Monday, December 15, 2008

Desertification Conference: More Proof that the Arava Institute is really more about building character than learning about the environment

Today, the Arava Institute took a field trip to Sde Boker, where one of the colleges for Ben-Gurion University is (and where Arava masters' students spend their second year), for a conference on desertification. Is the desert expanding? What are the environmental implications? What can we do about it? What is Israel currently doing about it? You get the idea. After getting there at 8 AM, and finishing the lectures at 7 PM, I still can't really answer those questions. Everything was confused, disorganized. There was no communication between conference organizers and Arava staff, so we got pulled out of lectures for other lectures that weren't really happening, we miss lectures due to insufficient planning for room capacity (one lecture was supposed to be required for all 40 of us, but was held in a room that only seated about 40. So by the time all of us had been herded in the right direction to find this room - in a different building than we were originally told - there wasn't room for most of us. We were late to our second-choice lectures as a result of this). Then we were recruited to help serve lunch, which is nice that we could help, but also frustrating that we're paying students and we spent more time setting up, serving, and cleaning lunch than we did at any lectures. But! after all the stupid miscommunication and disorganization and nutty-professorism, we had a lovely dinner, and performance by a Black Hebrew musical group. They were amazing, and then we all got up and danced and danced! It was a fabulous break from a regular Monday on Kibbutz Ketura.
And now for some pictures!
Look! Proof we're doing nothing! This is while we were waiting for our professor, who showed up an hour later than the time our schedule said we were supposed to meet with him. We could have been learning at this time. But at least we were in the desert. That's kind of like hearing lectures on desertification.
Oh, also, I forgot to mention we were sort of tricked into holding a political rally. It was a lot of fun, but so not what we thought. We were told we were taking part in a protest against the raising of bus prices. But then, we were the only ones there, and all we did was hold up these signs for Israel's Green Party and make a lot of noise.
This is at dinner! It was crowded.
I actually really liked this blurred jazz man picture. It's like an album cover. For that Black Hebrew Jazz Man. You know the one.
I left my camera in the hands of someone not as fun as me (who didn't want to dance), but he really didn't take any pictures of me. This is the best I got, but I'm blocked by that other girl and I look sort of doofy.
But here's a better picture of the group as a whole. You can tell I'm there, too, though you can't see my face. I'm that light blue shoulder that's even with everyone else's lower chest.
Time for bed. Love.

1 comment:

Tab said...

Getting involved in political rallies against one's own volition is the most super awkward thing ever! It will HAUNT you.