After spending the summer  travelling in Europe, and the fall making my way through Turkey, Syria and Jordan, I ended up in Israel, exhausted and looking for a place to stay for the winter.

I'd heard from other travelers that summer that volunteering to work on a kibbutz, (communal farm), in Israel was a good way to spend the winter. So I made my way to a kibbutz office in Tel Aviv and it was a simple as picking a kibbutz from a list, and taking a bus there in the morning. So that's how I ended up in kibbutz Or Haner, just east of the Gaza strip, in what is called the northern Negev.

View of the kibbutz. Pretty green for desert country, but everything you see is irrigated.

The other volunteers numbered 15 when I arrived, from Columbia, S. Africa, Australia, Denmark, Holland, Germany, England, and Canada. 

We all got along, which didn't necessarily happen on all kibbutz. All of us were travellers of some sort, which helped.

To pass our free time we played tennis....

....dressed up...

Collecting work clothes in the 'boutique'. Clothes were all washed together, and it was a matter of finding stuff that fit every week. 

Work schedule for the week. It changed all the time, you could work in the kitchen, with the dairy cows, in the rivet factory, etc. Basically we worked for free in return for room and board, and in return the hours were not that hard.

I ended up in the welding shop most of the time...

...working with two guys who could speak, (and heatedly argue), in Hebrew, Arabic, and Spanish, but not English.

Eventually I learned enough Hebrew to get along.


Sculpture in the Negev

more to be added