Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Negev Tour 4: Mitzpeh Ramon

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We then got back onto the busses and continued south.
The Ben Gurion Blaustein Institute for Desert Research. My initial plan on making aliyah had actually been to come here and get my masters degree in environmental engineering. Of course, once I was able to telecommute, and I decided that shidduchim were a higher priority than education (not many shidduchim all the way out here,) my plans changed.

Heading southward, we passed a prison.
Saw a beautiful negev sunset from the bus.
And arrived in Mitzpeh Ramon in time to light Chanukkah candles.
We stayed on the campus of a local National Religious yeshivah high school. After unpacking and hosing ourselves off, we headed over to the beit midrash to do some study.
Rabbi Listman giving us a shiur (lesson.)
Others sang.

Or danced.

Of course, it was Chanukkah, so the yeshivah wasn't willing to settle for just a guitar and some singing. They hired a DJ.

I had memories of being dragged out of bed at 5 AM last year, and suspected that the same was in store for us this year. Most of these Israeli guys (the yeshivah is majority Israeli) have army experience, and are used to hiking forty kilometers on two hours' sleep. But for a civilian wuss like me, given the choice between the Chanukkah party and some shut eye, I decided to grab a sufganiyah (Chanukkah doughnut) and ran to my bed.

Sure enough, the next mornign at 5 AM, Danni, supervisor of the Israeli department, was walking through the halls with a megaphone screaming for everyone to get up. But I had awoken at 4:50! Ha ha! I beat the system!

I walked around town a bit before dawn.

To be continued in DAY 2....

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