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Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

New Zealand revisited

Posted by moddyfire on January 23, 2010

We spent the last month in New Zealand, in the world rainbow gathering.

There was the usual stress of deciding when to go, buying plane tickets, worries about getting from the airport to the gathering and back (as hitch-hiking with a child is not much fun), packing,  and being afraid of the cold – in Uki it was unbearably hot most of the month before that. Ela had wanted to travel in New Zealand a little, and I didn’t – I was there 11 years ago and have seen almost everything – but the crucial factor was that Ela wanted to go to a midwifery workshop in Adelaide. Thus we decided to cut our journey a bit and to book  a flight directly from New Zealand to Adelaide. The day after, Ela got a letter saying the workshop is full and she can’t get in.

So we left our house with a sitter and he dropped us at the airport. There we waited for our flight to Sydney, until hearing that our flight is being delayed, and delayed again, and then that all travellers who go to Christchurch or Auckland should collect their bags and go to the help desk. Just like last time. The deal was that they take us by bus to Brisbane, and we join another flight which arrives to ChCh just half an hour later than we should have. So we did arrive at 1 am to the freezing cold Christchurch, took a rented car, and drove to a rainbow meeting point – a house that belongs to a sister who let hippies stay there while waiting.

There were of course hippies lying, sleeping and snoring everywhere, but they had left us a big mattress in the middle, and we managed to sleep a little. Some of them were old friends. In the morning we wondered where to go. A few days earlier the rainbow site in the west coast was flooded, leaving some of the seed-campers on an island in a middle of a swamp, and they had to be rescued by helicopter. They immediately started to search of a new site, and on the day we arrived there wasn’t yet a final decision on the location. So we waited another day, resting and visiting the museum and the botanical gardens.

That was very exciting to me – I was amazed to see how much I remember New Zealand; the rose garden which I had spent the afternoon with Marianne 11 years before; the paua-shell house which I had visited in Bluff and was moved to the museum; the paua-shell jewellery in the museum shop (I bought there a pin for my friend); the little biscuits that I was buying all the time; the funny accent and the unbelievable nicety of the Kiwis. I am still shocked by how nice they are and during my whole travels there, this time and in the previous century, no-one was ever less than friendly.

The next day we drove to the site, only three hours away. It was a lovely day – not too hot, yet not raining – and we walked with our bags and kid through a typical New Zealand beech forest to the awesome site. There where a few meadows, each on a different hill, and in the middle a criss-cross of streams that turned into a knee-deep bog when it rained. As soon as we walked it, Sequoia started to skip and jump joyfully, crying “I’m home!”.

Since the site was found too late, there was no much time for seed camp work. There were a few hundred people around before the kitchen was fully built, most of them first-timer who didn’t know they are supposed to share the work. Also, the scouts of the last camp were tired now. The result was quite unfocused gathering, with many people not knowing what rainbow is all about.

My first two weeks ware awesome, even my drive to ChCh to return the car. I did a lot of work; hugged and welcomed everyone; talked and told jokes and stories; made connections; and generally felt confident and happy: I’m so cool. Sequoia’s behaviour was very helping: she woke up in the morning, we gave her a snack, and then she wandered off to play with her friends. We didn’t really see her most of the day, and even in circle she often sat with her friends or some random rainbow people who took her fancy. She worked in the kitchen, participated in talking circles – she announced that she wanted to burn marshmallows on the main fire, like she had done in numerous gathering before – and one day as Ela met her on the path she said “I was stung by a wasp, so I went to the medical centre and they gave me some leaf to chew. It was yucky, but then they gave me some lolly to take the taste away and now I’m much better. Now go off mum. I’m busy.”

Then I got tired of being out-going, had a stupid fight with Ela, and someone told me I’m too frisky – and not in a good way.  I also got overwhelmed by the amount of new people that I can’t remember their names anymore, by the cigarette buts everywhere, by the flashing cameras everywhere, by people not participating and waiting for others to do it for them, by laser show in the main fire, and by seeing that I became an elder: I have been to more gatherings than most, I am older than most, I know everything about rainbow, and I look at the youngsters saying “When I first went, it was much better. Rainbow is going down. The elders are not respected. Maybe I shouldn’t come anymore.”

