Gesher Ha Ziv and Dalit and the famous Israeli tennis player we didn’t see…..

Our quilt at the fence Festival was a great success!!! What a wonderful day ! Hundreds of people came to this festival at the Kibbutz GesherHaziv. Janice and I worked in the chicken coop that had other great craft projects for kids. Paper mache, woodworking and recycled art projects. The quilt was hung on the wall and our guide and caretaker Ronit and her daughter helped explain our project  to everyone in Hebrew. The kids were beautiful and the parents were very helpful.  The Israeli parents love to sit and work with their kids on projects.  It’s not at all like the USA where parents drop their kids off to have lessons and be entertained. Grandmothers, mothers, fathers, babies… everyone came  and worked together.We don’t know how many people particpated but it was 2:30 before we even sat down to take a breath. The crowds kept growing and growing and some kids stayed for over and hour  to sew, glue, bead and write messages. The flowers and leaves came out beautiful and each child came up to the quilt and showed us where to put their flower. They will have some women who are quilters sew everything together and then hang the quilt in the community center in Acco where our mosaic will be. The day was beyond all our expectations and everyone said our project was the highlightof the festival!!!
The most moving part of the day was having Ronit translate all the messages the kids wrote with their parents. Almost all included mesages for the safe release and return of the 19 year old Israeli soldier from Nahariya who was captured in 2006. It brings everything about Israel into perspective.

Sunday was a really, really long day. We started at Dalit’s studio. Everywhere you looked were mosaic sculptures, decorations, tables, benches, plants, flowers and color. Located on a kibbutz overlooking the beautiful hills of the Galilee, we talked about how to incorporate our 12 mosaic pieces from our children in Akron. We worked back and forth with ideas on a  large piece of paper and came up with a 6 ft by 10 foot format for our mural to be located on the outdoor wall at the Mate Asher Community Center. We worked with another Israeli artist who works in metal and a glass artist from Toledo who makes glass beads. We incorporated their work into the mosaic too. Tomorrow the leaders of the Partnership , the kids, and all of us will be in the studio working. The kids from the school will create a border around the whole piece to tie it all together. So it will be an exciting day.
We another grand lunch overlooking the Mediteranean , then went off to hike around Rosh Hanikra which is a kibbutz on the Lebanon border. RIGHT ON the border so we had an armed guard with us. They had a cable car take us to see a breathtaking view of the cliffs and the ocean. Many schoolchildren were there too. No signs of any trouble like we see on US news .We had about 10 minutes to change shoes and wash our faces before we had to go to a celebration of the grand opening of the tennis courts of Acco where we ALMOST got to see some  Israeli Tennis star who is 15th in the world. Well you can only imagine how exhausted hungry and tired we all were .

The mayor of Acco was there and a Hasidic Rabbi of Acco who put up the mezzuzah and speeches and speeches and where’s the tennis player already????? We took a vote and left because the school for the arts had prepared  a lovely dinner and presentation for us. We were treated to a violin concert by a 16 yr oldand a 10 yr old , two modern dance selections  and  musician named DUDU, who gave  a drum workshop. We all followed his beat on beautiful African  Drums. It really helped our sore hands from all the tile cracking we had done in the morning. Luckily we got into the cab back to the hotel that knew the way to our hotel. The other 3 people had an Arab cab driver that got lost. Ours just tried to convince us that Barack Obama was a Muslim. As tired as I was, I still had the energy to argue with him !!!

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