Israel!

We’ve alighted in the holy land! Started off with a weekend in Tel Aviv at a really pleasant hostel with a really pleasant rooftop patio. We wandered the city a bit, hung out on the beach, and discovered that Israel uses the same time as western Europe. Thus, Israel being east of western Europe, the sun rises early and sets at about 5p, which throws off our dinner timing and sense of when bedtime should arrive. Needless to say, we completely miss out on the world famous Tel Aviv nightlife, which is much like Berlin in that they are very into techno and don’t get going until about 1a. We do peruse Ha-Carmel food market and the Jaffa flea market, which house some very pushy sellers, all trying to get you to taste this, hold this, try this on, but don’t stand indecisively chatting in front of my stall, you are in the way.

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C on the boardwalk.

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Carmel market spice stall.

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And now, we have arrived in the Negev desert at our next farm stay at El Ha-Yaen, the Ostrich Coffee House! Our second morning, we hear distant rocket fire and are assaulted by worried emails from parents. We are near Gaza, but not in a danger zone. We spend the day not in bomb shelters, as they were envisioning, but helping with the olive harvest!!

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To harvest olives: 1. Lay nets below trees. 2. Beat trees. 3. Collect olives from nets. This is the Oriental method, we are told. In between steps 2 and 3, we do some combing of the trees with long-handled rake things on the upper branches and picking by hand on the lower. In this fashion, we collect 190 kilos before lunch. There is a dauntingly large number of trees left, but the work is satisfying.

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C, working.

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J, not working.

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Lots of love! C &J

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