----- Forwarded Message -----
From: inna bakker <innabakker@gmail.com>
Sent: Sunday, April 29, 2012 6:46 PM
Subject: #3 Dubai--Arab Emirates---Oman---Israel

My dear family and friends

i am in  Israel volunteering 2 weeks, this is my visit to Israel  #15 and volunteering # 5,

i am working on the communication base with radios, antennas, phones, speakers, etc,

in our group are 16 people, 8 men and 8 women from 7 countries; 25 % Christians,

US, Canada, Austria, Italy, Anglia, Netherlands, Hungry

from 22 to 86 years old

look at the photos of 2 men  --86 and 83 years old volunteering 16 times,

i met amazing people  from all over the world

who love Israel very much and do everything to support and help  this tiny, great country.

Our schedule:

7 am--breakfast, flag raising, briefing

8.30----12  work

12-1  lunch

1-4.30  work

6 pm  dinner

7 pm --activities, lectures about Israel

we eat with soldiers in cafeteria--buffet style, 5-6 types of vegetables every day, meat or fish food is good and healthy, we sleep in the barracks, few people in the room
on the cots, shower and toilets in the separate house to walk outside,

basic conditions , but no problems, people have higher purpose than  personal comfort,

we have 3 madrichot--women soldiers  who are liaison between volunteers and the Army, they take care of us, help us and teach us about life in Israel,

the atmosphere  is very friendly, spiritual, educational and devoted to Israel,

commander of the base told us that last year on this base volunteers saved 10 million shekels which is  $2.5 million by not calling reservists--miluim-  

and not paying them salary and  by fixing old equipment  instead of buying new.

i always wanted to be in Israel at this time to experience Yom  Ha  Shoa---Holocaust day, Yom Ha Zikaron--Memorial day  for fallen soldiers and victims of terror and Yom Ha Atzmaut -Israel's Independence Day on Hebrew calendar,

i participated in  a  very emotional  and powerful ceremonies on the Army base,

listen to a siren for 2 minutes when everything and everybody stops, all  cars, buses, people get out and stand still, soldiers  tell stories of their  families, people go to the cemeteries, a  lot of crying , mourning and grieving,

but on sundown  it is over and 60 seconds later  starts the happiest holiday- birthday of Israel, people are dancing, singing, concerts are every there in the country, parades, day off  for the citizens,  2 extremes  next to each other,

life goes on, it is so unique, only in Israel !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

i went to a wonderful Yom Ha Azmaut concert with my cousin who is a music teacher in the school, children and adults performing together, singing and dancing, a  lot of lights effects, big TV screens,

everybody participating  from the very young to the very old, very happy celebration

on the weekends i met my family and friends and visited wonderful places

like Tel Aviv University, walking streets of Tel Aviv, tour to Masada, Dead Sea,  Hulla Valley.

in my 15 visits to Israel i  am learning about Israeli people, their  life stories, what they went through,  achievements of the country as a nation, diversity of nature and people on such tiny piece of land, optimism, no hate, energy,  believe in future.

no oil, no natural resources, the only commodity  here--great people.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday i will be home

love to all, Inna

Inna Bakker





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