Wow, these days are going by so fast!! I can’t believe in just 3 days I will be off to Canada with my amazing teammates. I have learned so much in the past two days about Israel.
Yesterday, I woke up to the most pleasant smell….chocolate chip pancakes. Julia made them before we woke up and I can’t even tell you how good they tasted. It was like eating a Georgetown Cupcake.
After we ate, we went and played lacrosse on the beach around 9am. We went through a partner passing routine which was really fun with the ocean right behind us. The funniest part was the look on everyone’s faces as they walked by us wondering what the heck we were doing! Lacrosse is still a foreign sport to Israel. Although it has grown so much since Scott and the boys began the program, we still get the occasional “tennis?” or “butterflies?” or just flat out “what is this??”. The best answer we have come up with is “like hockey, but the sticks are up instead of down and the ball is in the air, not on the ground”
After playing on the beach, we went back to the embassy and got ready for the day. Our first stop was Sderot. We had a tour guide who is in the process of making a documentary about the Gaza attacks. Sderout is not even a mile from the Gaza Strip. Over the past 13 years, Gaza has been sending random rocket attacks over to Sderot, aiming at civilians. In Sderot, they have balloons and radars that can detect when a rocket is launched. The civilians have 15 seconds to get to a bomb shelter. Over the years the government has built a ton of bomb shelters so close together so that anyone can run to one if they hear the alarm. Laura told us about how when the alarms go off, people will leave their cars on, jump out and run to the closest house or bomb shelter. It is crazy to see and I can’t even imagine living like that. Each apartment, house, school movie theater either has a bomb shelter in it or has a completely bomb proofed building.
Laura also informed us about the fact that young children who have experienced this from the time they were born often have PTSS as they grow up. Being a teacher, and also being terrified of lock downs which most of my friends know, it is scary to think about the fact that almost every day for a few years you had to react to an alarm that could end your life or your family and friends. She showed us the rockets that have been collected over the years. The idea behind these rockets are similar to the Boston Marathon attacks. They fill them with nails and bullets and other things that explode when it hits the ground. It is awful to think about. We also went to a platform where you could literally see the Gaza Strip. It was insane to see how close the two places are.
After feeling very informed, we left and went to Ashkolon. The men’s National Team was playing Turkey that night and we went to practice there before they played. It was really cool to watch them play AND to see so many of the kids from the camp showing there support. The kids that I worked with the other day reviewed how to count and we cheered and danced. It was so much fun. The men’s team dominated, too, so that made it more enjoyable!
Today we woke up early for a morning practice. After practice we went straight to an Army Base known as the FIDF which means Friends of the Israel Defense Force. They patrol the boundaries and make sure that there area is safe. They are doing everything they can to keep civilians safe and to make sure awful tragedies like the Holocaust never happen again. We went out to a spot where they showed us a Palestinian city and the gate that keeps them out of their area, unless they are given special permission for work or other things, even though he said that often a Jihad will sneak in a harm people. We got to see the control center and how they patrol the area. It was really interesting.
After we got back, we went to the beach!! It was nice to just chill out and relax. Now we are all getting ready for Shabbat services and dinner!!
For pictures go to twitter.com/coachdaviapro