Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Palestinian Kids dancing in the Cuneo Peace Center in Jenin's refugee camp

Amali and Liat Jumping Off a Cliff at Brechat HaMeshushim

Yesterday, I jumped off a 13 ft cliff at the Hexagonal Pools, Brechat HaMeshushim. In the boiling sun, the cold water was very refreshing. While Bubie waiting at the visitor center, the rest of the group started the long walk down. By the time we got to the pools, we all we drenched with sweat and ready to jump into the cold water. Now I'll get to the jumping-off-cliffs part. After watching my dad and Liat do it, I wanted to jump, too. My sister didn't want to at first but finally did. After she jumped in, I jumped in with Liat for the second time! We ended our day with some cold ice cream waiting for us at the top. Only two days left!
By Amali :)

Monday, August 2, 2010

Extending family

Becky, me, the girls and my mom spent a week in the center of the country (Jerusalem and Tel Aviv). There we visited friends and saw sights and museums -- great experiences -- to much to go into detail.

Then a visit to Kibbutz Gesher Haziv -- very nostalgic for chuck -- since he spent an amazing year there in 1982.

While my mom, I and my girls were traveling about, Becky was volunteering at the Hakoura center in Jenin, in Palestine. If you want an account of her amazing experiences, you will need to ask her.

We were reunited with Becky three days ago and spent a night in a Druze village B&B in the Western Galilee.

We are now a much larger group!!! There are the four of us gordon-buxbaums, my mom (bubbie bunny buxbaum), four buxbaum-bashners (my older sister and family), Liat Epstein (my biological daughter), Aviva Epstein (her mom), and Shosh Epstein (her grandmother). We have set up camp at the Epstein family's kibbutz -- Kfar Hanasi -- about 10 km north of the sea of galilee. Beautiful views, but in the midst of a severe heat wave. Each day involves new and exciting ways to get wet. We bathed in the Banias spring in the Golan heights (after a long hot tour of a mountaintop Mamluk fortress from the 13th century) yesterday. Today we paddled the upper jordan river -- water is low -- so more boulders are exposed and we have big bruises to prove it. Liat and her friends and my daughters made a wonderful Sushi dinner tonight. Tomorrow we will bathe in the sea of galilee -- I will try to walk on the water...but I'm not going to hold my breath -- actually maybe I should, since I might not succeed (unless a miracle happens) -- which is unlikely...

Anyway, everyone is enjoying the family time -- with old and newer family.

Five more days...

Monday, July 26, 2010

During our time in Jerusalem, Becky and I went to volunteer at a Palestinian day camp called Tent of Nations. We taught West African and Turkish folk dance. After I finished teaching, I would tag along with a group (there were 5) and do their activity. Some kids spoke a little English which was fortunate for me. The counselours were very nice as well. A group of Germans were painting a miral on the Seperation Wall in Bethlehem called 'I look at you, you look at me'. It had sunflowers with two profiles in them facing each other. I was shy on the first day, but on the second I felt more comfortable. Some girls would have small conversations with me about where we live or about our families. It was very fun teaching and learning with Palestinian kids.

By Amali :)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Here are my impressions about staying in the Aravah Desert. I really liked staying at Kibbutz Grofit. Partly because of John and Mandu, a cat and a dog, who were BFF's. I also liked the community. Everyone knew each other, and to me it felt like everybody was a big family.
While we were there, we took a trip down to Eilat. There, we snorkled in the Red Sea. I was amazed at all the sea life I saw. There bright-colored corals, long needle-fish, and spiky black sea urchins. Everyone looked funny in the snorkels and life jackets!

By Amali :)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Amali working on an art project with Palestinian kids at the Tent of Nations camp near Bethlehem

We wished we could have spent more time with these kids in this program. We encourage you to look the Tent of Nations up on the web.