"Do I dare disturb the universe?"
~T.S. Eliot

Saturday, February 12, 2011

First Weekend at Ga'aton

After a long, physically intense, but extremely fulfilling week filled with dancing on Kibbutz Ga'aton, we celebrated with the arrival of the first weekend as MASA dance journey participants.  Weekends here are Friday and Saturday, due to the observance of Shabbat in Israel, so it was a strange feeling to be done for the week come Thursday afternoon....Much appreciated though, as I've been feeling massive choreography overload lately!

Friday was just a much-needed lazy day, filled with reading and journal-writing.  I've been finding myself spending a good deal of time at the "Cafe in Motion," which has amazing coffee and delicious pastries...Oy, I know I will spend too much money here, but coffee shops are a favorite haven of mine, and this one is excellent.

Today, Saturday, we attended a performance of Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company's Second Company, which was amazing.  Their talent, endurance, and physicality blew me away, and it was hard for me to believe that they were not even the first company.  They performed "Transform," which is where some of our Rep is from, so that was cool to see it performed live.

The rest of the afternoon was spent on a walk/hike with three other friends to the nearby Kibbutz of Yehiam, where there is a crusader fortress ruin (you can see the castle from Ga'aton, and from first seeing i, I knew I wanted to check it out).  The walk was beautiful, and when we got to Yehiam, there was a gorgeous view of the Mediterranean, and you could make out a misty Haifa in the background.  By the castle was an artist's area, and there was a mosaic studio and another painting and sculpture studio.

When we finally arrived at the fortress, the gates were closed to visitors....So we will have to return another time.  But I feel the walk was worth it. :)  There was hike on a downwards slope past the castle that opened up into a gorge.  There were so many thousands of trees, and farther down than you could see, and they almost looked light and fluffy in the hazy late afternoon setting sun.

Both evenings of the weekend we had the opportunity to get to know our fellow dancers at a potluck Shabbat dinner, and outings at the local kibbutz pub.  I'm really enjoying everyone's company and talking to my new friends about their backgrounds.  Each person is so vastly different from the next.  Some come from small towns, others large cities.  I know I already said this in another post, but I am still constantly amazed by those getting around without knowing much English and virtually no Hebrew!  Many of us are Jewish but may not be observant at all, and some friends are Christian or grew up secular.  All are interested and fascinated by Israel's spiritual and historical significance, and everyone is so excited for our upcoming trip to Jerusalem, coming up in a couple weeks.  I feel lucky that this is my fourth trip here (!), so I can share my insight with everyone, but at the same time feel equal excitement about new encounters.

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