Yaela from Johannesburg (walk about love 2015 autumn)   Walk About….LifeYaela I began the Walk About Love Israel National Trail from Mount Hermon to Jerusalem uncertain of what to expect or even why I was doing this: One month of walking without a bed or shower seemed like a crazy thing to voluntarily do. From the onset this group of approximately 35 were incredibly diverse: a family of farmers with eight children alongside middle aged men, foreign tourists, ultra-orthodox Yeshiva students and Israeli soldiers. In a country like Israel, so divided by religiosity and political opinions, could this group walk alongside each other and find equilibrium? During the early stages of walking, like attracted like. The younger members clustered together sharing smoking breaks whilst the older walkers set off early at a slower pace and the family stuck to themselves. As the challenges of the walk started to manifest, there were injuries, emergency hospital visits, personal tragedies, dangerous terrain, complex navigation and blisters (many blisters), it became evident that we wouldn’t survive, let alone enjoy this walk, if we didn’t stick together. As the weeks progressed the group members began reaching out to relationships and kindness beyond the norms of daily life. People learned to take responsibility for the cooking and cleaning, some served dinner whilst others loaded the bags onto the trailer each evening and morning. Along the way food and coffee was shared and trails were marked with arrows made of artistic rock formations. The children of the family became the children of the group and through games and sport and energy they kept us all alive. Unlikely friendships started developing as people found that human ground was common enough. The hospitality and generosity of Israeli people gave us strength when monotony or exhaustion set in. Along the way we received free food, books, car rides in the rain and home visits. Cars passing by would often honk and wave in support. All this because us madmen had chosen to walk through Israel. At the end of my Walk About Love journey I celebrated my birthday with this group of people who had become my family. Looking around at the smiling faces, eyes shining with a combination of bliss and wisdom, the word “simplicity” came to mind. As we rid ourselves of all that is extraneous in our lives, all the material and superficial which separates us, we found each other and in finding each other we were able to create something new. I have returned to my life, my complex life in South Africa where I have obligations and responsibilities, big walls around my house and a car which forces me to travel alone, but I have returned with different eyes. Walk About Love did not enforce sameness but celebrated the contributions of our differences.Through this beautiful, strange and life-altering walk I have gained insight into a microcosmic utopia that is possible for our people and for our land, we proved it. With love, Yaela    

  רע היקר! 10173547_851660544850213_332189315_nאני אומנם לא כאן, אבל היה לי חשוב לומר לך כמה מילים, במאורע מיוחד כמו זה! דבר ראשון תודה. תודה לך שהלכת אחרי החזון שלך והקמת דבר מופלא שנקרא ה walk about love שנה אחרי ה- walk הראשון שלי ועדיין קשה לי להסביר לאנשים “מבחוץ” שלא חוו את זה מה עברתי. walk about love זה לא שביל ישראל, זה גם לא חוצה ישראל, זה מסע journey. מסע שכל אחד בונה ועובר בעצמו, אחרי שבוע עם הwalk של עכשיו הכל מתעצם וברור יותר. החיבור לטבע, להדליק מדורה מאפס, להכין אוכל בכמויות, פתיחות, אהבה, פשטות ואור. כל אלה ועוד הרבה יותר הם דברים שלמדתי ושהתחזקו בזכותך, בזכות המסע. זו ממש זכות לחוות את הטיול הזה בקבוצה מיוחדת כמו הקבוצה שכל שנה מתאגדת כאן. לטייל תמיד אפשר, אבל חודשיים וחצי עם אותם אנשים ואנשים שמצטרפים ומשתנים זו חוויה אחרת לגמרי. הדינמיקה משתנה, אתה משתנה, הנוף משתנה, וכל יום אתה לומד משהו חדש על עצמך ועל רעות, אכפתיות, דאגה ואהבה. תודה לך שהלכת אחרי החלום, שתיירים מקבלים ממך ומה- walk כל כך הרבה על הארץ,דבר שלא היו מקבלים במקום אחר ושאנחנו עוברים מסע שמשנה אותנו המון.

(walkaboutlove 2014 )Naama Offer

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