Hello from Moshav Iddan!
There was a slight mis-hap with the previous blog post, it was supposed to go up on the 11th but didn't make it until today. Learning as we go.
Well I am here at the farm and it is great! I am having so much fun but before I go into that, here is a bit about the farm.
Difference between a Moshav and a Kibbutz (I just learned)- A Kibbutz is a communal experiment where many people live on a giant compound/farm and each does whatever work needs to be done for the kibbutz according to his/her ability. The money which comes from selling the farm products goes into a giant pot and each family gets a budget according to their size and needs. Adi, the mom of the family, grew up on one of these. A Moshav, which is what I am working on, is a community of people, kind of like a village, who all work on farms. Their greenhouses are in the same area and they sometimes share things if they have leftovers but everyone does their own thing, grows what they want, do their own finances.
I am staying with a family of 6- Adi is the mom and she is so nice (also 8 months pregnant!). Ynon is the dad and he also teaches us most of what we know and do around here. Then they have 4 kids, one more on the way, who run around like mad men and are so cute. They do not go to school because Adi and Ynon don't believe in school, so they do a sort of home schooling situation, I havent really figured it out yet. Plus, right now, there are 8 volunteers! Everyone is great. There are three girls from Germany, one girl and one guy from France, two other Americans (boys) and one guy named Lance from South Africa. We live in a separate cabin from the main house with a shower, bathroom and beds. We all immediately got along, some have been here for a couple of weeks and some arrived the same day as me. Its so nice because we all work together and everyone has travelled a lot, so its a really fun crowd.
This morning, we trimmed the tomato leaves. It was like cutting their hair so they can get a better tan (get more sunlight so they can grow). Ynon taught us how they built the greenhouse and how they string the tomato vine, then he shows us what to do. We work from 7-12:30 and have a breakfast break in between. They provide us with so much food- mostly vegetables, yoghurt, grains, sometimes fruit, and also tea and coffee. In the afternoons, we are free to do whatever we want. Yesterday, Elyse, Kastine and I went to a nearby non-profit similar to Outward Bound, but in the desert, by bike which was nice and talked with the guy who ran it. Today I dont know what I am going to do with my afternoon, maybe explore the moshav more. Tomorrow, Lance, Elyse, Kastine and I and maybe some others are going to go to the Dead Sea after work by bus! It is going to be great, the weather is perfect for it. Also some of us are planning a trip to Petra, Jordan soon for our day off on Saturday. We also want to do a camping night in the desert one night.
Ber'Sheeva is a city about 2 hours from here which is currently getting bombed by the gaza strip but we don't hear or know much of what goes on because we really are in the middle of nowhere. Benjamin, a guy from the Moshav, was in the town when the first rockets hit and he saw the "Iron Dome" work. This is a system the Israeli government put in place that can detect trajectory of rockets and strike the rockets down with a rocket of its own. Its nuts and it actually works. It works better for Ber'Sheeva because they have 45 seconds warning, apparently plenty of time, while other cities, closer to the strip, only have 15 seconds so they still rely on the siren system. Despite this, Israel feels extremely safe, the people are wonderful and you would never know it is the center of so much controversy.
I hope to have photos up soon, still working on that part. Its been crazy since I arrived so maybe today i can figure it out.