Monday, January 12, 2009

Latest two updates from Khaya Dinsky

12 January 2009

It's 6:10 am. We're after our first siren of the day.

I was only half asleep when it went because Lucky was making funny noises and I kept telling her to be quiet. I didn't remember in my sleep that Lucky has the sharpest hearing of any of our dogs and has done her own version of the siren(wierd noise)when there wasn't a siren and she's always right. So I told her to shut up and then the siren went. 5:45am.Simha and I were out and down in seconds. Lucky saved me the wake up  time and the time it takes when you're asleep to understand that the siren is real and not in a dream.

When the sirens go in the middle of the night(or very early in the morning)not everyone wakes up and some of the neighbors that usually come out into the stairs don't.That's the most dangerous. What if it' falls here??

Anyway, we didn't hear a boom. They say on the radio it was a false alarm. Lucky's behavior says otherwise. But I don't really care.No one got hurt so it's fine with me.

Anyway, we waited and then everyone went home. Simha and I wait longest. All of a sudden we hear a door unlocking. Michael, a neighbor that never comes out(second floor, north side)came out to leave for work. He's always telling everyone that he works so hard and he leaves earlier than anyone else. I said:"Good morning" and he chuckled. Thought that was funny.

Just surrealistic.

Here are some more rocket funnies for you.

One of my friends says she's gaining lots of weight(lot of us are)Anyway, this is her explanation:"One graad for Ashkelon, four cookies for me. Her husband was supposed to start a workshop to stop smoking. But he called and cancelled. He told them :"this isn't a good time to stop smoking"

One of our neighbors' kids  lost her shoe on the way down with the siren and as Simha was running, she grabbed it and threw it to her/

Yesterday, I called all of my pupils again to say hi and see how they are and where they are. The kids were happy to talk. Some more than others. The parents also were happy to talk. One mother told me, that her son that hates school and is often truant "wants to go to school already"/

Another mother told me that she doesn't think she'll send her son to school even if we reopen as long as there are rockets fallling. She said:" you may not know this, but it fell on  T school and the next day on Q school!"" She was talking about the ones across the street from me. So I told her I know all about them. They were right across the street from me and she said;"no way!"

Yesterday we had a cat situation. There's a cat that lives in my building. All the neighbors except for me feed her. Since the rockets have started falling like rain, they all stopped(some are away, some want the stairwell free for running and standing)so I've been feeding her. Since Saturday afternoon no one saw her. But we kept hearing her. Finally Simha "found" her. The cat was on an awning one floor down from me. The neighbors there are away up north for the duration. Next door to them, no one answered when I knocked. Apparently, when the rocket hit across the street on Shabbat and we helped the elderly neighbor, the cat got in and when it wanted to go out the door was closed, so it went out the window. I tried lowering a chair or a cat carrier to her from my window but she was afraid and I didn't have patience.I kept imagining the siren going and me dropping it and running and leaving the window open and one of my cats jumping or falling out. At some point, I saw light by the elderly neighbor. She let me in and I opened the window and called the cat and she's fine.

I just want this to end. I want to air out my apartment. I want everything back where it belongs. I want to go back to work and not be afraid that there'll be a siren on the way or during the school day.

Yesterday when I walke the dogs, I saw the building that got hit on shabbat. Actually, the hit was in the garden of the building. There is a large hole in the wall that has been plastered up and you can see lots of holes from the schrapnel all up the side of the building. And the lower part of the wall is black  like from a fire.

I have to go to physiotherapy. I haven't gone since this "situation" started. But my neck hurts. I keep telling them I'll come if it's quiet and then just before I have to go there's a siren.

Hoping for a quiet day


11 January 2009 


I'm starting this letter at 12:19pm on Sunday.I was about to start it just before 12. I was going to write that it's been quiet so far and that it's a lovely day and if I weren't so scared, I'd probably take advantage of being off from school to go for a walk down to the beach. But just as I sat down at the computer, the siren went. We heard the boom, but don't know where in town it landed. Certainly not as close to us as yesterday.They say it landed "in open areas" and there were no injuries, that's what's important.

Okay, I woke up with the radio broadcasts at 6am, as usual. I will be so happy never to hear again :Darom 101/5fm,Darom" That's how they start at 6am and end at 12pm.

Went back to bed and slept some more, until the radio started a siren and stopped in the middle. Turns out the siren was in Beersheva(landed on a car, no injuries, several shell-shocked) and someone somehow mixed the frequencies. About a half an hour later, Shlomo called to say that he's back in Beersheva. Now I have to worry about him again. Oish.

I stayed in bed watching tv and noticed that I have a tic in my left cheek. I'm assuming this is a stress reaction.

Got up and walked the dogs. Close to houses and short. Met two neighbors at the door to the building and we started speakin. Ruti ended the conversation by saying:"I'd better throw this garbage in the  the garbage bin before the siren goes." Only after I got home did I realize that that is not a normal thing to say or think, really.

My principal called today to see how I am. Nice. She actually went to school and was calling all the staff. Well, one person could make it from the office to the shelter in time.

The big topic today is school. They've started returning kids to school all over the south. Beni Vaknin, Ashkelon's mayor told them to forget it. He's not taking responsibility for sending kids to unprotected schools when rockets are still falling. Simha's teacher called last night that on Tuesday 11th and 12th graders in her school(just out of the city)are learning. I told Simha to forget it. The way to school is long and dangerous and the school is not protected with enough shelters.Do you think it's a coincidence that the rockets at Beersheva were at 7:30 when the kids there were on their way to school??

I don't think you can imagine it. My school has almost 800 kids/ If the siren goes, the kids run into the hallway and sit against the wall. There is a part of the hallway that has a second story. Also some parts that don't. The classes on the top floor don't have enough time to get downstairs, so they go under the tables. If you've seen the pictures of the schools and kindergartens that were empty when hit, it's clear to you that the tables are useless and that if a rocket hits an occupied classroom there will be dead children.

We have two bomb shelters in the school.They can hold about 100-150 kids. They are stuffy and hot. You can't really spend the day there and learn.

It's very Israeli to want to "get back to normal" and act like everything is "routine" and "okay"The truth is , that would be nice. I'm going stir-crazy. Bored but not able to concentrate in order to read or do anything useful.Can't go for a long walk.

We've closed off the bedrooms to keep the cats and dogs away from the windows when the siren goes. The blinds are closed and the windows taped. Supposed to make for less glass shards. In the living room, also, which is where wer are most of the time. Sleep there too. But we don't open the windows there to air out because there is a roof under us and the cats like to go out. What would we do if they're out and the siren goes????

just now the radio announced : siren in Kiryat Malachi siren in Kiryat Malachi/ The first thing you do is jump. The second thing you do is say to yourself, it's not here, it's in Kiryat Malachi.The third thing is to go in the other room and make sure there is no siren here as well. There have been times when they shot several rockets at the same time and the radio says them one after the other. So they could be saying "siren Kiryat Malachi and siren Ashdod " and it could also be here in Ashkelon. I almost missed one siren that way but luckily Simha was out the door and I ran after her yelling, I'ts not here it's not here and then realized that all the neighbors were also running downstairs and that I was hearing the siren in the background. Even when everything is okay, it takes me a

couple of hours for my heart to get back to normal and my head to stop hurting.

I hope the rest of the day will be quiet.



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