Today we woke up at 730 and had a lovely Israeli breakfast before we headed off to Earth’s Promise, an Ethopian refugee site in Beer Sheva. While there, we had the opportunity to make the refugees’ days a little brighter. For the whole morning and afternoon, we worked hard to create herb beds around an area that they walk through a lot, that doesn’t look so nice. My friends and I dug into hard ground and eventually had a hole deep and large enough. We put tires around the edges of the hole and then filled the hole back up with mix of mulch and dirt. We did not get to actually plant the herbs, but we made a huge dent in the project and felt very good about it! While there, we also got messy and made a mud bench out of tires put together with dirt inside to fill it and mud slathered around it.
It was a very tiring day, but we were not done just yet! We went to Nahal Beer Sheva, where there once was a river but is now a large dry bed in the middle of the town. JNF built a large, beautiful bridge that goes across the empty bed. They are hoping to build up the area and make it be a nice place for people to go, and to eventually have water there again! We listened to a JNF employee who is American and just made Aliyah with his family talk about his experience living in Beer Sheva. I did not know that it was not nearly as built up as bigger cities like Tel Aviv, and that’s why we’re helping out here and not there. He told us about his experience with the sirens in Beer Sheva that go off when a missle is about to hit. It was a very moving talk and it truly made me realize how our work is really making a difference!
The last trip of the day was to Sderot, a city that a lot people know to be one of the most unsafe places in Israel, being that it was only one mile away from the Gaza Strip. It has slowed down a lot recently, but in the near past, thousands of the Quassam rockets and missles have landed into Sderot. A siren goes off and they have 15 seconds to run to the bomb shelter before the missles hit. Because of this, it is very unsafe for children (and everyone else) to play outside and enjoy themselves without living in fear. JNF built an indoor recreation center for the children of Sderot to play in and finally be able to not be scared and let out their energy. The recreation center is huge, beautiful and has everything from a rock wall to basketballs to video games to fake shopping stores to a moon bounce! The place is too huge to be a bomb shelter itself, but there are 7 bomb shelters inside of the center that the children know to run too. It is truly an amazing thing that JNF has done for the families of Sderot that go through so much.
1st day of projectson January 5, 2012