Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Disorientation Part. 1

Wednesday saw our return to Jerusalem, via a four hour bus journey from Eilat, giving us plenty of time for much needed sleep. During my last couple of days in Eilat I developed a minor cold, something very typical for the time of year, and I assumed that it would remain as it was for a while to come. However, my arrival in Jerusalem also brought with it something of a cough, nethertheless I marched stoically on and tried not to complain about it. We arrived in our hostel at aroound two pm. We were staying in the Rabin Hostel, a very well appointed hostel, which we had also stayed in on tour. We spent the afternoon generally moping around, and then in the evening, in true gap year student who need to save as much money as possible style, we went out for a 100 shekel a head Chinese. What it lacked in sense it made up for in taste.

So as not to cause excess schleping over the break, there had been arranged a storage room somewhere in Jerusalem for all our excess stuff. It was my shared responsibility along with Richard, Ruthie and Grace to collect all the stuff and bring it back to the hostel. Our belongings were stored in the basement of an old age home not from from where we had been staying on Machon. We all brought the stuff upstairs, and whilst I single-handedly attempted to pack all our baggage in the back of a minivan, no mean feet as there was so damn much of it, the girls were chatted up by some octigenarian hebraic gentleman.

Once back at the hostel the orientation started, the purpose of the orientation was two-fold, first it was to initiate our five newcomers into the group and second to prepare us for living together in Carmiel, a small Northern City, where we would be doing our volunteering. The orinetation lasted from Thursday afternoon to Saturday evening. It began with a number of discussions on expecations and so on. An element of the orientation was using more alternative activites to help the group bond. The first of these on Thursday night was pottery painting which despite my reservations was actually quite fun, following this we had a very nice Middle Eastern style dinner, where there was too much food to even bother contemplating.

Friday began with a vist to the gym hall of the Hebrew University for a couple of hours here we played lots of various fun games, including a variation of rounders, dodgeball and basketball. It was here that I really began to feel my cold and I hoped that by running around a lot I could sweat it out, my efforts were in vain. After this we had more discussions and talks (or at least I think we did, to be honest with you I cant really remember) and then got ready for shabbat. Friday evening was very pleasant with the usual prayers, a lovely meal and a slightly more alternative onegg, run by Assael (more on him later).

The next morning was to begin with the usual Saturday morning prayers, in fact that it was exactly how it began I just was not there as I decided that this would be the perfect time to play the sick card and have a bit of a lie in. I finally emerged unsurprisingly for lunch. After lunch we had more alternative group building games and then even more discussions. Finally we finished the day with contact dancing. I had heard of contact dancing but had no idea what it was. It was as it turned out fairly weird. Assael, an Israeli who works in Noam England loves it, he is one of those fairly normal looking guys who turns out to be a bit one of those hippy spiritual types (ie the complete opposite to cynical down to earth me). The guy who lead it might as well have been his brother. Eg he used a stray cat that wandered into the studio to illustrate how our body should move. Contact dancing is a form of improv dancing which involves a lot of rolling all over each other, although once you get over how much of a prat you look it is actually quite fun. Finally when all was over it was off back to the hostel, for an early night (even though I get barely any sleep) in preparation for a departure the next day to Carmiel.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just caught up with the last half a dozen blogs. What is worng with us??
Why are we so embarassing?

7:06 AM  

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