What a mad few days it has been!
We arrived at Tel Aviv airport on Saturday evening to torrential rain, awoke in Jerusalem to more rain, left Jerusalem in sunshine and arrived in Bil’in to more warm sunshine, so much so, that yesterday I got slightly sunburned and the local mozzie population have had a feast on me.
So Bil’in….we had three nights here. Which we thought was plenty of time to sort out four goats and various trees. What we had forgotten about was the Village Council.
The first evening we met the Mayor under an oak tree and ate toasted acorns near the apartheid wall. A meeting of the town council was called for the following evening, so on day 2 we went to look at goats and trees. The visit to the ‘tree shop’ happened at 8.10pm, when it was dark and we couldn’t see a thing, but the tree man promised us a good deal.
The town council meeting on the evening of day 2 consisted of 5 men who needed to see if our project was viable and what they could sort out. After much deliberation and many”Ahlan wa Sahlan’s” our project got the go ahead and they then needed to decide on the most worthy of people for the goats. They decided on four women, all widows who have families to support. We really liked that idea. They already were farmers, but having another goat would make a huge difference to them where they can sell more cheese and yoghurt and make more money to support their family. We were introduced to all of the women who were bought to the Town Council offices. It was a hugely humbling experience.
We followed the goat truck to see the goats delivered and then went off to discuss trees. We bought 51, 30 were olive and 21 were fig. These, instead of going to individuals, will be planted on Town Council land, they will plant the trees and look after them, and the village will benefit when the trees bear harvest.
The council decided to buy a tree in dedication to me and Elaine and we helped to plant that in the grounds of the council meeting place.
So, we are heading off tomorrow to see what we can buy to help in the Jordan Valley. A very different area to here with very different needs. Please check in in the next few days to read about what we have done here.
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