Our first ever Shabbat on Kibbutz Lotan was held this week! Everyone was very excited as we walked over to the mo’adom to see what our southern shnatties had in store for us. They had organised a glorious “Shabbat b’yachad” starting with a NETZER style Kabbalat shabbat, and even ending with a riveting happy birthday song for our very own Northern Chloe Glantz who celebrated her 19th on the 23rd of October!! The southerners then took us to their house to play some chilled Shabbat games, and was overall a lovely way to start the shabbas. After a good night’s sleep, all the shnattim headed to the date fields for a ma’amad, which was the first time we were able to have an insight into what the southerners work on during the day! The ma’amad cemented the friendships that had been initiated the day before!
The northerners then took initiative by running a speed dating to again, cement the friendships between the northern shnatties and the southern shnatties, specific questions such as ‘what do you want to learn/have learnt from shnat?’ and ‘what are you most excited about for the rest of shnat?’ This worked really well as we all had the chance to sit down and really meet the people that had experienced most of shnat and therefore had so much to give, and knowledge to share. The shabbas was ended by a lovely, shnattim-cooked meal consisting of rice, pasta and Beth Raphael’s famous homemade sauce! Through food, laughs and positive vibes, shnat livluv and shnat maayan, brought a close to maayan’s first Shabbat at kibbutz lotan.
Sunday was an experience that none of the kibbutz kids had ever experienced and those of us from England were used to; a storm! The worst floods in lotan for 20 years swept the dust, sand and mud through the kibbutz and the thundering rain stole our electricity mid-way through a seminar on the history of Lotan, almost ironically! The history was ended by history. The rain battered the homely mud huts and unfortunately, the kitchen that we had cooked in the night before; clumps of the ceiling started to splatter on the floor as the mud was not used to being wet! Disaster struck, the kitchen was ruined and many of our guys contracted puddles where water had seeped through. Therefore Monday morning was about clearing the balagan (mess) ready for when we got back from our trip to Jerusalem. The afternoon was to Jerusalem for our first MASA event, which was very overwhelming as there were over 1500 gap year teenagers from all over the world, we were even privileged enough to witness the one, the only, Bibi Netenyahu delivering a speech! What a great experience so far, and we can’t wait for shnat to get even better!
Sam Bard and Barney Stubbs