Shnat Nof 9th December 2016

By Eve and Josh

We began the week with our final gardening session with Adam which involved complaining, weed picking and sawing down trees. Afterwards, we had our last session with the legendary Michal Livni, our reform zionist hero who held a fascinating discussion about the Netzer dilemma.

Our last few days on Lotan involved many photoshoots and goodbye’s. We spent kaballat shabbat and our final pub night in the desert with the rest of the Lotan community. After an amazing closed shabbat themed around the idea of community run by Becky, Asha and Emma, we all sat round the bonfire with our friends from Lotan reminiscing about our last 6 weeks in the Arava.

On sunday morning, we were greeted by a mini bus, to many of our horrors as we had been expecting a double decker lorry in order to fit our excessive amount of luggage consisting of around 5 bags each, 6 fans, 4 guitars and 3 crates of food. Despite our worry’s we fitted everything in and drove the length of the country to Ma’alot.

7 hours later we arrived in Ma’alot where we were welcomed by Amir and a delicious takeaway of schnitzel, hummus and potatoes. We spent the next few days exploring our new home in the north and visiting our volunteering placements.

We have already been struck by the difference and arguably injustice between the Jewish and Arab schools in terms of facilities and the number of teachers in relation to pupils.

The week finished with a delicious meal at our host families and an inspiring visit to a moshav at the Lebanese border where we spoke to families and soldiers about living in such a remote and risky area of Israel. Whilst many of us felt reluctant to leave the socialist, ecological and idealistic lifestyle of Lotan, we have quickly settled in to life in the north and we our eager to start volunteering next week.