Day 2 or first working day
The day at Neot Semadar starts at 5:30am, at the dining room, where we meet silently to sense the togetherness of the community and start the day as a group. At this time, tea is served and bread with jam. Few people eat, I was one of them.
At 6am we start to work. The schedule with our workplace is put out on the board the night before. My first day, today, started in the kitchen. I had to peel, between 6am and 8am, 95 cucumbers. I thought that was a lot, but actually, they had planned for me to peel carrots and cut lemons. Well, I stopped at the cucumbers and was pretty happy that I was able to do that in such a time, I really don´t have intimacy with the kitchen. Then, breakfast time! At this time, I was already pretty hungry.
As I said, we eat the meals in silent. The food is put out in the tables and there is also some people asigned to be the waitresses or waiters in every meal just to refill the food. I was the last shift (shifts lasts 20 min) waitress. After breakfast there is the usual everyday meeting at 9ish. It´s all in hebrew, foreign volunteers get translators. Everything here is in hebrew, even the schedule.
After that I went to help on the vegetable garden where my job was to get rid of unwanted weed. Well, lets just say that organic and family farming products seemed quite cheap for me after doing that. Then came the time to have a break at noon (not lunch yet, unfortunately) where we ate some fruits and had an existential and philosophical conversation (really, not being ironic, this is the thing about Neot Semadar, is a place to really feel and get connected to innerself). After that, it was time to prepare lunch and clean the kitchen. I washed some pans bigger than me and helped to clean the (huge) refrigerator.
Lunch is served at 3pm. My stomach really needs to get used to these times. I was starving a little. This is a vegetarian kibbutz with fish twice a week. And, also, probably, the place I´ve been where people eat more salad. There´s salad to eat at every course, specially breakfast. And, after lunch, work is over. Yay! It´s tiring…
One thing about the desert is that it has amazing sunsets. My roommate, which is a 67 year old sweet lady, and I went to see it on one of the lagoons and walk around on the kibbutz afterwards.
It seems that I travelled space and time and got to Neot Semadar. It´s a completely different lifestyle. It´s a communist kibbutz, and I don´t mean politically, but in the sense that everything is common and done in a community. Everyone works for everyone, everyone seizes what the kibbutz has to offer and everyone does every task. It´s also a place of reflection and self knowledge.
Even though it´s a place with a holistic view, where everyone shares at least some values such as sharing, being grateful, coliving, slowing down, etc, people here don´t really offer you help or try to include you, they are their lives. But everyone is very polite, nice and open to answer you, but you´ll have to ask. I don´t know if it´s first impression or cultural difference. We brazilians are very helpful people and love to mingle.
Well, while working today I thought to myself that two months will be more than enough. However, something tells me that it will fly by and I will maybe forget I had this thought. People say it takes about two weeks to adapt to the routine here. Lets see whats happens, each day is a new day with new discoveries.