Sunday, June 7, 2009

Camels and hummus and planes, oh my!

The last week of May we visited the South for the day to attend our cousin’s graduation ceremony (see two postings below), we took all a day off and left early to visit the Israeli Air force museum.
On our way south I was amazed at how big and undeveloped the south is, yes we are a small country but there is definitely room for many more in our little country. There are very few roads that travel all the way south, unfortunately, even though they are mostly very good roads (especially road 6) as far a we got to, but an accident that closed the road for close to an hour had us in the car for a while.
We got to the museum and the kids were as excited as I was to see all the planes, however, I saw something different, I felt proud of what the people were able to form from basically nothing. The IAF (Israeli Air force) was never officially inaugurated, it was just transformed from being an unofficial defense force before the independence using transformed civilian planes that were donated or from obsolete equipment. It was that same IAF that defended Israel in all of its wars allowing the continuance of the Jewish state and avoided other huge world issues, such as what they did a day like today (June 7) in 1981 when in Operation Opera the IAF destroyed the Iraqi Nuclear reactor, we can all be thankful for that too. Among the pilots that took part in the attack was the late Colonel Ilan Ramon, Israel's first astronaut that was part of the fatal Columbia mission, he ones again made us all proud wearing the star of David on his flag patch up in space as well as bringing his kosher food.
The drive through the desert was beautiful, going through a lot of Bedouin villages, kind of the way our patriarch Abraham lived except for the aluminum walls, hot water, electricity and cable dish. Some camels on the dessert made it interesting for the kids to keep their eyes open and for me to avoid any of them on the road.
We stopped by Beer Sheva just like Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Prophet Elijah, and many more, however they probably did not have the restaurant we went to back in their days, we all enjoyed an excellent lunch the Israeli way: Many salads, hummus & sauces with Pita to start and once you are almost full it’s time for the meat to come with a some rice and French fries (Chips in Hebrew), it’s an entire experience and it felt like an Oasis in the middle of the desert, although I was actually surprised on how nice and big Beer Sheva is.
From there we went straight to the graduation ceremony by Ben Gurion’s grave, great view and emotive ceremony!
Enjoy the pictures from our trip below.

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