Aside

How the heck did that happen?

Over 150 people from Ottawa alone are going on this trip. There are several tours and a good number of people just doing their own thing around the country. I’m leaving on the 5th, with the Adventure Israel Tour. It’s the tour the Ottawa Jewish Federation is leading and therefore the one my husband is on (as head of the Federation) and therefore the one I am on. Those who actually know me will find it amusing that I am on a tour promising hiking and rappelling and all kinds of action. That’s okay. I’m there to report, so I will be describing how the others rappel.

Three other people will also be blogging (that I know of) as we travel through the country: Barbara Crook, a Canadian philanthropist and journalist who fell so much in love with Israel that she now has a home there as well and is getting pretty good at speaking Hebrew; Benita Siemiatycki, who runs the info centre at the Ottawa JCC and hosts a monthly TV show called Shalom Ottawa; and Sharon Finn, who is a committed volunteer in the Ottawa community and is leading the Adventure Tour along with her husband Paul.

Their posts will all be on the Federation’s blog, here. I’ll add the link to the blog roll. If you know of anyone else doing something similar, I’d be happy to add them to the blogroll too. Just click on ‘contact me’ and let me know.

We’ve also added an Israeli photographer to our ranks, Ehud Melamed. I have yet to meet him, but his photographs are gorgeous.

As everyone heads into high gear, we keep discovering new details that need to be dealt with and new glitches as well. Here’s a small example – our registration site, which accepts online donations – doesn’t let you donate twice within a 24-hour period. So if you have two friends going and want to give them each a donation, you have to do it on different days. This is, understandably, incredibly annoying, but it is built into the system we got and until it started happening, it was something we never thought to ask about. We have a very long list of things to change for next year based on these sorts of issues.

And, as someone who gets to troubleshoot a lot of these sorts of issues, I’d like to thank everybody who has encountered such problems for your incredible patience. You are a kind and forgiving bunch of people, who really seem to understand that creating this sort of dragon boat festival is unprecedented and that we are winging it the best we can. Next year, we’ll be a well-oiled machine!

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