So I have had my first full day on the Kibbutz. While its only 11:54 AM here my day is theoretically already complete. I've been assigned a job in one of the kibbutz three factories. The one I work in is owned by the kibbutz company called Mivrag (מיברג.) There they make screws of all different kinds. My job is in the packaging part of the factory. I sort screws into boxes using pretty sophisticated scales. The whole process is quite fascinating to me as I have never worked in a factory before. Today I sorted and packed three different types types of screws. The piece of the factory I work in is quite small for how much work we accomplished in today's half day of work. I also learned how to say a few new words in Hebrew. Most notably the word for screw (בורג.)
On another note...The people here are from so many different backgrounds and places. Its so interesting to see who is here and why. The girl sitting next to me is named Ofri (עפרי) and she's from California. She decided to put off school for a semester at Berkley to live on a kibbutz with some distant relatives. She proclaimed to me last night that she was Ein HaShofet's dairy maid. Which of course sparked a heated debate about whether or not cows actually are happier in California. It ended with me reminding her that while they (California) make more we (Wisconsin) make it better.
There are also two brothers from South Africa. While they're not exactly refugees, their story reminds me that all is not well in Africa. Even what we think of as the 'civilized' parts. Apparently it is a horrible place to live right now. Rampant crime and little job prospects have forced many South African Jews to make עלייה (Aliyah). There is a guy here from Amsterdam who is just looking for new experiences and figured Ulpan was a great way to see Israel.
In the factory today one of my co-workers is a recent repatriate of Israel. While he grew up in Brooklyn and even served in the US military, his heart has always been with Israel (ארץ ישראל.) His family originally is a hybrid of two very distinct Jewish communities off the beaten path. His mother is and Indian Jew and his Father an Iraqi. He and I discussed the state of Israel's current foreign affairs and the possibilities of the future. I can only describe his views as ardently Zionist. To him it is always Israel first.
I don't work tomorrow as it is Shabbat (יום שבת.) On Sunday (יום רישון) I hope to take some pictures inside the factory to show you where I am working. Shabbat Shalom שבת שלום.