On Sunday, 29 August we arrived in the small beachside city of Ashkelon. We dragged our bags into our rooms in the fifth, sixth or seventh floors third tower of Beit Canada absorption center. I live in apartment 3602 which has a wonderful view of the city. I have to admit, I’m jealous of those who have a view of the ocean instead.
Just to fill you in, an absorption center is a place (a gated set of apartments, really) where new immigrant families can live while they adapt to being Israeli. They learn hebrew through Ulpan, and focus on acquiring skills so they can be productive members of the workforce. Just like the עולים חדשים [olim chadashim] – new immigrants, our OTZMA group is also taking ulpan. So far we’ve had only two days. I’m still learning my א-ב [aleph-bet].
Most of the population of the absorption center is Ethiopian, and a large portion of them are children. With an average of four children per family, there are a lot of kids. A few girls greeted us with a traditional Ethiopian dance, and everyone danced to some Waka Waka. I swear, I’ve heard that song more often here in Israel than I ever did when I was in South Africa during the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
All in all, I love our new home.
You can find more photos on my Flickr account.