Friday, 25 August 2017

The Negev desert and the beginning of new life of Inna

Hi there! It’s been a while since my last sewing-related post, but I am afraid that I won’t be sewing any time soon. Many things have changed in my life, some of which I’d like to share with you on the virtual pages of my blog. If you are interested to learn more, please keep on reading.

So, what’s going on? At the beginning of August, being utterly unhappy at my job of ten and a half years in a large corporation, I resigned and decided to travel the world (or, rather, some parts of the world) in order to discover who I am, learn new skills and upgrade the old ones, meet people and broaden my horizons. Lots of stuff!

Where I am now? Presently, I am in Israel, in the Negev desert, volunteering at a pomegranate farm until the end of October.

I am here!

Why am I doing this? The short answer: to literally see the fruits of my work and to find satisfaction in doing it. At my previous job in the office, most of my work was done on the computer and it was invisible, virtual. I craved to do something tangible and more physical: the reason why I decided on this particular volunteering opportunity at the farm.

Now, after two weeks of quite intense physical labor, I can tell you that I have never been happier! Here, unlike in my previous job, or any other office job for this matter, there is no place for bullshit: if I do something, people see it and react immediately and there is no need for me to promote my project, creating “political alliances” and “fan groups”. It feels incredibly gratifying to be appreciated by the actual results of my work.

Going back to my experience at the farm, so many exciting things happening that I don’t even know where to start. Maybe I’ll introduce you to desert first.

Before, I have never, even remotely, thought about desert as a potential place for travel, yet alone for living, but now, after spending couple of weeks here, I could totally settle in this place for a few years, and I am not kidding. Prior to coming here,  I thought about desert as a hostile element, completely unappealing and unfriendly. But as it turned out, desert is friendly, generous, and full of surprises (if you think that nothing happens here and it's all quiet you are so wrong!), but it’s not for the weak hearted. Nobody, who I met here, is local to the Negev. The majority of them relocated here quitting nice jobs and amazing careers in big cities, even moving from abroad. Some moved to this place escaping their not so happy-go-lucky everyday life, like one guy, who ran away from his religious family. Whatever reason pushed those people to start a new life in this desert, everybody brought with them quite heavy emotional baggage, millions of interesting stories and tons of positive energy. They also, like me, came here to find answers.

One of my favourite places in the ares

Desert is not the easiest place to live, especially if you are a farmer: one requires lots of water, patience, resilience and determination to grow crops on sand dunes. As in any business, the first years are the toughest and I heard stories about farmers, who abandoned their land after a short while, losing all hopes to make living out of it. The owner of the the farm I am staying at cannot call himself profitable, but he believes in his dream and works twice as hard to achieve his goal of growing a perfect kind of pomegranate. Four years ago, he had to destroy his entire orchard (approximately 2 000 trees) as a result of unfortunate combination of ineffective fertiliser and new to him type of fruits imported from Turkmenistan. Now, he grows another kind of pomegranate, which he exports to Europe and Canada and which, I really hope for him, will soon bring profit.

Picking fruits at a research centre

Same research centre

This is our farm, Milagro

Next time, I will tell you more about the farm and work I am doing. Even better, I’ll try to make a video!

Please, don't hesitate to comment or ask questions! What would you like to know about desert, farming, Israel or pomegranates?

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