Thursday, May 03, 2007

Kibbutz Misc

There is one big problem about kibbutz life, its makes you unfathomably lazy. Oh dont get me wrong I know I was lazy before hand but life on Kibbutz just takes the biscuit. Daily schedule would go something like this, wake up, go to work, break for breakfast and then later on lunch, finish work, and then either sunbathe or enjoy air-conditioning depending on your temperament (I am clearly one of those who prefers the latter), have dinner, chill out (or go to pub from Thursday-Saturday) sleep. You work hard at work but vegetate the rest of the time. I think many volunteers come to kibbutz with big ideas of what they want to acheive but on the whole I imagine towards the end of their week these have probably been thrown out the window. A typical thought process might go something like this 'I think maybe we should perhaps think about starting to doing something, but maybe not.' This is why I have been rather poor at updating this blog over the past few weeks, because I know I should but to be honest I just cant be bothered. Anyway I finally realised that I have so much to catch up on that I really should, and I know by loving and devoted readers cant wait to hear about my adventures, or total lack of them.

So I ended last time saying that I had just moved into my new job in the dining room, and there for a change I was to remain. The dining room to me had two carrots, it was indoors, and sociable. Unfortuneatly the hours sucked and it doesnt matter how quickly you finish everything you have to do you still have to come back to work during and after lunch. So the earliest one might hope to finish in the dining room is about 2:30. I joined the dining room team in a time of turmoil, the previous boss had just quit and a new boss had come in introduced longer hours, more jobs and has yet to introduce himself to us (about two weeks on). And so into this vacuum Edan stepped in. Edan is a member of the Noam Garin, a group of boys who had spent their army service together and who had started and were now finishing their time on Kibbutz. As he had thus worked on the Kibbutz before Edan saw himself as a the perfect person to take command, unfortunately no-one was quite sure if this was the case, and Edan wasnt quite sure what being boss meant, and so many arguements, meetings, bitchings ensued. I had always thought before I came to the kitchen that he was a lovely guy, he was just the sort of person that turns from lovely guy socially to a total meglomaniac in the work place.

Anyway working in the dining room involves amongst other things; cleaning tables, cleaning floors, cleaning bathrooms, taking things off a big industrial conveyor belt washing machine, and cleaning up and koshering after all meals (except dinner). Of course when we think we have finished and we are about to go for our break or leave for the day, Edan finds more things to do. To be honest I rather enjoy working in the dining room, yes the hours suck, but I wouldnt do anything else for the rest of the day so it doesnt really matter. The work is varied and not too hard and best of all there is air conditioning so it is actually bearable to work. I should state that it is currently around 35 degrees and absolutely stiffling. The only time the dining room really sucks in on Fridays as we have to prepare for shabbat, so we have to come in at six and dont tend to leave till about four of five at the earliest. This was particularlay annoying last weekend as the Noam group had come down to visit.

The reason for this was our last shabbat byachad, and this time it was really was a special occassion as we had not been together as a group for several weeks. People started to come down on Thursday night in time for the pub, which was fun as usual. Benefits of the rest of the group being down here, apart of course form seeing them which was a sheer joy in itself and we would not request any other benefits (just covering my back in case any of them are reading this), was that they were staying in the guest house and this meant that as they had free beds we could go and sleep in their rooms with comfortable beds, and then have the breakfast specially reserved for the guest house in the morning. Richard, Nick and Annabel seized the chance of comfort, I unsurprisingly could not be bothered to move, my excuse being that if I switch beds my back will hurt again, however I did relish the chance of a decent breakfast.

On Friday morning we had a talk on a five day hike we are having after the options period finishes, in the afternoon however I had to work to help set up for shabbat. I was working till around 5:30 which meant that our pre-shabbat program had started before I arrived showered yet shattered to join the group. We had a kabbalat service interspersed with demonstrations by everyone of what they had learnt during their time on options. The MDA people illustrated how to put on a bandaged, the Marva people showed us a very tough excercise routine which Nick and I then copied, and us Kibbutznics showed everyone how to dance around like a Kibbutznic, ie. in a way that would probably get you chucked out of most London clubs.

After the service we went to have dinner, and following this we ran an onegg, of which the central part was a game I lead in which groups had to reenact what they thought other groups had been getting up to over the last couple of weeks. This was made somewhat harder by me shouting different styles in which they had to show this such as: BBC News at 10, an episode of Eastenders, Film Noir and many more. Then each group showed what they had actually been up to over the last few weeks, and for some reasons I was convinced to do my Bohemiam Rhapsody dance again, sober.

The next day is usually a lie-in day on Kibbutz, however we rather inevitably had to get up for a morning service followed by a program. After lunch we had a break in which I of course did nothing, and then another program of a reflective nature. After dinner the Marva group ran a program in which they attempted to show us what life in a mock army program is like. They thus shouted at us a lot and made us do press ups. Given the order to march sensible and in silence, it became an excuse to join the Ministry of Silly Walks, thus causing us to stop every five seconds as flustered Marvanics shouted at us, whilst we like little childre utterly failed to control our hysterics. Unfortuneatly that was the last program of the shabbaton and by Sunday lunchtime everyone was gone. It was so nice to see everyone again and it was really amazing to be back together as a group, and it made me realise just how much I had missed them all.

One final thing to report, last night I went down to a beach just outside Eilat, for a drink, concert and football match. Bascially somone had the great idea of putting a big name band at the same time as a big football match, which would be shown on two big screens, and in the process sell a lot of beer. The bands name was Machina, I had only ever heard of them in context of this gig but apparently they were pretty big, however, as the ticket only cost 40 shekels (£5) I thought why not, and I was pleasantly surprised by how good they were. The game was Manchester United versus AC Milan second leg, and a United fan I was rather upset by the result.

I intend to right again soon as I have another big day to report on,