Israel Journey #1: Eilat and the Bedouin Tent

After settling into Ketura (a kibbutz in the south), we had a pool party there and got to meet some residents and other groups as well as spend quality time within our own. The next day had an early wake up for us but was nothing but fun: rolling in the sand dunes, banana boating and snorkeling in the Red Sea, all followed by fun at an Eilat mall with some lunch. We then headed back to the kibbutz to relax and eat some dinner kibbutz style-in a shared dining hall with all of the residents.

Ketura is a very special place. It has maintained some of the essential qualities of kibbutzim that have been diminished by others. The kibbutz has common funds, many separate committees for different areas (environment, education, economics, work, etc), and a general feeling of community. One for all and all for one is a concept that is clearly lived by members of this kibbutz, where a doctor makes as much as a laundry worker. It was truly intriguing. What a different way of life lived by such a modern and Western society!

They also showed us around the kibbutz at their algae “gardens” for lack of a better word. They grow algae to process it for an antioxidant that is then put into dietary supplements. They also showed us their extensive solar fields that produces about 2.5 megawatts per day, enough to power their kibbutz (of 500 people) about three times over.

We then did a fun activity where we got to see what it’s like to be on their committees. We broke up into groups and got assigned a special case that we had to deliberate on. It was an eye opening experience.

Later, we went to the Arava International Center for Agricultural Training. This is an interactive museum that explains the details of agriculture, particularly in the once arid land of the desert in southern Israel.

Finally, we came to a Bedouin tent where we were welcomed with open arms. We rode camels-such fun! Many pictures to come. We also are delicious Bedouin food. Now we’re off to a quick sleep before an early rise for climbing Masada.

Hope all is well back home. It’s hard to believe we have only five days left on this trip. That goodbye will be difficult; this is definitely a trip for the books! See you soon.

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