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Friday, October 25, 2013

Hannukah is not the only miracle

Let us begin with a poem:

There is sand in your hair
There is sand in your toes
There is sand on the floor
There is sand in your nose

There is sand everywhere

There is sand on the ground
There is sand all around
There is sand on the stair
Gotta spread it around if we want to be fair

There is sand everywhere

I dedicate my poem to all families of children in Gan in Israel.  I am only slightly exaggerating when I tell you that when Ariella comes home from Kindergarten I pour a quarter cup's worth of sand out of her shoes. There are 34 children in her class so you do the math.  I have no idea how the playground still has sand after two months of school!  In honor of the upcoming Hannukah holiday I will compare it to the miracle of lights.  These kids are schlepping home 3 gallons of sand every week and yet the sand lot is still full.

And whether you empty the sand from their shoes before you enter the house, after you enter the house, in the little trash that exists in every meeting room where kids have to take off their shoes, no matter.  You will always find more sand.

Fortunately for us, after kindergarten the sand lot disappears so this should be our last year of sand in our hair.

Meanwhile, this week we had municipal elections.  Politics in Modiin seem quite friendly from where I'm standing.  There are a few cities that had very difficult elections and the campaign tactics were beyond the pale.  Unfortunately, in one city the scare tactics used were successful enough that the minority faction trying to control the majority was successful in electing their mayor who did nothing to help lessen (and maybe even worsened) the very high tensions in the city.  Ick.  But here in Modiin things were good.  My father joked that I am so happy here I should run for city council.  I actually don't know about city council in U.S. cities but here it is an unpaid position and it has been rewarding to see all the different candidates with incredible ideas and thousands of volunteer hours spent dedicated to this city.  One of the campaign posters in our neighborhood was in English, and I noticed when I went to Ramla to get my polio shot (actually had to drive on Dr. Salk street to get there!) that there were many signs in Arabic.

Lital learned from one of her good friends who is from Australia that if you don't vote in Australia you get fined.  She also told Lital that voting happens on Shabbat.  Though I've previously mentioned how amazing the "children's information network" can be I usually double check things that I hear from 8 year olds so I asked some of the Australians in my ulpan.  Turns out it's true.  It's about $300 per person if you don't vote.  Apparently, you can go in and draw a smiley face on the ballot if you are so inclined, just so long as they check your name off.  It was described to me as "You will be free and participate in your freedom, wether you want to or not".  Also, they do vote on Saturday but you can turn your ballot in early.

This  Shabbat we have a special visitor, our friend Hannah who made aliyah this past summer.  Our families have been the types of friends that merge into family so it is only fitting that now Hannah has become like our niece/cousin some type of family here.  Especially great for our kids to feel connected. Hannah is super fantastic but one really great thing about her---she likes to sponga!  Sponga is the process of mopping your floor clean.   I've already talked about the sand...

One of our neighbors told us that they've started looking forward to Ariella's nightly courtyard fashion shows.  She loves to dress up in costume and parade around the courtyard.  They were impressed with how many costumes she has.  Truthfully she doesn't have so many it's just that her combos aren't always the most self evident.  Not everyone does "bridal ninja" or "Super Snow White" and trust me, no one does strung out pirate as well as she does (no costume necessary).

So far treadmill desk off to a good start.  26 KM during the first week, and counting.

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