Fantastic Forest Day! by Anice Stark

A wonderful day at Horashim Forest.  Today was election day in Israel  – most offices and schools were closed as it is a National Holiday.  We were scheduled to do our ‘forest work’ in a special recreation area in the Horashim Forest.  This recreation area was established by the family of a fallen soldier, who was the commanding officer of our guide, Neil Eisenstadt.  The family wanted to do something to memorialize him  So, with the help of KKL and JNF they set up this park area with swings, picnic tables, etc.  We have visited this area and “spruced it up” before, but it has never been like it was today.  What a difference a holiday makes!  We arrived at the forest early at the request of the family as they knew that later in the morning it would be busy  But, we didn’t realize that!  They welcomed us with a drink and food – clementines, dried fruit, cold and hot drinks and cookies – all laid out on one of the picnic tables!  After our ‘nosh’ we broke into groups, some of us raked, others painted picnic benches, signs and other wooden areas, other moved rocks from the main picnic area and other picked up ‘debris’!  Even while we were working, people began to arrive with children, dogs and or course all the picnic supplies you could imagine!  Did I mention that the weather was just perfect – sunny and in the high 70’s?  It was wonderful to see everyone out for a picnic – barbecues were burning, children were on swings or the see-saw, dogs were running about – it was a quite a site!  Some of our group spoke to the Israelis and told them who were – they thought it was wonderful of us to be here in Israel.  After our work was completed we hiked through the forest, viewing the lovely springtime wild flowers as we made our way to the lookout over the area.  Back to our picnic tables for our lunch.  It was a perfect day!  

The Canadian American Active Retirees in Israel, CAARI, offers active seniors a unique opportunity to experience Israel. The program is designed to explore the biblical landscapes, follow the footsteps of the early pioneers, and envision the future of our Homeland. The CAARI Program includes community service, toursa speakers forum and the camaraderie of the CAARI Family. The Program is designed for to feel, touch, hear and see Israel from the mountains to the desert, from sea to sea, and from ancient to modern.

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