<body><script type="text/javascript"> function setAttributeOnload(object, attribute, val) { if(window.addEventListener) { window.addEventListener('load', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }, false); } else { window.attachEvent('onload', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }); } } </script> <div id="navbar-iframe-container"></div> <script type="text/javascript" src="https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript"> gapi.load("gapi.iframes:gapi.iframes.style.bubble", function() { if (gapi.iframes && gapi.iframes.getContext) { gapi.iframes.getContext().openChild({ url: 'https://www.blogger.com/navbar.g?targetBlogID\x3d14136710\x26blogName\x3dCoreyoria+World+Tour\x26publishMode\x3dPUBLISH_MODE_BLOGSPOT\x26navbarType\x3dSILVER\x26layoutType\x3dCLASSIC\x26searchRoot\x3dhttp://coreyoriaworld.blogspot.com/search\x26blogLocale\x3den_US\x26v\x3d2\x26homepageUrl\x3dhttp://coreyoriaworld.blogspot.com/\x26vt\x3d-4527066864579660442', where: document.getElementById("navbar-iframe-container"), id: "navbar-iframe" }); } }); </script>

Coreyoria World Tour

“All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.”

PHOTOS!!!

29 June 2006
CLICK ME!

Israel Ahoy!

I'm getting pretty settled in here and my everyday is starting to resemble something like a Jewish summer camp. Besides cleaning rooms, I spend my time playing Belgium 11 in the swimming pool, socializing by starlight, wandering around in the killer heat, reading, listening to everyones' stories, and searching for trash that becomes treasure with some imagination. It's not a bad life, not at all. And the people have really been great, too. I finally got a roomie a few days ago. Her name is Ariella and she's from Manchester, England. I've befriended Swedes, Canadians, Israelis ... and people are coming and going all of the time here. The food is good. Lots of veggie options and today for lunch there was some kind of zucchini pine-nut falafel concoction that was wow.

Things are going to be picking up starting tomorrow at the hotel where I work, so things will start to get more hectic. The sun just doesn't stop shining here and everyone walks everywhere with hats and water bottles for protection from the sun. Today I had to sweep around the hotel walkways during the peak of the heat. Now I know what it's like to sweat. It's been getting close to 115 degrees F every day.

I've taken a bunch of photos from friends who went on my Birthright trip with me and I'm going to try to post them onto Flickr soon so I can link to them from here.

Oh, and in case you feel like sending me something (if you don't, no worries), here is my address (it MUST be written just like so):

Corey Polk - Volunteer
Kibbutz Ketura
D.N. Hevel Eilot 88840
Israel

You can call me on my cell phone here (from the US) by dialing:
011-52-580-7160

Or, if there's an emergency, you can contact the volunteer office at:
011-972-8-635-6666

I have been watching the news and I know things seem bad in Israel at the moment, but please know that it is not where I am and I am safe, healthy, and happy.

Always,
Corey

Kibbutz Ketura

25 June 2006
I have arrived here, at Kibbutz Ketura, despite a very shaky start! I had to take a bus by myself from Tel Aviv towards Eilat, so the stress began in the Tel Aviv central bus station where I held up about 50 impatient Israelis as my luggage was thoroughly inspected. 7 floors with hundreds of bus departures, I found the way to my gate, the last gate - number 628, on the 6th floor and waited. Then there were 2 buses going to Eilat at the same time, but I had to get onto the correct one, which thanks to the help of some people, I managed to but I was quite nervous that someone might have misunderstood me. So I'm on this bus for about 4 hours driving through desert and I reminded my bus driver twice that I needed to get dropped off at Kibbutz Ketura, but he was busy chatting on his cell phone and wasn't listening. Then he yells out "Kibbutz Ketura!" at this lonely bus stop in the middle of nowhere and I knew it wasn't the right one because the driveway of the Kibbutz was supposed to be right next to the stop. So I didn't get off the bus, thank goodness, becuase it turns out that the next stop was the one I was supposed to get off at and I did. As I exited the bus, I told the driver I had stuff under the bus and gave the universal hand motion for baggage while pointing down. Again, communication barriers arose and he just smiled and closed the door behind me ... and then started driving off!!! I ran after the bus and began pounding on the sides (at this point my heart is in my throat) and after he realized what was going on, he stopped a few meters down the road. I was never quite so happy to see luggage in all of my entire life. I was almost dropped off in the middle of the desert without any of my belongings! Oy!

Good news is that things got much better from there. I've met a lot of very interesting people, got in some serious pool time, hung out with some dairy cows and camels, climbed up to some mountain huts, listened to lots of conversations in languages I can't understand, consumed muchos houmus and water too (it's effing dry here), stared for hours at stars and the milky way, and ran into a herd of donkeys while going for a night tour through fields of date palms. It's been a very full, very interesting few days. More volunteers are coming this week, including my future roomie. Also, I started my job today. Housekeeping in the Kibbutz hotel called Keren Kolote (pronounced "Karen Colote"). It's a shit job ... I mean, who likes to clean? I'm cleaning up the crap people leaving behind in their rooms. But it's a job, mostly air conditioned, not bad hours, and today I scored a bottle of Dolce & Gabana perfume that someone was so kind to leave behind ... tehehe ... and some body-wash too, which was awesome since I ran out. I hated cleaning the house before but I have a feeling the hatred for this type of work will reach an all new high after this summer. :)

I'm sure I'm leaving out a lot, but it's 9:06pm and I'm running on 3 hours of sleep right now. More information and updates to come ...

