We said our goodbyes to Tel Aviv and the marvelous staff at the Prima City Hotel and began our journey through the Negev to our evening destination – Mitzpe Ramon. This was truly the first day that it was windy, cloudy with cooler temperatures. But, all of us were prepared with many layers! It was a day of meeting people who work and live in the Negev and seeing sites to understand the importance of this area.
Our first stop was the JNF Forest Station at Plugot Junction where we met with the foresters Boris and David Shriki who demonstrated fir fighting techniques on one of the new fire trucks – which happened to be donated from Toronto! Impressive vehicle and nice to meet the dedicated foresters!
Back on the bus to our next stop – a view of Gaza Strip and explanation from the Nebi Meri Lookout Over Gaza City – a JNF overlook dedicated to a Druse Officer who fell in 1996.
Oh – and we stopped by Nir AM – a JNF reservoir!
Our next stop was the Bedouin Village of Lakia one of the recognized towns on Bedowin in the Negev where we met a most impressive person, Naama who has organized a workshop and organization for th advancement for Bedouin women. She discussed how she got started and what she is doing to change the educational status of women in both the recognized and unrecognized villages. – from a mobile library, weaving workshops, young leadership groups and a store to sell the beautiful merchandise. Truly an impressive person!
Lunch time in Beersheva followed by a tour of the JNF Nahal Beersheva Park a five mile JNf project. For some of us who visit the area yearly, we were so impressed with what we saw and the development of the area. Shahar Hermalin, JNF (USA) Tourism Director, gave us a guided tour and took us to the new amphitheater – with a press of his phone we were in the area and on stage! What a site! Beersheva certainly looks a lot different than it did a few years ago. From there we went to the new Beer Sheva Visitors Center for a movie and tour of Abraham’s Well. On to the Canada JNF’ Plotnick’s project along the river and over the Pipe’s Bridge – back on the bus and off to Mitzpe Ramon for dinner and overnight! BRRRR – quite cold in the desert in the evening!
Love to all,