Thursday, March 10, 2011


Circuits, Jogs, Yoga, Soccer, Volleyball: Energy

I am a proud member of the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies Sports Committee, an overly-beaurocratic name for one of the most powerful sources of my energy here. In between classes and common meals, a group of avid outdoorsie athletes has developed a strong community. Last Thursday afternoon, we transformed the small quad into a gym, with Palestinians, Isralis, and Americans lifting stones and doing dips on benches. Then, before dinner, we practiced an hour of Yoga as the sun went down.

In two weeks, we are all piling on to a Public "Egged" Bus, and heading North to Jerusalem for the city's first Marathon. None of us are actually running the whole thing; we are training for the 10k (and couple of folks for the 21k) gives us excuses to run together in the evenings. When we hit the streets, we'll be jogging through the Jaffa Gate, past the Kinesset, and finishing next to the supreme court.

Life at AIES is full of energy and connections that feed a harmony of the mind, body, and soul. We study regional water management during the daytime and play barefoot soccer at night.

The annual regional soccer tournament began last night, which is a BIG deal around here. It had been hyped for weeks - even before I arrived on campus. Our team, with professors from Israel and Turkey, students from Israel, Palestine, Jordan, and the U.S. played even harder than their cheering section hollared. The game went into tie-breaker penalty shots, and I could taste the tension. We lost the match in sudden death over-time, and marched back to campus to sing and play drums. Everyone wanted to win, but losing certainly wasn't going to be getting in the way of celebration!

And yes, we do work too. Until this week, homework was just less exciting than building community with my wonderful classmates. Now that I have settled in, exciting academic and activist projects are underway, which I'll highlight soon!

1 comment:

  1. Your enthusiasm and energy jumps off the page!