After new-years-day it also became colder and more raining. A few days before we left, the bog became almost impassable and half the gathering couldn’t come to the food circle. Luckily we had no rain for a day, and we thus managed to leave when we needed to. We got a ride all the way to the airport, and flew to the open arms of my friends Simon and Julia. They live an hour drive out of Adelaide, and were perfect hosts – they lent us their car to go to town, gave us the best room in the house, and their eldest daughter hooked up so well with Sequoia that we didn’t need to pay them so much attention. We spent the days visiting friends, family and sites.

And then we finally got home. It is unbearably hot We all promptly got sick – all the stress of travelling was finally allowed to come out – now we are recovering, waiting for energy to do all the things we need to do. We don’t expect any more travels until September!

Love, Moddy.

I wrote this circling song in the gathering:

There’s a light in the depth of the forest

Calling us home, calling us home.

There’s a sound in the depth of the ocean

Calling us home, calling us home.

The way of our fathers and mothers

Is calling us home, calling us home.

The love of our sisters and brothers

Is calling us home, calling us home.

Posted in Life | Leave a Comment »

Home, away, and in between

Posted by moddyfire on November 12, 2009

As I had said before, I took Sequoia to Israel for three weeks. She was very excited about going and playing with her cousins, counting the days for the great event. She was willing to spend some time without her mother and enduring the long flight: four connections with a night in Bangkok (she was excited about that, too, as she misses the ice tea that is served by our usual guest-house.)   Nothing prepared me to what really happened.

Ela dropped us at the airport. We said goodbye, passed security and waited for the plane to come and take us to Sydney. When it arrived, we waited in the line and were promptly told to sit down, as there is some technical problem which will be fixed sooner or later, and if it doesn’t they’ll put us on the a flight that leaves in 3 hours. We initially planned 3 and a half hours – enough to get from domestic terminal to the international and check in, leaving time for a delay of about an hour in the flight, two if  stressed, but certainly not three.

I asked to be moved to the next flight, which leaves in two hours, but they said it was full, and they are basically not responsible since it is not a connecting flight. Therefore, I had to call the travel agent to see what he she can do. The main problem was that they had just rebuilt the terminal and somehow forgot to put public phones in there. I searched everywhere while Sequoia was looking after the bags, and eventually found one outside the terminal. I called Ela, asking her to call the travel agent, and came back to Sequoia, who was pretty upset she had to wait for so long, and we waited. I expected that either the problem would be fixed, or my name would be called.

Two hours later nothing happened: our craft’s engine was open with several people working on it, and the next plane started boarding. I realized I won’t fly today, took Sequoia and went out to call Ela. She was somehow very stressed, “Your plane is leaving now. The travel agent arranged everything for you to be on the plane”. I took Sequoia and ran, passing through security with shouts and pleading that I’m missing my flight, and ran to check-in, which almost closed. They had no idea that I was supposed to be on that plane, so we out to the public phone to call Ela again.  She said I wasn’t moved to another flight, but my own plane is leaving. We ran in again to check this out, now a bit more embarrassed to tell security that we are missing our flight. Still, no flight.

I left Sequoia now with the bags, and went out to call Ela for the fourth time. She gave me the number of the travel agent and said she’ll do it, but since there is no way to call me back, I’d better call the agent myself. So I did. They put me on hold, disconnected, put me on hold again, and then the phone stopped working. I went to JetStar counter, begging them to let me use their phone – they did, but after holding for 20 minutes, they needed the phone back. I came back to Sequoia,  and realized that my laptop was missing. My stress sky-rocketed.

I retraced my steps, and figured out I forgot it in one the security screening. I was right – and since that was the first good thing that happened since the whole thing started, I figured my luck changes. I bought Sequoia a pizza, and went to look for a way to contact Ela. I found another public phone, called her and she told me my flight to Bangkok was hopefully delayed for the next day (“hopefully”, since it was a public holiday and we couldn’t get final confirmation about it), so I need to take this flight and JetStar will arrange a hotel for me in Sydney, or maybe take it tomorrow. I’d have to ask them.  By this time the plane was fixed and boarding started, and I had to make a quick decision – do I get on it, or take my luggage off it? JetStar people have decided for me, and I called Ela to take me home.

