Saturday, June 6, 2009
Day 21: Mixed-up Friday
A topsy-turvy day is my only excuse for not blogging promptly. The grass fire Thursday burnt all around our site but didn't penetrate it. We generally keep the weeds low, this is was probably the reason. It burnt some of our shade tent ropes though, it came that close. It has the benefit of letting us see the ground a lot better and one staff member is prowling around looking for the area to start the next 10 years of work. (We expect locusts or frogs to hit next week.)
There are areas near our site (starting half-way up the hill in the picture above, for example) that are fenced off as old mine fields. There was a Syrian military position near here that the Israeli Army captured (though not easily) during 1967 war and both sides had mine fields around the border. The fire set off a number of them.
We went out a later in the morning but only stayed a few hours - The air was a bit foul and ash was flying a little. Most of us came out later in the day though. A huge flock of storks was circling around in the late afternoon but I think they had to move on a little to find a good unburnt spot to settle.
I was fortunate enough to be invited out in the evening by the staff to go with them to the home of Israeli friends of the Omrit excavation. (My bike seller (!) and his wife (who works at Tel Hai)). It was a nice meal and good conversation. There were tables set up outside where we ate - which reminded me of some similar good times I had many years ago in Afghanistan.