have gotten to have here in Israel. It has certainly “unearthed” (pun intended) my love of travel, how much I love meeting new people, and remaining a teachable and humble person. Until next week’s adventures I guess!
Have a lovely remainder of your day, and don't forget to recycle, chamudim!