Peace and love,
Corey

Farewell Tel Aviv

21 June 2006
Today is my last day here in Tel Aviv with my friends that I met on my Birthright trip. Tomorrow morning, very bright and early, I will be heading south towards Eilat on my way toowards Ketura. Today was a nice lazy day; we spent the morning at the beach, ate lunch at a nice cafe, perused the outdoor markets and shopping areas, and now I'm here to write a post because I'm not sure when the next time I'll be able to will be exactly. Yesterday, we made the mistake of going to the old city of Jaffa, once an Arab shipping port, now home to an arists' colony and I'm not sure how to put this nicely ... lots and lots of crap. Endless flea markets of old crap. Stalls that looked like they hadn't been cleaned in 75 years filled to the brim with mostly anything used, old and crappy that you can imagine (including sex toys -ugh!!!!). So Jaffa is creepy, slummy, and certainly not recommended visiting from moi. We tried to strike it from our memories by catching sunset on our hostel's roof, eating amazing Israeli home-cooking at a very un-touristy spot off the beaten track, and ending up at a local bar that had a great atmosphere, but not-so-great prices. 2 days ago was really the best day though. We went back to Jerusalem (per the suggestion of our friend, Enon, at the hostel who gave us so many great ideas for food and travels, including the afore-mentioned Israeli restaurant) and headed back into the Ancient City. This time it was wonderful. We avoided the tourist traps of the Jewish quarter and wandered right into the heart of the Muslim quarter. Talk about sensory overload! The smell of spices, sounds of haunting Arabic music, the hot sun beating down, the cobblestone roads, goods for sale everywhere, people everywhere wearing traditional garb - I truly felt that I had arrived in the Middle East. There was no hostility toward us and we just walked around, absolutely fascinated. We also walked through the Armenian and Christian quarters and upon leaving walked from the Ancient City to the Ultra-Orthodox ghettos. This is also a spot where few tourists venture and was truly something to see. It was truly a slum and everywhere we turned people avoided eye-contact or looked with disdain. It was self-contained and I have been told that the people who live in this ghetto very seldom leave and very few people come in. There are huge signs upon entering the neighborhood that warn one not to dress immodestly or you will be forced to leave - a rather cold world inside the gates. And everyone looked at though they were thoroughly immersed in thought. So tonight we are going to try to take advantage of some of the nightlife scene here. We haven't yet because it doesn't really get going until between 1-3 am and we've been soooo tired! Well that sums it up. I just bought two pairs of pants for $12 - whatta deal! And I'll catch you all later. Feel free to leave comments or e-mails; I'd love to hear from you!

Shalom,
Corey

Israel Outdoors >> Update From Israel

20 June 2006
Hi all,

All is well in Israel and everyone's having a great time.

We have posted some pictures online from the trip.
To access them, simply go to the following link:
http://www.israeloutdoors.com/login.asp

From there, you can logon with the username of "israeloutdoors" and the password of "birthright".

Click on trip TL-38 June 6-18 to view.

More to come...Nicole

Nicole Barda / Israel Outdoors
Tel: 1-800-566-4611 / Fax: 1-303-379-5262
info@israeloutdoors.com / www.israeloutdoors.com
 

 

Shalom from Sunny Tel Aviv

18 June 2006
I'm here in Tel Aviv and I've had a very productive morning so far. Turns out, the first hostel we went to was a shithole. 5 beds crammed into the smallest room possible and I drew the short straw and ended up on a cot that collapsed in several spots when I sat on it. And it was dirty and hot ... and pretty much miserable. It at the very least provided us with many laughs. We relocated early in the a.m. to a much lovlier hostel at the same price, called the Hayarkon Hostel. Also I took care of changing my flight and I'm flying back into JFK on September 1. Then, my buddies and I made our way to the Kibbutz Program Center where I found out that I will be staying at Kibbutz Ketura, located in the south, just north of the resort town of Eliat. There will be about 40 young volunteers and I actually heard about it from a girl who was in my West African dance class. So on Thursday, June 22, I'm heading there. And I should have consistent internet access so I'll be able to update my blog regularly. Today was pretty much about running errands, tying up loose ends, and taking it easy so my body can recover from the lack of sleep and whirlwind experience of the last 10 days. We also took it easy last night, but plan to really hit the town tonight because Tel Aviv is known for having amazing nightlife. Maybe a little beach time later. The beach here is gorgeous! Tomorrow, we're thinking of a day trip to maybe Haifa or Jerusalem or Jaffa. The nice thing is now we can fly by the seat of our pants and throw all of the structure out the window (as our tour guide, Chen, would have said- "Thanks G-d!"). The forecast here is, as always, sunny, hot, no clouds. Now to go do some laundry ... let's just say I'm wearing my bathing suit because I have no underwear. Too much information? Haha.

