Oh What a World We Live In

Wouldn't it be a lovely headline: “Life is Beautiful” on the New York Times (Rufus Wainwright)

The evenings here are so incredibly beautiful (I was going to upload a picture, but the internet is slow right now). I can’t explain it… it is a little better than magnificent. Every evening the group of us from Western take the time to simply sit and enjoy the sunset. This is a pattern we have established here that I absolutely love. This is something I rarely do at home; there are a million things that seem more important at home… a million distractions… a new reality show… another game of sudoku… homework… work work…

I hope I can continue this when I return home. I think it might be the part of this trip that I will miss the most.

I just ordered a latte and it came with a little cinnamon roll type pastry. All of it is about $2. These countries know how to price coffee.

Oh what a world we live in. A beautful cool evening sunset, a coffee, and Rufus Wainwright… what more could anyone desire? Oh yes, wine and cake. Wine and cake will be in a little while as it is a fellow student’s birthday. She is 27 (and from Australia). I learned the blessing over wine earlier, so this will give me another opportunity to sing that.

A bride and groom - who were married earlier today at the Kibbutz - just walked by. People know how to have great weddings here. I think in general, this culture seems to know how to enjoy life and celebrate a bit better than us. There is a little burst of fireworks almost every evening in the city in the valley below. Perhaps this is why Le’chiam (“to life!”) is one of the few Hebrew phrases that has made its way into common English usage.

Tom told me the other day that he was sitting at a picnic table studying Hebrew. A family sat down and started having a picnic. After a few minutes, he was a part of the picnic. They served him a plate and the kids surrounded him and he was a part of the family (even though they couldn’t speak the same language). People here just have a more communal sense that tends to violate our sense of personal space, but it is wonderful when it comes to celebrating.

Brandon and I were sitting in a nearby mall earlier and some kids came up to sit by us. Soon the family joined us and began to talk to us like we were old friends. Brandon even got some business out of it – he is a web programmer and the person was in need of this.

Mariah was taking pictures of a Pomegranate tree and the farmer saw her. He immediately sent over his son to cut off a branch and give it to her. Harvest is a joyous time here.

Tim Brown told us a story about a time when he was here with a group of students. They got lost and ended up trespassing in a farmer’s field. At some point he spotted them and began yelling wildly and ran up to them. They were afraid at first, but the next moment they were enjoying the fruits of the harvest. He was excited to be able to share his harvest with people.

Life is beautiful.

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