On trips of this kind, it’s almost always we, the AACI-ers, who board the bus and head off to where the people we are going to meet happen to be. Except in the evening after dinner, when our featured speakers come to where we are staying to delight us with their well-chosen words. With one slight wrinkle. I mentioned that on this trip we had two busloads of folks, and we were staying at different hotels. Our group had to get back on the bus to go the few minutes to the Harlington Hotel, more of a ‘business hotel,’ which has conference rooms that could accommodate all 80+ of us. Each night we heard a different speaker, each from a very different background, but who wound up doing very similar things, under the radar that the media use to decide who is important and who is not. Neither of them had much to say about themselves and a lot of about what they were doing. (Maybe that’s why they remain under the radar.) Continue reading
Should you find yourself on a future AACI Study Trip, be forewarned that you will be asked (and reminded, but in a nice way) to fill out the evaluation form and rate 1) how well the trip was run; 2) all about the accommodations –the service, the food; 3) how good was the guide; 4) every place on the itinerary. No surprise, people don’t always agree. But to get a division of the house, yea or nay, that’s rare.
We had started out the next day (that’s Wed., if you’re keeping track) and made our first stop at the Sderot Media Center, a place that engendered opposing feelings by those of us on the trip. To be fair, its director and guiding light, Noam Bedein, was not around, and the task of explaining what is going on there was left to another young man. Maybe he just wasn’t up to the task. Dov did tell us about his own experiences: how the rocket attacks in recent years put a complete kibosh on his plans to do graduate work at the university in Beersheva, as well as wreaked havoc on his bronchial system. His take on the current situation was markedly different from what we heard from many of the other folks we talked with. Continue reading