Monday, October 26, 2009

And the Fun Begins

So much has happened since the last time I wrote to you. So, I’ll let you in on some of the fun…

Best Bud Reunion

Jason just left yesterday, after spending five days together, and I am very sad. We had a GREAT time together. We:

  • ENJOYED quality time together

  • Ate a lot (at least he did)

  • Participated in taking pictures for 350 (see AIES album to the right and…one picture actually made it into Yediot (a big Israeli newspaper) on Sunday:

  • Went on three wonderful hikes

  • Hitchhiked to Yotvata and back. DELICIOUS CHOCOLOATE MILK in A BAG and ICE CREAM!

  • Learned a bunch

  • Bummed around in Eilat

  • And just had a “gay ol’ time!”

Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures to prove any of this. But, I am positive that soon enough Jason will have his novel and photos posted @ So visit his site…he needs the hits anyway…

J-man, you are my best friend! THANK YOU so much for coming. It was truly my pleasure to have you. You made my week/month/semester!

Can’t wait for more adventures when AJJ reunite in Europe (location TBA)…

In Other News…

Here’s what I’ve been up to.

Social Scene

  • Everyone is beginning to settle in.

  • There is a nice balance of Israelis, Palestinians, Jordanians, and others. Slowly, people are finding their place and becoming comfortable with each other.

  • Everyone (or most people) is very friendly. While I have had some wonderful conversations, both personal and political, there have yet to be any truly heated discussions. I think that’s a good thing for starters.

  • I have already come to the conclusion with many Palestinians that if we could return to the situation after the Oslo Accords, in the mid ‘90s, where everyone was living happily side-by-side, that would suffice. At least as a starting point. I’ll keep you posted as discussions progress.

  • And, yes, I HAVE made some close friends.

  • The Student Life Department ran a very nice orientation. The main day was held in Eilat. I posted pictures two weeks ago.

  • I am not so happy with the schedule, especially on Sunday. I have a 10am class and then two mandatory three hour classes…NOT GOOD. But, such is life. On the other hand, on Monday I only have one class, which begins at 4pm. I wish it were a little more balanced, but it’s difficult since they have professors coming from far away and can only teach once a week.

  • I am currently enrolled in:

o Sustainable Agriculture

o Intro to Environmental Science

o Alternative Energy Policy and Management

o Research Methodologies

o The Bible as a Key to Environmental Thought – GREAT TEACHER!

o Eco-Health – MOST EXCITING…MY PASSION! And…love the professor.

o Peace Building and Environmental Leadership Seminar (PELS) – pretty cool – not for credit, but compulsory for all students.

The semester is going very well. Many of the courses seem easy so far, because they are introductory or surveys. But, it's only the second week, so I will refrain from judgment as of yet. Nevertheless, the experience is phenomenal. To live in the desert, in the middle of nowhere, with Arabs, Israelis and others is truly amazing. Since there is REALLY nothing else to do, we have plenty of time to hang out, become friends, share interests, and THEN discuss the things that may divide us. I believe this is a unique experience that will greatly influence my life.

Off to build a grey-water system…



  • I am truly amazed. I do not understand how Americans, who move to KIBBUTZ KETURA, fumble for words in English. Is there something in the water?

  • Eilat is really a boring place. You know it’s bad when a seaside city, which prides itself on its beaches, has more cement than sand.

Shoutout #32: Navah Kogen – You have very orange hair…and I love it! I’m glad I could inspire you. Visit Navah’s entertaining blog @

By the way, while I love it here, I completely understand why you chose not to live in this country. I, too, will return home in June.

Shoutout #33: Oren Pollak – I’m assuming this is you, since you didn’t put a last name nor a picture. First thing that comes to mind about you is when you spelled deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) in NITZANIM…you’ll always be smarter than I! Whatever happened to you and the CRB Green Team? There’s always next summer. I hope you had fun this weekend with our boys. Can’t wait to see you in Kayitz 2010!

Shoutout #34: E-loosh, Baby! Thanks for finally signing on. I always knew you would come through. I hope you are having a GREAT time in college. (I know Cornell can get cold, so I just wanted to remind you that it’s 86 degrees here!) I miss you and the entire gang. L’shana haba b’Teaneck Ha’b’nuya.

Shoutout #35: Yasmin Khoury, you are the Arab (girl) I’ve always been looking for. We became such good friends in such a short time and then you left. We miss you here. Tell the UN they can wait. Come back ASAP.

Shoutout #36: Rachel, Rachel, Rachel (Steinbach). You are very special to me. From the day you were born, I knew we’d always remain close. I can’t wait to have another event in Connecticut. ALSO, I urge you to reconsider your decision and come to Israel this spring…

P.S. For those of you, especially the non-outdoorsmen and OA ’05, who didn’t catch this article a few weeks ago, you may enjoy it. I’ve hiked in these exact mountains and they are truly glorious: Adventures in Washington State’s Wonderland.

P.P.S. For the last few years, after Rabbi Herby Kavon showed me this clip, I’ve held Wafa Sultan’s view as very, very important. Unfortunately, she may be the silent or SILENCED majority. As I move forward with my journey here, I wanted to share this clip with you. I’m hoping to plan a program around this for PELS:



  1. Ads,

    That's an amazing clip, dude. Gotta love the Kavon.
    "Is he dead yet?"
    Classic. Very envious to hear of your travels with J-man. Hopefully I can make some memories of my own if I come in Dec.

    And you're right, I would love your Beffudlements section.

  2. You're also the number one commentator! Keep up the good work...I love it..."My kids will really appreciate this!"

    P.S. Love the "dead" reference. Just to clarify, everyone, it's a joke, alluding to a comment Kaybin once made to Eli. RHK is alive and well.