Thursday, 26 March 2015

Zikim


As I wrote in the last post, we went south last weekend.

In Kibbutz Zikim we were warmly welcomed by the families that we hosted last summer during the war. 
We toured their Kibbutz and I noticed mostly all those safe-room-cubicles that were added by the Government to each house/ apartment to give shelter from rockets. The other shelters near parking places, playgrounds etc. in case the alarm sounds and people have merely a few seconds to reach a shelter.
The kids daycares are fortified with concrete structures that cover the original buildings.

We visited an Arabic house that is one of the two left from the area before 1948 from people that had to flee. They renovate the house now with it's beautiful paintings and floors. (Unfortunately I was without camera)
From there you can see Gaza and the suburbs. The border to Gaza is less than 3km away. 

On the 8th of June last summer, terrorists from Gaza tried to infiltrate Zikim by swimming and getting on land on the beach near Zikim.
I know the stories of how the families experienced this day/ night and I can hardly imagine how terrified they must have felt.


On Saturday we went for a wonderful walk along a stream/ lake that stretches from the Shikma-reserve to the beach. At this time of the year the area is full of flowers.
The kids had a lot of fun playing at the beach and they were not very disturbed by the cold wind and water…

In the distance you can see the silouhette of Gaza



Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Bet Guvrin- world heritage site

In one of the bell caves
We had a very interesting and fun weekend.

We went south to visit the families from Kibbutz Zikim that stayed last summer with us during the war. But before we went to there we stopped in an UNESCO world heritage site called "Bet Guvrin".

It is an amazing place- very interesting even for the kids. They still talk enthusiastically about it.

We visited caves that were over 2000 years old. In the whole area are thousands of caves. Some were used as Colobiariums (for raising doves) some were cisterns, storage rooms or used for oil presses and were situated under houses of the ancient city of Maresha. We especially liked the "Maze cave"- an underground labyrinth of caves that were originally not connected to each other, but in later periods pass ways were added.

In one of the Columbariums- you can see the niches for the doves.
 

A part of an ancient oilpress

There's also a large old church (St. Anne's Church) built during the byzantine period- but we skipped this one because the kids needed a break from walking.

We visited the "Bell Caves" that were used as quarries. They are huge and impressive.

I would love to go back and also visit the remains of the roman amphitheater, the crusaders fortress and others.

in the bell caves

Monday, 9 March 2015

purim


We had a busy week. Last Wednesday was Purim- the biblical story of Esther is being told and everyone is dressing up. The week was full of events and it was way too much. I would have preferred to have everything concentrated to one-two days. I don't see the point in spreading out a holiday that lasts one day to a full week.

Anyway- Neomi wanted to be a Minion. She helped to create her costume and I think it turned out very nice. We used a wire construction covered with foamed rubber. For the head Neomi made a "helmet" from papier-mâché that we connected to the wire construction and covered with foamed rubber too. Some old jeans were used for the overall.


She won the first prize in school from all the 2nd class kids for the most unique costume.



Helen was a princess. I sew a nice dress for her, a cape and a small bag. The crown was store bought. She loved it. (Even though the other girls had store bought dresses. They are hard to compete with even if I personally prefer the handmade)
Yotam was a builder- I made a tool-belt and he used a helmet we had at home. Anyway he's always "fixing" things and walking around with his tools…
I threw together some old stuff I found at home and dressed up as a clown.
My husband and I went to the party for grown-ups as bats- but I have no pictures to post.