Instead of staying at the kibbutz resort this evening and having dinner at the buffet with the older contingent of our group, I went to the mall with the other 2 young families in hopes of finding a store that might carry a USB cable so I could upload pictures to this blog. Even though a USB cable was on my packing list and I was reminded a couple of times to bring one, I still managed to not pack it.
The girl at the camera store didn`t have a cable that matched up with my camera but had a universal cable that appeared to fit.
Our plan was to spend about an hour at the mall picking up supplies, have a quick dinner and then back to the kibbutz where there was to be a flashlight hike through the woods followed by a bonfire, singsong, marshmallow roast. This was to be mainly for the kids so in the end I decided to opt out and upload pictures instead. But wouldn`t you know it, the stupid cable didn`t work. I don`t think pictures are going to happen until I get home.
I walked to the main building pretty pissed off at the cable thing and had a capuccino outside by myself. I figured I shouldn`t be messing around doing computer stuff so decided to find the bonfire. I managed to find it about a kilometer away by just following the music.
There was an Israeli folksinger leading the grownups in song while the kids were running around the bonfire roasting marshmallows. I went to look for my niece and nephew by the fire. Zachary found me and gave me one of his marshmallows. I stood around watching the kids when all of a sudden one of the boys starting screeching and was running wildly looking for his mother. Even as he found her, the instensity of his screaming increased. I looked around the ground and saw lots of stray embers and figured he must have burned himself. I looked down at my sandals and noticed that most kids were wearing similar footware and how stupid wearing sandals was at a fire with embers everywhere. There was a crowd of grownups gathering around the screaming child when I felt a sharp pain on my upper arm. I brushed at my arm thinking that a flying ember had just caught me but that wasn`t it. I realized I had just been bitten by something. By this time word came out from the group of people around the screaming boy that the source of his agony was also a sting. Another adult had also just got stung.
Very quickly the singsong broke up and everyone scattered. As we left, my 9-year old niece Tali, let out a shriek and collapsed to the ground. She too had just been stung in the leg. In between the crying and screaming, she claimed she didn`t see anything and it was a monster that caused her this pain. Her father picked her up and carried her to safety. Another member of our group who happens to be a doctor came running out of the woods to see if he could be of assistance, tripped on a rock and cut his leg.
The victims were all brought to the main hall where ice cubes were applied to wounds. The injured sat around sharing the experience even though we didn`t all speak the same language. After a while the kids calmed down and people dispersed to their rooms.
I never saw what stung me and there were no bees or wasps in evidence so Tali could have been right, perhaps it was a monster.
Tomorrow we`re going kayaking.
Good night from Kibbutz Ha Goshrim in northern Israel.