I write to you now from the Arava region of Israel down in the south (about 40 km North of Eilat). We drove down here from Jerusalem on Wednesday to spend the next several days at Kibbutz Lotan. Here we’re spending our time looking at intentional community life through the lens of this ecologically-sustainable community of this particular kibbutz. The last several days we’ve planted in organic gardens, created mud bricks, built roman arches out of mud bricks, taken several different kinds of tours of the land, had a pita party, climbed trees, engaged in really thought-provoking conversation about community, social justice, Judaism and much more, and tonight we’re heading down to Eilat for a few hours. A highlight of the week was undoubtedly spending last night playing around the sand dunes, rolling around in them, stargazing, and just trekking through this desert wilderness. At the moment my body is coated in dust, I haven’t washed my hair in at least 4 days, my skin is super sun-kissed, and as our assistant director just told me I already “look like an official kibbutznik.” Yay! Life here on this kibbutz is certainly a drastic difference from the way we live at home. It’s been fun to experience it and envision what elements of it I’ll practically take home with me.
The group is Forming!!! Those of you Peabody-ers reading this can imagine exactly what I mean – it’s totally that first stage of group development. There’s 7 of us total and we are quite a colorful group in terms of personality, humor, prior academic experience, and much more. Naturally, I have concerns about our dynamics and how they’ll progress, simultaneously I’ve got the confidence that there will be lots of laughing and good memories at the outcome.
Check out the pix below to see what I've been up to. I took an awesome video of the group last night but the internet connection is poor and it's taking too long to upload so that one will be posted whenever I can get it up here.
|Phil (left), me, and Alex (right) standing on a Roman arch we made out of mud bricks|
|Mud Huts on the Kibbutz|
|Sand Dune Log-rolling Contest|