The next day we planned better: I took our other cell-phone, and Ela waited with us until boarding started. And then they said they have some technical problems and we should all sit down.

Oh my God.

But this lasted only a few minutes, and we flew away.  Thirty hours later we  got to my parents’  house. Exhausted.

We stayed for three weeks. Sequoia played a lot with her cousins, practiced her Hebrew, met some of her old friends, went with her grandmother to the zoo, and missed her mum. I went to work every, driving an hour each way, and feeling quite depressed by the news on the radio. It seems that Israel got worse while I was away and not looking. Israel sinks into its post-traumatic-stress-disorder of “everyone hated the Jews anyway, so it doesn’t matter what we do”. Opinions that were heard before only from the ultra right-wing , are now the main-stream. The left is shattered; the forces of light are weak and almost unheard in the media. It made me sad – I am losing hope for the future of Israel. Good that I’m getting an Australian citizenship.

We arrived back ten days ago. I’m still jet-lagged and need to deal with house problems: we have been trying to put bamboo flooring in the house, but after a lot of work found the current floor is too uneven. We were recommended to use a self-levelling compound, which is a kind of cement that is supposed to be flatten itself when you pour it.  Ela tried to do it while I was away, but it didn’t work as promised, so now we have some cement stuck in the middle of the room. I brought a builder for advice, and he said that the distance between the beams that hold the house is too big, and we need to jack the house up and put more beams. Also, the roof is leaking.

We bought plane tickets to the gathering in N.Z. – the final decision on dates was that Ela wanted to go to a midwifery workshop, and meanwhile we can visit our friends Julia and Simon whom we haven’t seen in ages. The day after we bought the tickets Ela was told the workshop is booked out.

Ela and Sequoia went to a homeschoolers camp for a few days. I’m home alone, trying to utilize my time as well as possible, so I made granola (and burned it while writing this message.)

Love, Moddy.

Today is a good day for a bike ride in the neighbourhood.

Granola recipe:

3 cups oats (not instant)

1 1/2 cup chopped nuts (I use almonds and sunflower seeds)

1/2 cup shredded coconut

1 cup chopped dried fruit.

50gr melted butter

3 tbsp honey

2 tbsp (or a big dash) of apple-cider vinegar

a little salt, cinnamon, cloves and other spices you may like

Heat oven to 150C.

Put parchment paper on a tray, and cook the oats and nuts for ~5 minutes, while preparing the rest of the ingredients and mixing in a bowl.

Take the tray out, mix in the outs and nuts, and put back the whole lot on the parchment paper on the tray in the oven.

Bake for about 30min, mixing once in the middle.

After you make it once, you can adjust the amounts (especially of honey and butter) to your taste.

Posted in Life | 1 Comment »

Finally, feeling at home

Posted by moddyfire on June 14, 2009

Hi all,

As I wrote in my last letter,  we moved to our new house on New Year’s Day. Since then, we’ve been spending most of our time fixing it and making it our home. It is not as easy as it sounds, and I don’t even know if it sounds easy. Moreover, we have so many distractions,  such as going away, being sick, or buying a new car  (the last one, as you might recall, we almost drove over a cliff; we now own a red Ford Laser  called “Rosita” which I like very much while Ela isn’t excited.)

We went for two weeks to a rainbow gathering in Tasmania. After three days, when we just settled down, the organizers told us that the gathering ends in a few days, a fact that they had somehow failed to convey before. Thus we ended up renting a car and traveling around Tassie. I wasn’t too excited: I have been told that Tasmania is just like New Zealand, but I found it pretty dull comparingly. We had a nice time though, managed to see most of the Island and visit our friends Nemo and Melodie in Hobart.

