I know there have been some rumors flying about today, so I am posting the day's update about what MBI Kaf's Tuesday August 8 was like.
In the morning MBI set out for "lifta-town". Lifta is an area outside of Jerusalem named for a village that was located here before Israel's war of Independence. Today MBI was planning on helping as volunteers with the building of a community art center for underprivileged youth. The plans are for the center to have both residential and daytime activities for area youth. MBI spent time helping to move rocks that will eventually be used to build an outdoor stairwell as well as moving brush from what will be the building's main grounds. Unfortunately, the time was cut short after only an hour and a half of working. Even from such a short amount of time, the staff were very appreciative and invited all of MBI to come back and visit when the center is open.
The work was stopped and MBI was brought together for Gil to speak to them. Earlier in the morning, MBI staff came upon a scenario where an MBI participant entered a staff member's room at the hotel and stole the narcotic medication of another participant. With the information they had, this was the only reasonable conclusion they could come to after 3 hours of trying to find any other possibility. What followed was a total stoppage of all MBI activity as the whole group was told about the situation, and also told that no MBI programming would run until more information came forward about what happened. This situation was treated with the severity of what the staff thought had happened. For the first part of this time, MBI was still at the work site but sitting either in the shade outdoors or inside an air conditioned room. After 2 hours they left and took the buses back to their hotel at Nes Harim. Here they were going to meet in their small kvutzot and see if any more information arose.
Soon after this started, more information did become available to our staff and it changed their conclusion. After receiving more information we realized their had been a mistake and a misunderstanding. All of the pills were where they were supposed to be. While that few hours were not fun or pleasant for anybody involved, the most important thing that comes out of this is that every person on MBI is healthy, safe, and that nobody stole or lied. This is a good thing and though some may be frustrated with what happened today we feel confident that we were reacting responsibly and appropriately to the incident and the severity of what we though had happened.
As soon as the scenario changed, our staff looked at their watches and did what they could to still complete those parts of today's itinerary still available. Bus 1 set off immediately to go see the Blind Museum/Dialogue in the Dark. This is a special museum in which the exhibitions and are in total darkness. These MBI-ers were led through by blind guides through a completely dark environment where each person had to learn to interact by relaying on other senses. Buses 2 and 3 did not leave the hotel but instead had a relaxing and calm afternoon to hang out and each group really appreciated the down time.
All of MBI met back together for dinner, and afterwards participated in a basketball tournament that had been organized by a few of the MBI-ers. Each Machaneh (camp) fielded a team and competed against each other. The games were competitive, but still had a really fun and positive atmosphere. Some teams played for the silliness and others were more serious. Almost all of MBI was there on the sidelines either playing or cheering. Every team played a game tonight and during part of tomorrow the second round of the tournament will be played. The winning team will then go on to play.... the staff team.
By the end of the day it seemed that the whole group had moved on from the drama in the earlier part of the day and was excited to get a chance to have fun with each other. Tonight everyone should be getting a good nights sleep and wake up ready for tomorrow.
There are four days left of MBI Kaf, and the group is ready to make the most of them and truly have the best summer ever.
Till next time,