If you want my cell phone number, let me know via e-mail. I can recieve free international phone calls. :)

To anyone worrying about me, I'm safe and happy. I'm with several great people, in a good area, and everyone speaks English.

Lots of love from the Promised Land,
Corey

Ciao Israel Outdoors!

17 June 2006
Today is the last day of my Israel Outdoors tour and it is also a Saturday, Shabbat, and so nothing is really going on. I have a few hours to pack and get ready, and then we take off for the airport where I will separate from the rest of my group and make my way into Tel Aviv. I'm staying at a hostel called the Mugraby Hostel, which is located on Allenby St. in central Tel Aviv, a stone's throw from the markets and the beach. Yesterday we were in this vicinity and the markets were absolutely incredible, filled to the brim with life, energy, and of course people. I've loved getting to see so much of the country and people so far and am so thankful I will be continuing my trip here; I'm not at all ready to leave. Although, I really miss soy milk and Caesar (my puppy) ... and of course all of you great people. However, out of 40 people on my trip, there are only 14 of us who didn't hook up with anyone else on the tour and most people hooked up with multiple people plus people from other tours. I don't know about them, but that's definitely not why I chose to come to Israel so let's just say we have different lifestyles and ideas and after all of this untimely incestuous activity, I'm not terribly upset to say goodbye to them all. Well a minute of time left, so adios!

Always,
Cor

Well and Alive!

15 June 2006
Hello, everyone! Sorry for the delay in posting, but I am going to have to keep this short and sweet for lack of time and shequels. First of all, the updates that Israel Outdoors posted are not of my group. Haha, turns out it's the other group, the 18-21 year olds so you might have trouble locating me in these photos. Hopefully this gets sorted out - I am going to let my tour leader know. Anyway, everything here is great! I can't begin to sum up everything I have done over the past week. Golan heights, Tiberias, Tzfat, kayaking and hiking in the Jordan River, visiting the Old City and the Western Wall, camping in Bedouin Camps, climbing Masada, exploring the desert, swimming in the Dead Sea, attending a mega-event with 7,500 Jews and the Prime Minister of Israel ... and much more that I don't have enough time to recapitulate right now. But I am doing great and I'm safe. I must admit it's a bit odd to get used to seeing soldiers walking around with M-16's strapped to their backs, but you'd be surprised how easily you get used to the sight. My group has been interesting. There are some nice people, but I have mostly been abnormally quiet seeing as I don't/can't relate to the majority of my group and feel very much out of my element around these people. That said, I'm ready for the this part of my trip to end in 2 days. After that, a group of about 5 or 6 of us are going to stay at a hostel in Tel Aviv together for a few nights and maybe take some day trips to nearby cities and attractions. After that I am going to take care of getting to a kibbutz. I have a cell phone, but don't have the number on me right now. I can receive free international phone calls and of course I'll be missing you, so I'd love to hear from you. Other than all of that all I have to say is that Israel is an amazing and spiritual place, and the people are lovely and make you feel right at home. It's a good place to be a Jew. More to come later ...

Love and miss you all,
Corey

Israel Outdoors >> Update From Israel

14 June 2006
Hi all,

All is well in Israel and everyone's having a great time.

We have posted some pictures online from the trip.
To access them, simply go to the following link:
http://www.israeloutdoors.com/login.asp

From there, you can logon with the username of "israeloutdoors" and the
password of "birthright".

Click on trip TL-38 June 6-18 to view.

More to come...Nicole

Nicole Barda / Israel Outdoors
Tel: 1-800-566-4611 / Fax: 1-303-379-5262
info@israeloutdoors.com / www.israeloutdoors.com

Nicole Barda / Israel Outdoors
Tel: 1-800-566-4611 / Fax: 1-303-379-5262
info@israeloutdoors.com / www.israeloutdoors.com

Israel Outdoors >> Update from Israel

13 June 2006

Dear Parents and Friends,

Our trip has been amazing so far! During the first part of the trip, we were
in northern Israel where we spent time in the mystical cities of Tsfat and
Tiberias. We also had the opportunity to go on a few hikes in the Golan
Heights and the surrounding area, taste wine from the Golan wineries, and
visit a few beautiful observation points where we saw the entire region
including the boundaries that Israel has with it's Arab neighbors and really
get a grasp of the political conflict in the north. Yesterday was our first
day in Jerusalem and we spent it visiting Mt. Herzl, Israel's military and
national cemetery, and Yad Veshem, Israel's Holocaust memorial and museum.
Today we are touring the Old City/Kotel and will be spending the this
evening at the Taglit birthright Mega event in Jerusalem, which is expecting
to have over 7,000 participants. Also, something special that happened to
our bus yesterday is that we were chosen to send a representative from our
bus to speak at the Taglit birthright Steering committee meeting which was a
wonderful experience for the participant who we chose as well as a proud
moment for our bus. We have a phenomenal tour guide that has made the
experience of being in Israel for the participants memorable.

--Tali & David

Nicole Barda / Israel Outdoors
Tel: 1-800-566-4611 / Fax: 1-303-379-5262
info@israeloutdoors.com / www.israeloutdoors.com