Answer for Tuesday’s guest blogger: Naomi Oberlander
Answer for Yesterday’s guest blogger: Noah Oberlander
Today’s Guest blogger: ???
Today we left the house at about 10:30 to take a true Israeli bus and transfer to get to the Biblical Zoo. We didn’t go into the Biblical Zoo, but we walked across a bridge over railroad tracks and through a desert canyon and through a horse stable to get to Ein Yael, a place where they practice ancient arts. Eitan made it by the horses no problem! [editor’s note: The bus ride and transfer were uneventful, but Sima did learn that the bus driver could drive the bus down a busy street with no hands while printing, putting together and stapling 5 transfers. The directions on Ein Yael’s website were to take a bus to the zoo, cross over the railroad tracks on a bridge, and then take a short 5 minute walk up the road to the entrance. In actuality, we had to go up a steep metal staircase to cross over the tracks and then back down. This left us in the middle of a desolate and sandy valley with no road but some kind of track that looked to be used by the heavy machinery we saw along the way. On the other side of the valley is a road near a horse stable. We could see the Ein Yael site but not the way to get there. So we cut through the stables shielding Eitan and pretended to be stupid Americans when interrogated by the stable people (not a stretch). When we got there and asked how to get back down without cutting through the stable they said take a cab.] We made flutes by cutting bamboo into different sizes. The girls both stabbed their feet with bamboo, and Eitan cut his finger a little bit with a knife. We needed some tissues to soak up the blood. Then we put the bamboo together to make flutes. Then we went to the mosaic area. We got to crush pottery with hammers. Eitan and Noah really enjoyed that. [no injuries here]. Then Mom and Eitan went on a tour while the rest of us finished our mosaics. Eitan and Mom told us they learned about the Roman villa, and how the maayan was channeled. [editor’s note: Ein Yael is billed as an outdoor museum that teaches about ancient crafts such as paper making, weaving, pottery, mosaic, basket making, pita making, wine making, and fresco. But in reality most of the advertised areas were closed, and the site is home to a day camp filled with screaming kids. There were only a couple of other families there, one of whom was Eva Ozarowski’s son Joseph with his son and daughter-in-law and their children! He is from Skokie and also knows Sam and Shuli. The site was originally an archeological excavation. A Roman villa sat at the top of the hill, and the ruins that have been excavated include a giant mosaic floor in the living room that at one time had a fountain in the middle. There are also ruins of bath houses that were fed by the maayan. The maayan, which is also toward the top of the hill, was captured in a channel, and sent to two pools – the first allowed sediment to settle, and the second was a reservoir that stored the water used for irrigation. The land beneath is terraced, and the arts and crafts areas were spread out on the different terrace levels.] Eitan and Ilana walked through the channel. We had a snack at pita making, then we went to clay making. It was a lot of fun.
Next we walked backed across the canyon and kept on waiting for a bus that went past us so then next we took a cab to the Malka mall, which everyone said was big but was small compared to American malls. We had great Chinese food at the food court. [editor’s note: Amazing to eat in a huge food court where everything is kosher, and to pass a Beit Knesset while walking through the mall.] While we were eating they made an all call to the mall that mincha was starting. The whole family found that humorous. After shopping for a long time, Eitan bought an Omri Casspi jersey and some Manchester United socks. Ilana had shoes and a shirt, Eitan and Noah both got the world’s smallest kipas, and Naomi got nothing. Then a singer named Miki was entertaining little kids. Then we took a bus back to the apartment. Noah and Eitan went to get iced Aromas – best coffee ever. Then we watched TV and relaxed and ate a McDonald’s Happy Meal which we bought in the food court to give the box and toy and containers to Miriam our cousin who’s obsessed with McDonald’s. It was such a fun day.