What an incredible experience. My commander for the last three days
was an Ethiopian Jew with a heart of gold. We traded ideas in Jewish
outlook and bonded in the few short days, through the intensive labor
and the Torah. I miss him already!
I had a unique role [on the base] since I was the most advanced in Hebrew, at times taking a teaching role for the group. It gave me a unique role and a unique opportunity to
really engage the soldiers and get to know them. I was able to help
facilitate the work more efficiently and gained so much because I
spoke Hebrew. [However,] there were others in the group who managed to create bonds even without Hebrew.
While I was there, I encouraged others to come back to Israel and I dispelled a lot of myths about Orthodox people and managed to get along with everyone, Jew and non Jew alike. It was an experience I feel I must repeat.
All of the commanders love the volunteers as we all come to work and we
work hard. We earned praise as a group from our commanders. My heart was touched in an episode, I had two commanders loading infantry supplies and they were counting, taking blankets out of the truck. All of sudden, my Ethipian commander chucked a blanket at me and almost knocked me over, and then his commander did the same, so I started throwing it back and we were basically having a pillow fight (briefly, all while not losing
count!). It showed how close we had all grown in such a short time. We are brothers and I love them all!
I loved the tanks, I guess its a guy thing, a tank is a man’s best friend.
I learned a lot from everyone and I loved the experience.