Andy in ALEH Negev
So let´s start with this: I am leaving with my heart FULL; Full of beautiful memories, Full of encounters and friendships that will forever influence my life and have left deep footprints in my heart. And full of love for this wonderful people and this amazing country.
As a volunteer you always come with the best intention to give of your time and your love, but I leave with the feeling that this time has blessed me more than I could ever give. I was able to work in a wonderful place called Aleh Negev , helping to care for very special people and working with very special people (you all are amazing!). I got to know this place as a warm and loving home for the residents living there.
Thank you Doron Almog for starting such a beautiful and inspiring work! Aleh truly is a blessing and a picture of how life can and should be. As you said; “ A society is only as strong as the weakest link”… so much truth here. In Aleh you feel the love for the residents and you see how Muslims, Jews, Bedouins, Christians and all kinds of volunteers work together, learn from each other and actually have a really great time together.
A big thank you to the National service girls!!! You saved my life more than once, sharing everything you know and translating many times. You are amazing! You do a wonderful job with the residents and I see your love for them. You make a difference and truly meet them where they are. The time wouldn´t have been the same without you!
Thank you to everybody who made this time so special! I have met so many great people, no chance to mention all of them. I had the chance to travel, a lot of interesting conversations, a lot of good food, I enjoyed spring and summer (I never knew how sweet and wonderful the smell of blooming orangetrees is), I got to live with amazing Dutch volunteers (I love you ladies), I got to spend Purim and Pessach here (thank you dear Boskey family for having me) and overall I just can say “ G-d blessed me richly in this time”
I am leaving with this time marked on my heart, hearing the words of a friend in my ear as he shows us around his kibbutz close to the Gaza- border; “Tell them at home about what you see, tell them all we want is peace” … I stand there looking at the high barbed wire fence to protect the people living here from attacks, in the background I hear the children playing, thinking; Is n´t this what we all long for? To live in peace. Of course there is no easy black and white here; but let´s talk about Israel in an open way, ask me…. Come and see for yourself what Israel is like!
I will leave and share this wonderful experience. Of course there were days that were not easy and asked all of your patience; sometimes you left work, spit at, scratchmarks on your arms, spit on your hands… BUT after all when you see these people smile, when you know; I can make a difference and may it be only a small one; It´s all worth it.
Surely I will miss this place, but I know I will come back.