This morning, I went with my cousin, Steve, to pick up two of his daughters in Har Halutz. We saw part of their Shavuot program - kids doing class dances (the 4-5 year olds, and then the 7-8 year olds), one group of adults dancing, and various explanations of the holiday. Then there was a parade of offerings for the holiday, and then tractor rides and big inflated slides to play on. And of course, all the participants wore white, and some of the kids had wreaths of flowers and branches around their heads.
Steve's other daughter, Ayelet, met us later. I've left her messages on her voice mail every single day. At first it was just to try and get in touch with her. Then it just became funny. I'm pretty sure that by the time I leave, it's going to be annoying, but I'm willing to take that risk. I promised her I wouldn't write here about her underwear, so I can't say any more.
Today in Afula just felt normal. Which is to say that we went to Galit's parent''s house for a great lunch with her family, and later to a concert in their community. In general, when I'm here for work, I do a lot of touristy things, and even when I'm spending time at a cafe in Jerusalem, there seem to always be a lot of Americans around and I wonder whether it's actually reflective of Israeli culture. I think to a large degree it is, but there's always enough doubt to make me wonder. Today was definitely an Israel day, if that makes sense.
The concert was Shiri Maimon, one of the finalist from the Israeli version of American Idol and the Israeli representative to Eurovision last year. As is typical in Israeli concerts, everyone there sang along with her, every word, every song. I think it was clear to anyone who looked in our direction that I had never heard of her before. It was a very mixed crowd - young children through grandparents and people brought blankets and food.