Sorry, no pictures yet.
I had apparently forgotten what traveling in a large group is like -- a frustrating experience at times. The biggest problem is something I was first introduced to in the Dominican Republic, it was called Caribbean time there -- here it must be called Mediterranean time. The definition of both go something like this: have explicit times to be certian places as scheduled; always be tardy. I believe my old junior high math teacher, Mr. Dale, would blow a gasket giving out tardy slips to everyone. The worst part is that our guides seem to have the most problem meeting our schedule.
Anyways, I have learned a great deal in a short time in Israel. To say the least, you know the history of Israel is a mess. To prove my point, it is important to greet everyone you meet with the appropriate word. This word is simply "shalom." In a country where you are constantly at war and surrounded by your enemies, peace is always on your mind -- it is what you are hoping for. Today we traveled through the valley of armageddon, the biblical place of the final battle. As if right on cue, to set the scene, several jet fighters filled the sky with noise on a reconisence mission to Lebenon while we toured a Kibbutz. (Please put your mind at easy however, as like many things, the media publicizes the terrible acts of a few while the rest are much more decent.)
Kibbutz: is an Israeli collective intentional community combining socialism and zionism. Historically, before and after the country of Israel began (1948) Jewish people needed a place to live and a way to survive. These communities will have their own industry, today they are mostly agriculture and tourism based, although I understand there are Kibbutz for everything. They often have hotels and are great places to stay as a visitor.
A visit to an aquaculture kibbutz today proved to be very interesting. A man I met there was working on his master's degree in marine biology in genetics and knew several people I know, small world huh. They have a huge opporation on 800 acres from raising koi to be sold >$1500 per fish to R&D. Their newest research project using aenemonies pnematocyte cells to painlessly inject medicine will be on the market within the next year.
I will have to say that I am impressed with the Jewish people, their intelligence and their ability to survive. Understand that Israel is smaller than New Jersey and the nation is a world leader in many industries. My personal observation, although, when given the opportunity a Jew can talk. By talk, I mean they can go on and on very passionately about whatever their interests are. This is part of the reason for our group troubles.
We traveled up the western shore of Israel, westward through Nazarith and now are on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. I wish I could post some pictures, but do not have the capability from this computer, hopefully soon to come.
Until next time, Shalom.