Saturday, May 21, 2005

This morning a tiny weblog-conference, with two bloggers participating, took place in northern Israel. Me and my family went to visit Letters from Rungholt's Lila and her family in their kibbutz. Lila and I had already met once at the university where both of us are working/studying, and - apparently because we seem to have quite a lot in common - we have stayed in contact through our weblogs ever since. Lila had suggested another meeting so we could talk about something that she is working on ( she loves Dutch art of the Golden Age; me too, although I hardly know anything about it, whereas she is a real expert ). It was clear that making an appointment in the middle of the week would be difficult, so I suggested a weblog/family meeting in Lila's kibbutz, an idea accepted enthusiastically by both Lila and my wife.
Lila and Y., her husband, and their four children were excellent hosts. Our children had a great time, and so did we. It is always wonderful for city-dwellers like us to be in a kibbutz, being able to walk around without ( really ) having to worry about traffic and other urban dangers. The main subjects of conversation that came up during the tasty breakfast, the visit to the playground, the sheepfold ( I hope this is the right name for the place where the sheep are raised and milked, in Hebrew you call it a "dir kvasim", I knew the word 'dir' only in connection with pigs ) and the horses' stable: blogging, our studies, raising kids in general and our children in particular, Israel's education system, the kibbutz, the fact that both Lila and I had quite a good life here in Israel and would never be able to return to Germany/Holland for an unlimited period of time. Our daughter, who started out with her usual shyness, towards the end of our visit got along very well with their youngest daughter. As afraid as she normally is of animals, together with her brother and Quarta ( although Lila writes much more about her personal life than I do, she does not mention the names of her children, instead she gives them ordinal numbers in Latin ) our daughter even petted a horse and fed it some straw. Lila, Y., my wife and I also got along very well, and I think we will meet again in the future.
Later today or tomorrow you will probably be able to read a more extensive report on this morning's meeting on Lila's blog, written in beautiful German ( and in much more ornate prose than mine ) and interlaced with more personal observations and impressions. I am sure that the internet is fested with bigots and that some worldwide bloggers could very well be maniacs, serial killer or other unpleasant creatures. Still, all the people whom I somehow met through my weblog give the impression of being very nice, very friendly, very respectful of and interested in ( most ) other people's opinions ( without the need to agree: in Paris I met a very friendly and pleasant conversation partner whose views in many fields are more or less the opposite of mine ), very much willing to make this world a slightly better place to live in, etc. etc. As with all inventions, it is possible to use this fascinating phenomenon called blogging for whatever purpose you choose.

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