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Lilya P., Nurit P., Gaby, Ricky S. Translator: Hanna K.


On the way we met four military jeeps which left Izbat Tabib when we passed it. One of them by-passed us and entered Azzun. Both on the way there and back, other military vehicles passed us by and the feeling was that of an unusual military presence, which raised speculations and worries amongst the passengers in the car.

Ricky S.

Before we entered the class we chatted with the student girls who crowded around us, as well as with the responsible women. P. the lady responsible told us that they were all volunteers, just like us, and then was interested to know where I was from. I answered that I am from Tel Aviv and she insisted to know where I was from originally. I explained that I was born in Tel Aviv. And then she asked what motivated me/us to volunteer in the villages. I explained to her that we were members of MachsomWatch and that this was one of the organization's activities, which were, at the beginning, activities at the Checkpoints. She said she knows MachsomWatch and others who came to help them during the olive picking season. I explained to her that the activities in the villages are part of a wider political stand of opposition to the occupation. So you wish to do good she summed up and repeated that they were volunteers too. The time arrived for us to begin the lesson and the conversation ended. I hope to continue it next time.

Next Thursday the pupils go on a day trip to Nablus, so there will be no lessons.

About 18 girls arrived to the lesson. We repeated the last lesson. As the story was about a penguin who lived in Japan, we talked a bit about penguins. We exercised the declination of verbs in the present and each group of 2-3 girls construed a story made up from verbs and sentences we learned. As, for some reason, all of them construed stories in the first person, we exercised, together with them, stories in different persons.   We concluded with the song "Row Your Boat", which the girls who had attended the former lesson, wrote on the blackboard and taught the others. The charming girls surrounded me toward the end of the lesson and asked that I should write for each of them her name and family name in Hebrew, and asked personal questions about my family and myself. They told me excitedly about the forthcoming trip to Nablus, and we bid farewell for two weeks.

Nurit P.:

This week I replaced Micky who teaches the fifth grade girls. There are about 15 girls in the class. More girls arrived in the course of the lesson. I began by getting to know them but they asked to sing "We shall overcome" which Micky had taught them last week. It turned out that this song became a hit amongst the girls. We agreed that we would sing at the end, and after I promised to teach them other songs. This I did by integrating the songs in the teaching material. We learned especially the names of the parts of the body and their function (eyes, hands, etc.). I made sure that they knew to read the name correctly. Then we burst out singing loudly "We Shall Overcome". It was moving to watch their enthusiasm when singing.

Lilya P.

17 girls arrived at the lesson. The lesson proceeded in an atmosphere of amusement and laughter and was a bit playful, but pleasant. I cooperated. I think that in their school they are not able to jest thus during the lessons, so why shouldn't   I make it possible for them?

To begin with I repeated with them – usually in unison, according to their request – the simplest sentences. Because of the different construction of sentences betweenHebrew/Arabic and English, they have difficulties with the conjunctions and pronouns.

I continued with community singing (we all remarked that they love singing) and they sang devoutly the song about the small fish and then I taught them "We Shall Overcome". They helped me translating and then an interesting conversation ensued about the meaning of "overcome". The smaller girls interpreted it as "victory" over all the bad ones and when we got to the words "We shall live in peace" they added (in Arabic, and passionately) in liberated Palestine". True? Of course I said joyfully.

Then I asked them to tell in English what they like cooking. They recounted. Some said that they clean the house every day with their sisters. I asked them to prepare again their "Great Dreams" for next time.

Toward the end they asked for a game. Some stood by the blackboard, as teachers as it were, and wrote sentences in English and we had to guess what they meant (it was a bit difficult, as the sweet girls wrote with mistakes).

The lesson was interrupted from time to time because of the kindergarten kids who jump over the fence and stand at the window with very funny expressions. One must ask the tutors to take care of this.