I drove to Tzfat yesterday morning and went directly to the hospital to meet our staff and student who had been there all night. It's just such a different culture. There are four people to a room, and no where for visitors to really sit. Dennis (our staff person who spent the night there with the student) slept on a balcony. On the balcony. Which had a tile floor. He only had a thin sheet, and it gets a little cold out.
The hospitals are also interesting places because you really get to see all slices of life in Israel - rich and poor, Israeli and Arab and Druze. There was a cell phone that kept ringing with an Arabic melody. It was actually pretty cool and we were talking about how unique that would be if we could get it on our phones either here or in the States.
At some point I went looking for a bathroom. I found one and was surprised to see a larger garbage can there with what looked like garbage from the patient rooms. You know that stiff, molded cardboard that apples come in when they're packed in boxes? Well, that same kind of cardboard was also molded into bed pans and urinals. I'm not sure what kind of time you have between using them and disposing of them.... I shouldn't be so fascinated by garbage in bathrooms, but really, this was nothing I could have imagined.
On my drive back from Tiberius this morning, I saw more animals then ever. More goats than usual (and therefore more shepherds), some sheep (also with a shepherd), horses, donkeys, camels and then, a snake crossing the highway. It turns out that snakes cross the road for the same reasons that chickens do.
Bording the road to Jerusalem is a large field of sunflowers. I thought it was interesting that thousands of them were all approximately the same height. And then I noticed that every few feet or so there seemed to be some overacheivers who were several inches taller than the others. It's probably a safe bet to assume there are also some runts in the field, but I will have to look for them the next time I drive up.
Last night I stayed in the hotel just next door to where our groups were. The story was that there were no rooms. Who knows. I do know that there was no one else in my hotel other than me. That was pretty strange. When I checked in, they asked what time I wanted breakfast. Usually, breakfast runs for a few hours in the morning, so I just asked what time breakfast was. She said since I was the only one eating, it would be whatever time I wanted. I told her I would just go next door and eat with our participants.... The room was nice, and there was a balcony overlooking the Kinneret complete with patio chairs and a jacuzzi. I went out on the balcony only to see the planes that were flying down from the North. They weren't quite fast enough to crfeate a sonic boom that sometimes accompanies the war planes, but they were plenty loud. Rumor has it they were on practice manuevers, but I'm pretty sure they don't do those at 10:30 at night.