Sunday, December 12, 2010

A heat wave followed by a cold wave in December 2010 .

The last time I wrote was in August. The summer was extremely hot and did not want to end. The Jewish holiday season was early this year and it came to an end in late September.

From the 30 September till 2 October I attended an International Conference arranged by the University Wolverhampton and University Salzburg "Children and War: Past and Present". When there was a call for papers I send in an abstract about "Motherless Daughters in the aftermath of the Shoa". It was accepted and I flew for 5 days to Salzburg to present the paper. I was taken good care of by Angelika Schlackl, who had also been my host 2006 when I told the story of a Jewish Family, my family in several schools including 7-9 year olds in elementary schools in Linz Austria. Apart from presenting my paper I also spoke in several schools. Flying with assistance makes it possible for me to get about in the vast airports in a wheelchair. But all told I got home exhausted.

It was still very hot. That is probably what caused the fire of the Carmel Forest to turn into an uncontrollable inferno. I sat speechless in front of the television. Having lived for 40 years in Haifa I spend a lot of my time walking in the forests and knew all the places that were directly involved and damaged. Many homes were destroyed and 43 people lost their lives trying to save others from the fire. Firefighters and airplanes from all over the world came to our assistance. In the end the rain put out the last glowing branches.

The heat wave all of a sudden turned into cold wave, sand storms in the south, rain in the north and snow on Mt. Hermon. A weekend of sea waves several meters high, storms that felled trees and all told, it caused a lot of damage.

The last few weeks I have been engaged activities for the local neighborhood elections. I was asked to be a candidate. Lots of messages and meetings, from among 8 candidates for 2 positions I was the oldest one, the youngest was 24 years old. Since I need a walker to get around, as many others my age do, my main interest is, seeing that the old people in my neighborhood get their fair share of cultural activities within walking distance and to arrange inter-generational encounters. I have been active on that line for years and will continue doing so whether I get elected or not.

If I do not manage to keep in touch with all my friends and acquaintances on a personal level, please forgive me or add a few extra hours to the 24 hours or perhaps an extra day to the week. No, better not. I have enough on my plate.

All the best to my readers.

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