After that we were at home for only a short time, and then Ela and Sequoia went to catch a baby in Phuket while I went to Israel for a few weeks. As usual, it was great to be in Israel and catch-up with friends and relatives: My niece’s Bat-Mitzvah! Amir is pregnant! Dekel is pregnant! Guy moved in with Ella! (and other exciting stuff.) Coming home, i suffered from awful jet-lag and didn’t function well for more than a week; then Ela and Sequoia came back, and we threw a party for Ela’s 30th birthday: we had a great fun, though the party was way smaller then we had expected. However, Ela’s sister and ex-wife both flew-in and stayed with us for a while, and we enjoyed having them and other visitors; specifically having a big house where we can actually host a party and guests. Meanwhile Ela got a nasty cough which rendered her sub-functioning for more than a month: she even broke a rib from coughing!  She feels better now after being treated by a Chinese Doctor whose partner is Ela’s next client (due in October.)

So we had little time to have the necessary house maintenace. We renovated the bathroom; we installed solar hot-water system; we bought furniture and a fridge and other things we never had room for in the old shack. Our main worries are mould and termites: the house is damp to the point that if I leave salt out it turns to pool of water. The reasons for the dampness are not certain: we have sea-grass mats that are constantly growing mould, so I threw some of it away to see if it helps. We have trees that shade the house, so we are still looking for a tree-lopper to cut them. We have a lot of rain (understatement. We had 195mm in one day a couple of weeks ago!) and it goes under the house, so I dug a trench to move the water elsewhere, but I’m not sure it is working. We also fight the mould with bleach and vinegar, with some success. We are also very cold inside the house: there is constant draft coming from some hole  we cannot locate, and our fireplace doesn’t manage to warm uo the house in the cold nights.

Besides all that, we simply love this place. We have a big house which is not leaking, surrounded by forest and beautiful birds,  but yet only five minutes walk from the village, 12 minutes drive to town (or 20 if we hitch-hike), and the city is only 20 minutes more. We made friends with a lot of our neighbours, and everytime we walk to the post office we stop for a chat; some of them have kids and so Sequoia has friends a short walking distance. Once a week there is a small market, and once a month a bigger market and also a dance party. We (well, Ela) organized a small home-schoolers group which we hope to make bigger,  and we are still close enough to our  old home-schoolers group in Mullumbimby so we go there every week. We feel we are part of a community and not isolated anymore.

Ela started  studying an advanced midwifery course so she spends (or tries to spend) most of her day with her books and notes. I’m very proud of her. I work and Sequoia is playing, watching videos, dancing and singing: same as before, but now she has much more room to do it. She grew a little, but is still very small for her age.

Plans: in two weeks we go to north Queensland for a rainbow gathering, which is 2000km drive each way. In October Sequoia and I come to Israel for a visit. It will be the most time she ever spent  without Ela, but I guess she won’t have time to miss her with all the excitement of seeing her grandparents and cousins.

Love, Moddy.

Today is a good day to plant snapdragons.

Posted in Life | 1 Comment »

Test #1

Posted by moddyfire on May 21, 2009

This test is meant so we will have something really long to see how it works.

start with th poem:

The truth is shining

Like a diamond, hard and cold

Like a girl’s best friend

Like a poet’s mind

Do you wear it on your finger?

Wait till we grow older

Till it rings clearly

Till we are murky

Reminds you how we used to be.

Do you wear it in your ear?

Piercing through your brow or

Nipple or naval.

Pain makes you happy.

Now you look pretty.

Thank her for the gift.

Curtsey.

Smile.

Do you wear it on your head?

Beaming to your third eye

Splitting aura to ingredients.

Cleansing thoughts of all lies

As our minds open.

You are beautiful.

Do you wear it on your foot?

Dragging it heavily. It pulls you down

Lower to the ground

Where we picked it up

Sifted through mud

Removed all impurities

Polished

Or was it a piece of broken glass.

The truth is hiding

Like a diamond. Silently waiting

to be picked

and to shine.

———————

add a picture:

Giraffs

trying, anyway.

love, Moddy.

Posted in Life | 4 Comments »