Sunday, January 20, 2019 – Ben Gurion’s Negev Dream

On Sunday,  we took a break from Community Service and spent the day in the Negev.  Ben Gurion would be proud seeing the ‘desert bloom’!  As we drove south past the sprawling cities of Ashdod and Ashkelon, we saw green crops growing  and in open fields the beautiful spring Anemone purple, red and white flowers!  Ah…a sign of spring! 

Our first destination was visiting a farm in Moshav Taimei Yosef, the Salad Trail,  located in the northern Negev. The day was perfect, sunny, warm temperatures – great to be in the outdoors for a tour.   The guide took us through several greenhouses explaining what is grown and the agricultural technologies used to increase taste and production, i.e. latest in bee bio-engineered technology.   Yes, cherry tomatoes were developed in Israel!  We picked and tasted salad  and medicinal greens, like Verbana – great in tea, which they made for us. 

We picked a variety of tomatoes, of all colors and VERY tasty. The cucumbers were crisp and yellow, white, orange and purple carrots crunchy and yummy.  It was amazing to see what can grow in such sandy soil.  It is strawberry season in Israel and we got our fill of these tasty berries.  Yes, we ATE our way through the tour.  

The tour ended with an explanation of homing pigeons which are raised on the farm.  This of course, was the earliest kind of email or Some of us held and released them as they flew BACK HOME! 

We are driving along the Israel- Gaza border and seeing what we have been hearing on the news.  Today is was all quiet and you would never know there were any issues.  We stopped at an observation site for a view of Gaza and the border area.  

 From there we went to the city of Sderot, located less than one mile from Gaza border, which has received major rockets attacks during the Gaza confrontations.  As your drive through the city and the NEW neighborhoods, you see each apartments has security rooms attached.  There are concrete security areas near ALL the bus stops and of course, in schools and buildings.  Yes, we were surprised to see so many new neighborhoods being built.

Back in 2009 JNF – USA recognized the children who lived in Sderot had to spend much of their time indoors, as it was not safe to play outdoors.  JNF build this incredible playground where children from Sderot and neighboring communities can play and feel safe without the fear of rocket attack.   Hundreds of children of all ages use this facility.  The center’s attractions include a soccer field and volleyball court, movie theater, disco, rock climbing wall, snack area, computer center, and jungle gym. Play areas double as bomb shelters, ensuring that all occupants can quickly reach safety in the event of a rocket attack.  It was a wonderful experience for us to see the smiling faces and laughter coming from these beautiful, innocent children as they played.  CAARI commends JNF for their vision and concern for the security of Israelis. 
Enjoy the pictures and our day!
CAARI 2019

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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