A Day on Yossi's Farm
By Ariel Poser on February 8, 2011
Once again we got up, had breakfast and got on the bus. Our first service area of the day was Kerem Behar Hanegev, also referred to as Yossi’s farm. When we got to the farm we sat in the guest area and waited for Yossi to arrive. Yossi is the owner of the farm, as soon as he arrived he told us his story about how he after he served in the army for many years we came to the Negev to pursue his dream of owning and building a prosperous farm. Yossi works and maintains the farm alone without any hired workers and explained his dream of opening a winery in four to seven years. After hearing his story, we were all eager to get to work. We started by collecting rocks to build terraces, [which helps the soil by preventing water runoff]. They had an assembly line going for a while, passing rocks to the bottom of the line where people were putting the rock into the formation of a wall. At around 12:30 we took a break for lunch and Yossi spoke to us about the Bedouins; it was very interesting to learn about their lifestyle. In the end, it was so rewarding to see how much work we had accomplished. Yossi expressed his gratitude for our work and explained that the progress we made in one day saved him about a month’s worth of labor. At around 3PM, we boarded the bus and drove to Nachal Chavarim for a hike. This was a gorgeous area and it gave us the opportunity to talk to each other and bond. During the course of the hike we saw a water cistern, many plants, and had a discussion about camels. The hike lasted for about an hour and a half and afterward, we went to visit David Ben Gurion’s Grave. I had been there before but there was something special about being there at sunset after a hard day of work for the State of Israel. At the grave site we played a game while learning facts about Ben Gurion’s life and dreams. We arrived back at the Kibbutz around 5:30pm. Since we got back earlier than usual, we had time to shower before dinner, then ate, and had our evening program. During our discussion we each went around and spoke about the highs and lows of our days. It was interesting to hear everyone’s opinion of the day. For the most part everyone really enjoyed working with Yossi. Since we got off earlier than usual this night, almost everyone hung out. This was our last night in the Negev before we go to Jerusalem!
To read more about Ariel's trip on Alternative Winter Break, visit her blog.
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