Jordan Valley, Escorting shepherds, as the spring growth turns yellow

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Rachel and Victor Translation: Naomi Halsted

We spent the day with the Nidal family – a routine escorting day. It was hot as hell. There was still some greenery left, but you can imagine how it will look in a few days from now. The fields were full of thorns and even the sheep turned their noses up. They suffer more from the heat than from hunger. Me too.

The heat was the story of the day. Around midday we returned home to give the sheep and ourselves some water. 

The shepherd fell asleep. So did Victor. The children and I had fun playing. It was my first visit here. The two families are brothers. The place is clean and well looked-after. Nidal controls the sheep with a firm hand and a stick.

Later, we went back for another round in the heat. We walked along the road, eastward and westward.

Nothing out of the ordinary happened. We briefly caught sight of a cowboy settler above us on Har HaBoker. The man in the photo is Victor who came with me. I’d write something about him because he’s interesting, but perhaps that wouldn’t be ethical. Every day I do escorting, I meet different escorts. It’s a sort of very positive side-effect of escorting shepherds, no doubt. They’re all interesting men and women and, of course, splendid anarchists.

Six hours in the sun took their toll. I was evidently dehydrated and we went home. Three days in bed with no energy and then it was back to life. At least if an Iranian missile doesn’t fall on us this week.

Sadly, it’s the last time I’ll go out with the shepherds this season. The summer is impossible. The sea has always been the answer. This time, we’ll have to look for a new answer for seaside camps for Palestinian children. Maybe I’ll return to the families of Parsiya to be what Miki calls a “protective presence.”

Bye-bye sheep and goats.