my story- part 2

I did not know much about the Kibbutz I was going to stay. It was not easy to find a Kibbutz from Switzerland. It was still somehow a rather pre-internet-age. I found phone-numbers, few e-mails and only one good homepage. This one homepage was from the Kibbutz I live now and that's the only reason I chose it- I simply had no other Kibbutz that replied in any way.
I knew that they had avocado-orchards and I did not have a real idea of how an avocado looks, tastes and how exactly it grows- but the first thing I told the volunteer-leader, was that I want to work there. She laughed and told me that I would have to start in the dining-room like everyone else. So I washed dishes for 2 weeks until I indeed was scheduled to work in the avocado-orchard- and there I stayed. Lucky me. It is hard physical work. To pick when it rains and when it is cold, to cut branches, to fix the irrigation-system, to work in the heat… but I loved it. I loved to work on the machine, to drive a tractor, to work with the small team of mostly kibbutzniks and a few (ever changing) volunteers. It was so much better than work in the soap-factory or dining-room…

me on a tractor with a container full of avocados

Volunteer-life was easy. You had to work, but besides this you were free. I met many young people from all over the world. I improved the basic English I learned in school. I made many friends- with some of them I am still in contact. I got to know new kinds of food, new cultures, new ways of thinking….
Months went by, winter went by and the moment came I had to go back to Switzerland. I really did not want to go back. I hated the thought of going back to study in the teacher's college. I had other things in mind. But my father brought me to reason. He told me that I have to come back and finish my studies. Well- and I did. (Today I am grateful I did listen to him and finished my studies even though those were the most terrible 3 years in my life…).
I finished my studies, worked a bit in different jobs and in the end of 2000 I went back to the Kibbutz. I wanted to spend another winter in the avocado orchard. Unfortunately they did not have any work and so I ended up making cheese for 2 months until I again could go and work in the orchards. Again I made new friends. Again I went home…
… only to come back in the beginning of 2003 after a trip to New Zealand. It was supposed to be my last trip. To enjoy a last time the freedoms of volunteer-life. And then to go back to Switzerland and settle down- get a steady job. The moment I got to the Kibbutz I knew that it would not be like the times before. I felt that I was now too old for this- with all those young volunteers. I had a few days before starting to work and I even thought about going back to Switzerland immediately. But I thought that things will change as soon as I could work again in the avocado-orchard.
And they did.

Part 1 of my story you can read here.
Part 3 will follow next week.


Liebe Rahel,
dein Päckchen ist angekommen :-)))
Vielen Dank für die hübschen Haargummis. Ella trägt sie fast täglich. Das Malheft ist auch schon fast gefüllt ;-) Klasse!
Meine Eltern haben sich sehr dar+ber gewundert, dass Ella schon Post aus Israel bekommt :-)
Ich lese mit Begeisterung deine Geschichte und bin schon gespannt auf Teil 3.
Und zum letzten Post: Ist "Humus" Kichererbsenmus? Wenn ja, dann ist es das, was ich damals auch so gerne in Israel gegessen habe und hier in Deutschland mal nachgemacht habe.
Ganz liebe Grüße
Petra said…
Once upon a time in an avocado orchard. Waiting for THE romantic part... ( oh, i'm such a sucker for romance...).
Darcy said…
When is part 3 coming out? I miss your posts.


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