January 05, 2007

Shelter Life

Bomb shelters, unwelcoming on the outside

Day 2 of our Leading Up North community service was all about painting more bomb shelters. After breakfast, we divided into new teams on the bus and got dropped off at various locations to do our work. This time we were all feeling more confident with the job, so many people abanonded their generic stencil templates to paint their own visions. Here are a few from my shelter:

Sam and his unusual but festive creation, (I think it is an alligator wearing yellow sunglasses, and vomiting)

My dragon-gator asks, "Who wants a hug?" as he points to the closest bunk bed

Fellow paint crew members were concerned that a rat would be too scary for children who might use the bomb shelter, but I proved them wrong ... I hope.

This was the darkest and scariest alcove in the shelfter, just below the staircase. It needed some love, so I painted a teddy bear. Gal gave him balloons.

Little fellows I painted at the heads of two bunk beds

Tzvi and his bee

After a few hours of painting, we converged in a great lawn for lunch, and to meet Andy, the woman who conceived of the bomb shelter painting program. She came up with the idea during the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict, when she found herself and her children in depressing surroundings as they waited out the war in a shelter. After seeking government assistance with a painting program, but to no avail, the artist took it upon herself to paint shelters with her kids. Just a few colors and designs made a world of difference ... Her kids couldn't wait to go back into the shelters to play!

Painting the bomb shelters was Andy's idea

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