I stayed this past week on Livingood Farm in Hamra, a moshav in the west bank. I arrived and met two other volunteers, Dimitri from Russia, and Rachel from Ireland.
Each day had the same general structure:
– wake up at 5AM
– go to work at 6AM
– lunch break at 9AM
– work until 12PM
– enjoy the rest of the day, relax, and explore the beautiful surroundings.
Work varied each day. On the first day I went to the date plantation to place mesh bags around dates.
On day two, I helped take care of the goats and built a fence for them to make sure they wouldn’t run away. Day three was a rest day, sabbath, and day four was an off day that I used to go to Jerusalem to visit Yad Vashem, the holocaust museum. Rachel left midway through my stay, but in her place five more volunteers arrived. It was exciting to have more people moving around the volunteer house! Day five I worked with one of the new volunteers, Aline, to clean up one of the abandoned greenhouses and built a shade structure for the goats.
When we finished our work, we helped the others to construct the wall of a building that will one day be a restroom. Day Six was spent at the date plantation again, bagging those dates!
While the work was fun and rewarding, it was the leisure time that was particularly enjoyable. I got the chance to explore the area near the farm and caught some beautiful views.
I created a mosaic, did some painting, played my guitar, sketched the scenery, cooked delicious food, and spent time with the other volunteers. I had a lot of time to learn about the history of the settlement, and the process of cultivating dates.
My time at the farm came to sadly came to an end today. I woke up along with the other volunteers early to say goodbye, then hitched a ride with one of the farmers to a bus station so I could get back to my friends apartment to be reunited with my suitcase.