Tuesday, 20 September 2011

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.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

a morning at the beach

Yesterday we started early and went to the beach. It takes maybe half an hour by car to get there but still it was only our 2nd time this summer. For a long time there were too many jelly fishes and then it was too hot… Now I promised myself that we will go more often until it will be too cold.

The girls so much enjoy to be in the water, to feel the waves, to look for fishes, to dig in the sand… We all enjoyed it very much. I just don't like the sticky feeling from the salt water afterwards and the sand everywhere…

We usually go to a beach that is part of a nice nature reserve. It's nice in the winter there too- to sit on the rocks in the southern part and watch the waves and in spring there are many beautiful flowers everywhere.
After a fun morning we went to eat in "paradise" on our way home. Faradis (Arabic for paradise) is an Arabic town and we love to eat there fresh humus (chickpea-paste), labane (thick yoghurt), falafel and pita.
A perfect morning! :o)

Thursday, 15 September 2011

my story- part 1

How it came to be that I live in Israel.

I thought after one year of blogging I should write down my story. Or at least a part of it. I still many times think about how it came to be that I live now in Israel. If it was destiny (is there something like destiny anyway?). How everything started- and well, where exactly did it start?
So let's go to the very start of it:
My parents met in 1974. No- not in Switzerland where they are both from, but in Kibbutz Einat in Israel. They were both volunteers there. My father for the 2nd time. (the 1st time he stayed as a volunteer during the war in 1973- 1974- a crazy story by itself.) My mother was in the Kibbutz for the 1st time -together with her brother.
They actually only started to date when they were both back in Switzerland- but without the stay in the Kibbutz they most probably never would have met, since both are coming from different places in Switzerland.
In April 1976 they went back to the Kibbutz together and stayed there until December 1976. In January 1977 they got married and in March I was born. You can do the math yourself.
When I was 2 my parents took me for a trip to Israel and the Sinai (today Egypt- at that time Israel) to visit friends and to travel. Those are my first memories- probably because they were so unique. My first flight when I received postcards, colour pencils and colouring books from the flight attendant (I treasured them for years and at least the postcards still exist now after 32 years.). Playing with the kids of my parents friends. Staying in the children's house.
A scanned picture of me in the Sinai desert 1979 and..

... in the children's house in Kibbutz Einat
So Israel was always present. Looking at old pictures and movies, hearing stories from my parents.
Through the stories from the bible also a historical part came alive and when I got older I got more interested in the story of the Jewish people. I read a lot of books and I always seemed to bump into something new connected to the Jewish people or Israel.
When I was 15 or 16 my parents thought about going for summer-holidays to Israel and I got real excited- and then terribly disappointed when they chose to travel with us to Scandinavia (Norway). (Despite my first resentment I fell in love with Scandinavia and re-visited many times afterwards! I would love to go again one day.)
So when during my studies at the teacher's college we had to go and work for half a year in a "non-social-profession", I chose to take the chance and go to work in a Kibbutz. To see for myself how life is there. To experience everything for myself…
In December 1998 I packed my backpack and boarded the train in Basel. Together with another student who wanted to go to Israel too- just to another Kibbutz- I started my journey on land and water. I did not want to take the plane. I wanted to travel slow as my parents did (okay- not that slow- they choose even longer routes- through Austria and Yugoslavia and all kinds of Greek islands…) and like the people before, during and after the 2nd World War.
We took the train from Basel to Milan to Brindisi (Italy), the ferry to Patras (Greece), the train to Athens and the ferry via Rhodes and Limassol (Cyprus) to Haifa- Israel.
(All my pictures are still at my parent's place in Switzerland... so I have no more picturs to post...)

Part 2 will follow next week.

Have a nice day!

Monday, 12 September 2011

on the earth piles

Yesterday after the day-care I went with the girls to the earth piles on the edge of the kibbutz. Altough it was hot and humid we had a fun time and it was much better than staying at home. They baked some earth-cakes, digged and made small hills and jumped from the piles.

"I am warm...."

tape and crayons

I am a bit in delay with posting... Last week we did some art work. I was inspired by this nice blog and this post! (Take a look- there are wonderful projects!). So I remembered the special cardboard I still have hidden in our storage room. We stuck tape to the board (and table and chair...) and started to draw. Helen was not very interested- she thought it more fun to take out all the crayons and colourpencils and sort them. Neomi made a frame with the tape and filled the whole boards with nice colours...

sticking the tape onto the cardboard

And after we took down the tape (was very easy on this kid of cardboard) we admired the clean lines that were left. We covered the best drawings with contact paper in order not to smudge the colours.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

gratitude list

I guess most of us remember well where we were on this day 10 years ago. Although many ugly/ cruel/ terrible things happen all the time, the terror attack on the twin towers will be burned into my mind forever. I was sitting in the office (I worked for the Railways in Switzerland at this time) when I heared about the first plane crashing into the first tower. We turned up the volume of the radio and heared live how the secon plane crashed. I immediately knew that this was terror attack. I just knew. Luckily I did not have a TV- the pictures in the newspaper were terrible enough...

So while remembering this terrible day I think it is in the same time good to make another gratitude-list... to enjoy and be grateful for the small, good things in our life...

-          A fresh breeze on a hot day
-          A red dragon-fly on a rock beside the pool
-          The many stars on the dark sky
-          A chameleon in the garden- what an amazing animal!
-          Leaves turning yellow

-          Sitting in front of the computer with Helen half asleep on my lap, snuggled tightly against me.
-          Playing football (soccer) with Neomi
-          Taking the girls out for a bike ride in their bike-trolley.
-          After-shower-time with the girls, lying on the bed and laughing and giggling…

-          Dark  Lindt-chocolate
-          Fresh passion-fruits (our fridge is full of them…)
-          Cold water with a bit fresh lime-juice and peppermint-leaves
-          Olives

-          Soap-bubbles
-          Dreaming together with my husband about our future house (well…. One day…)
-          An evening with good friends

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

tuesday's handmade

Is autumn approaching? Do I long for colder days? I guess so... Here some adorable handmade caps for kids.

 from zoik

and by the way- I ordered this wonderful hairclip from DFinn from this post.
I just hope it will arrive before we will fly to Switzerland... I ordered a bit late...

Friday, 2 September 2011

the stables

 well... only the horses are missing on the pictures.... we are spending more time again at the stables. The girls like it and it is a nice green place.

Have a nice weekend!