6th November 2014

From Josh Powell (LJY-Netzer)

Having stayed in the Bustan for 2 weeks now everyone has settled into the eco-freako nature of this part of Lotan. Composting toilets and solar powered temperature unstable showers are no longer seen as weird quirky aspects of the start of shnat and have merely become parts of everyday life. Despite embracing this alternative ‘hippy’ way of life thus far everyone has managed to upkeep high standards of hygiene with daily showers and generous spritzes of deodorant throughout.

An undoubtable highlight of the week was our first MASA event held in Jerusalem on Sunday held with multiple other movements on similar programmes including Netzer Russia. The night contained a mixture of live music, club classics and talks from various people including current Israeli Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. This interesting clash of entertainment has meant that it is very difficult to quite put into words what the event really was to people that weren’t there (ie parents) but many of us have agreed that the best way to picture it is Eurovision with a strong theme of Aliyah throughout.

Pot-luck dinners continue to be one of the most popular aspects of our Kibbutz experience demonstrating how resourceful and creative we can be in cooking largely from scratch with a variety of fresh vegetables. Of the two we had this week (Thursday and Saturday) the latter we were left entirely on our own with no help from Ori and largely thanks to Yana it turned out to be one of the best meals we’d had in Israel. As well as embracing the community atmosphere we learnt more about the crossovers between Netzer and Lotan’s ideology in an interesting and highly informative session on the history, aims and values of Lotan with Mark.

In our weekly asephah we continued to discuss a variety of topics from essential ones such as the group’s participation in the upcoming Rabin memorial in Tel Aviv to whether lab coats were and acceptable form of Shnat merch. If you want to see the outcomes and main points told through a more humorous medium check out @asephollowus on twitter.

Our first major hike got off to a rocky (pardon the pun) start when the coach that was meant to take us to our first destination decided not to show up. However fortunately our guide David knows of many hiking routes around the mountains surrounding Lotan so we took our packed lunches and hiked for roughly an hour and a half before having a picnic at the top of one of the peaks which overlooked both Lotan and other neighbouring Kibbutzim

All in all everyone’s now well settled in to the Kibbutz lifestyle and this week has continued to be the perfect environment to promote group bonding ensure we become a Kehila Kedosha

Love From

The Shnatties