Uploaded on July 21, 2007
Nerves aside I did not have to many expectations before I came to Israel. My big worry was getting from the airport to the Kibbutz, a four hour bus ride south in the Negev/ Arava Valley. I was certain that the public transportation system would be a very big challenge. As it turned out, it was not so bad. The Central Bus Station is the first stop on the metro south. A short five minute walk led me to the Central Bus Station and the lone, non-English speaking security guard. After spending a good 10 minutes trying to tell the security guard that the jar of honey in my bag was actually honey and not a request for some of her ice tea, I was on my way without more than a glimpse at my duffel. My biggest shock was the number of large machine guns all over the CBS. Of course everyone serves in the military, but still very shocking to turn a corner and see Uzis everywhere. The biggest shock was the fearless bus driver. If my count is right, we ran 3 red lights, almost ran over several cars and according to man sitting next to me, the driver drove too slow today.
As for the Kibbutz, I expected Ketura to be more environmentally minded. As it turns out, there is a divide between the Arava Institute and the Kibbutz that is just starting to become more sensitive to environmental issues. For example, the Kibbutz has several lawns of golf grass, very well watered and soft. But I have a lot to learn and look forward for classes to start up. Over the next week I will travel a little and go to a wedding.