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Ted’s Aliyah, Day 6

Again, this is not MY writing, it is the only-slightly-deranged musings of my very talented husband, Teddy (Akiva) MacLeod.  If you like his writing, check out his art (sort of!).

IMG_00002407    Day Six – Fanning the Flames of Anger
“ATTENTION ALL SWIMMERS!!!” said the Hebrew speaking lifeguard over his bullhorn, ”the black flags we put on the beach means it’s too dangerous to swim in the water!! Don’t any of you idiots get it?? TOO DANGEROUS!!!!! Aww, forget it…” (At least that is how I translate what they are saying)
Yeah, I just read this pamphlet about swimming in Israel and how there are white, red and black flags indicating various levels of danger. All this time, the kids and I were swimming between the red and black flags because we thought that is where the lifeguards were most intently watching us.
IMG_00002413So we took the kids down to the Camp they run here in the building for all the kids. For today’s project, they were making a large six foot sailboat out of a wire frame, newspapers and paint. A little ambitious, I thought, but you know what? The kids were really into it and I started to see how this could be an ALL DAY activity that would keep the Ethiopian Jewish kids busy. (Tzivia reminded me that they are not just Ethiopian kids, they are also Jewish. Good point.) The IMG_00002417Russian Jewish teacher started to nickname Gavriel “Gavi”, which he didn’t seem to mind and Naomi really enjoyed the focused, non-verbal group activity with the other little girls.
After lunch, we took the 59 bus over to a nearby plaza where Tzivia had ordered a fancy, new fan from one of the many electrical stores there. I think the store was called “Big Electricity”. Anyway, Tzivia got all excited when she spotted an IKEA sign nearby, which we found out later, would open in another six months. We got the fan and had to leave quickly, to avoid a toy store the kids wanted to stop at. As a result, the kids also missed out on getting a treat from the store that we promised them.
IMG_00002416 IMG_00002415 I took Gavi home while Tzivia and Naomi got off the bus to do a little grocery shopping. Once home I thought I would be awesome by starting to put together the fan together before my dear wife got home. I actually had most of it together when she arrived. The grand moment was when I turned on the fan and it rattled a strange thin whirring sound from the motor.
“Are you telling me you didn’t test the motor before putting it all together?” I admit that I still had that North America faith in consumer products that actually work when you bring them home. Oh, I have so much to learn. I didn’t realize this, but you can’t return items to the store you bought them back in Israel. They won’t take them. You have to go to a specific company service center to get it fixed, which I have to do tomorrow. Ugh! You can say this little situation caused some testiness this afternoon!
At six-thirty, I took the kids for our ritual, before supper swim, this time staying on the safe side of the red flags. The kids had asked their mother if I would buy them a Popsicle after swimming and I was surprised that she agreed. (They missed out on a treat at the plaza…) So after a bouncy swim, (Were the waves a little higher tonight or am I now paranoid?), we stopped at the beach bar where they serve food, booze and a crazy array of Nestle popsicles and ice-cream bars. The kids picked a Popsicle that comes with a toy inside and we raced home for supper, followed by a Popsicle dessert.
And now I sit here waiting for the kids to stop whispering in their bedroom and go to sleep.

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