So, this probably won’t be in detail, but I’ll update y’all on life.
I took the job on kibbutz lotan and moved into my own apartment. It is small and modest – exactly what I was looking for. I have no roommates which is really nice after not having any real privacy for the past 8 or 9 months. I also have my own patch of yard that I plan on making amazing. I want two shade trees, some hedges (because if I sit on my porch, 6 guest rooms can see me and I want a seperation from work), a couple of fruit trees and a veggie garden. I love living on Lotan and I think I’m fitting in well.
The job is nice. Due to the war (which may have finally ended last night), I dont have my staff of volunteers so it is just me cleaning all the rooms and one high schooler from the youth movement in Australia doing the laundry. It seems, just from my 2.5 weeks of working here, that everyone kinda knows that the guest house could be taken from its current mediocre status to a real money maker. But a couple of key people seem burnt out and unable or unwilling to put in the changes needed. I think if 5 more months I’m going to start making a business plan anf present it.
Adjusting to life here has been interesting. I am currently in Eilat (the closest city to the kibbutz) trying to take care of banking, benifits and ID changes. But of course every government ministry and bank all have different hours and days they are open. So long lines and lots of “you need to go there first, but they don’t open until … and we close before then.” But I’ve gotten most of the important things done today.
I got hit with a wave of homesickness last night. Not really home, I don’t miss much about America. But I miss my family. And the life I’ve chosen, the life of a zionist kibbutznic, doesn’t leave much money for international flights. But I’m hoping and trying to make it back next year.
So, that is the short of the long. My number is next for this office so I’m off.
This is a post about work. It is something I’ve wanted to write about for about a week and had the peices of three different versions circling in my head but never sat to write them down. I think it was because of a call that was to take place two days ago now. But first, let’s talk about Isrotel Sport, my current employer:
It isn’t a hard job per say. I work in laundry because of my limited hebrew. Before I even boared my flight leaving Tampa I knew I would have to start from the bottom somewhere as I learned the language and culture of my new country. The job is basic, but does require more than a bit of effort. My body is constantly aching. For some reason, I have been sick since about my fourth day of work. My boss is rather…. Isreali. Micromanagement is a way of life here and I am learning to cope with that. The guy who trained me has now left for another hotel but while here we had a love/hate relationship. He was a genuinely good guy but very much not open to change, not open to the slowness of others learning and, most of all, not open to talking. Unless you were russian. I have noticed a great, yet exclusive, form of comrodery between the Russian speaking workers. But now it is just me and one other new guy. He usually works morning and me in the evenings. Our shifts overlap at least 4 hours, sometimes more if he stays for overtime. Not the hardest worker I have ever seen, but he doesn’t slow me down so we make do just fine.
So enter the phone call: my host dad from Lotan told me that they were looking for help in housekeeping and I should call a woman in charge. So I did and she explained she was looking for a full time houekeeping supervisor. 8 hours a day Sunday through Thursday and 5 hours on Friday. I would get off every shabbat and be able to live on Lotan. Sounds great, right!?
So here are the factors. The pay on Lotan is one shekel less an hour, and my rent would triple. I doubt I would get the overtime I get here. That all means that my debt would take even longer to pay off. Plus, I am actually really enjoying living here in this apartment in eilat. Being that it is only for workers and that Lotan is a good hour away from me, I wouldn’t be able to stay here. Both my roommates are gay and really cool people. I have everything I could want here in eilat too; beach, grocery stores, movie theaters, green parks, people watching, bus riding. Lotan is definitely where I want to end up but I didn’t expect so soon. But on the other hand, I don’t feel particularly useful in my current job. And I feel like I could move up quicker and do more in Lotan since it isn’t a giant company. Plus there is the religious factors as well. I still don’t wear my kippah at work and it bothers me. It is strange that I feel more acceptable to wear it in the ‘States than in a secular town in Israel. Lotan is a reform kibbutz (I’m a reform Jew), nothing more needed to say about that.
I didn’t really lay out the cases too well, but it is late and I’m exhausted. Opinions are welcomed and encouraged on the subject matter.