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Well, I'm floating now...

Only a few of us reading this are going to remember Ki talking about riding bulletproof buses from her house and going through tunnels toward Jerusalem and using the internet center in the Central Bus Station for privacy: I'm sure she posted some entries from here. I've just done exactly that. The bus station was *right on the same street*, the address I first used to send her money for prints is permanently remembered from 2005.

What Lachan School is all about is hope. I felt it all over the place and I saw it on the faces of the kids. They feature one-on-one teaching, maybe -two or -three, very small classes by American standards. While I was there, one of the girls announced that she had just achieved the acceptance scores on the highest level of English, I led the applause.

The location is pretty nondescript, the driver got lost four times and Yoni was talking us in as he could see us come over up and down the hills, it was hilarious. 150 shekelim to get there, 6.4 to get back on the bus [about $45 out, $1.95 in.] The spirit is great, many of the kids do their own building work in the common rec areas. We don't really have anything like it in America, Lachan's a school running from 8AM Sunday to the middle of Friday [if you live there, and you can] and then it shuts down for the weekend [cost of Sabbath Friday night food and a Rabbi and the unavailability of teachers on Fri and Sat.] So it's kind of a drop-in / drop-out boarding school. For commuters, classes start at 8 and finish at 1, communal meal at 1:30, activities in the afternoon. Separate dorms for guys and girls. That works fine [usually.]

The meal is the big big thing. A single long oval table with 40 chairs. Required for everyone.

Ki lives within sight of the school but she felt so welcomed there that she asked to have her own sleeping area in the dorms instead of home. [Which they happily gave her.] One of her best subjects was Political Science / Local Governance / Civics, where she bonded with her teacher so much that he was the first one the School called when the news came from Evergreen. Yoni talked about how shy Ki was, at the beginning --- and how much all the teachers loved her.

Somehow Yoni [co-founder and "headmaster"] wanted me to look in at the lounge, where there were four girrls atm, one wanted to go to Amsterdam with me because she couldn't go without an "adult" [Brad hears *that* and has second hilarious experience in ten minutes], we all held a spontaneous class for Yoni about American and British pro sports [another was from London and she instantly smiled when I mentioned Beckham and Manchester United.] A third, from Moscow named Alina, asked if I wanted anything to eat and promptly zoomed off to the kitchen, delivered these three big plates of omelet and fresh veggies and bread and butter to Yoni's office, where we'd gone, [I was the only one eating.] She loves to cook, she kept saying....and her English is as good as her culinary art. When they found out I was an ESL teacher they all did verbal performances for me.

They asked where I was going now and I said nowhere, I keep on finding heaven in Israel, I am going to stay here and move in to their big refrigerator and they could just leave kosher plates outside the door.

Like everything else in Ki's life for me, it all went too fast. {For you too, I know.]

All in the space of two hours: linkages to timelessness. Yoni blew out a couple of meetings to keep ours going. He drove me across the hill where have a beautiful new plot of land, just awarded by the City, on a plateau overlooking a valley where their new expanded school will be built. But they are building a lot more than schoolrooms. Lots of hope for kids everyone else has given up on. That's what I was doing when she left, in fact. So it all resonated. I told Yoni that.

It all makes me totally float.

http://www.lachancenter.org/who_eng.htm or just google Lachan and Yoni Riskin.

There was a time along here when I could not wait to scoot off to Europe.

Not anymore.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 11th, 2008 06:10 am (UTC)
I think you could find heaven anywhere you went. :) But I am glad you're finding it there. *hugs*
Sep. 14th, 2008 09:47 am (UTC)
Awwwwwwww meow. I'm finding it here by the Holland canals, too.

Maybe it's following me around?
Sep. 14th, 2008 11:20 am (UTC)
Nope. You're taking it with you wherever you go. :)
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )


kiota too late for the stars
Moonfire Marion Bridge / Brad

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