Behind the 8 ball.

Breakfast time at Abraham Hostel

I realize I have not been keeping up with things. It seems to be a self fulfilling event. Get behind and realize you just don’t have the time with all kinds of events happening or going to happen and one thing piles onto another.

Well here is the plan. Leaving tomorrow really – even though it’s Tuesday but only 5 minutes into Tuesday. So tomorrow evening I’m at Ben Gurion airport. Go through customs and then security and then check a bag and wait for the Flight. They will start loading us about 11:15pm and the plane takes off at 12:05am Tuesday morning. Usually a 12 hr flight to Boston. But if it’s another Boeing 777 – that was one fast plane – it might be less.

What is the plan? The plan is with all the mountains of pictures and videos and memories – to start posting it all while sitting in my kitchen or living room.

Rosh Hashana – ראש השנה

The moshav has a Rosh Hashanah tradition where a holy man explains all about the horns of different animals and which works the best to make a shofar. Then he encourages – as do the parents – for the children to try making a noise come out of the shofar. The bigger children – say 8 to 12 succeed while the younger learn another lesson in life – failure just encourages you to try try again to be like the professionals 🙂

Sept 23-27th The Plantation

Working for 6 days straight has been a learning experience. Sunday through Friday. 5 days on the plantation about 15 miles away and one day here at the moshav. It is harvest time for the dates and it’s pretty busy. There will be much to say and show in the blog as there will be six days packed into one entry. It was going to be done on Saturday – Shabbat – but we are off to the Golan so it may be put off somewhat.

Rise at 4:30 am take care of the chickens and goats. Be ready with water and some tomatoes, cucumbers and pita bread and a knife and get picked up at 5:45 am. Then we pick up some contract workers from Thailand and we are off to the plantation.

We get onto a machine that lifts 3-4 workers up into the trees where there are pods of dates covered by a net that needs to be open and the ripe dates removed. After 3 hours of that we have many pallets of dates. We then eat “breakfast” and then sort for 2 hours or so. We sort out dates that are not ripe at all, kind of ripe and almost ripe. leaving the ripe ones in trays. Drying of dates happens right there very easily as there is no rain at all for months. No clouds – sunny and very hot up to 40 degrees Celsius (over 100 F).

The heat and the work got to me after the 2nd day and I slept 11 hours.

Sept 21st Shabbat – Ed’s Birthday

There were more people here when I arrived two days ago than there is now. At the moment there are 4. Edward from the UK (birthday today 26), Evie 18 from the UK, Nola from Finland and Sam a Jewish guy – about 21 (my guess) from California. Sam came here via Birthright. He definitely has the California Spirit .

Today is Shabbat ( no work 🙂 . The three cooked Ed a special birthday breakfast. They are wonderfully friendly to each other.

The Kitchen – from left to right Edward, Sam, Nola and Evie (whom you can barely see).

Sept 20th – Concrete Floor

We got up at 5:00am to pour a concrete floor at 5:30am. Ran and Eyal both knew it would be very hot so they wanted to get it done before the real hot hot part of the day. We finished it by 10:00am and then had a break. Soaked with sweat and dirt and concrete we washed all the tools and went in for water and breakfast.

For my last hour I put labels on jars for ‘date honey’ . You can order it off their website and they’ll ship it right to your home. I’ve been looking at their website for a bit and it is not very obvious how that can be done. I will be talking to “Ran” – it is pronounced Ron – and see if it is simpler than I perceive.

Pouring a concrete floor for a new building.

Sept. 19th Left Jerusalem for Hamra, Israel

Woke up 3:00 am knowing I needed to catch a bus to Hamra ( Hamra Picture ) today. Could not sleep. Hopped the tram to the Central Bus Station …. and went in the wrong direction 8-p. Figured that out when I saw station after station that I did not recognize. Hopped off and hopped onto a tram in the other direction and still made it to Central Station in plenty of time.

Got on the bus with whole bunch of military people heading to Beit Shean. Stopped at numerous moshav’s with gates and armed guards at the gates. After a small problem with my “card that would work on all the trains and busses” that would not work on this bus I was able to pay the driver in shequelim and in a small enough denomination. Then they dropped me off at the bus station in Hamra.

Hamra is a small moshav

Bus 943 to Beit Shean passes through Hamra and a bunch of other Jordan Valley moshavim.