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Sunday, April 3, 2011

Close Encounters of the Third Kind

Where are our manners? asks Miss Manners. We have had a number of guests lately whose visits we have failed to write about, so we are correcting the oversight now.

We went up recently with David Kawior (Yes, pronounced "caviar") and his special friend from New York, Blayne Zucker. He, a Columbia University medical exchange student at Ben Gurion University of The Negev, she, a former actress now studying psychology in New York. (Sounds like the intro to a reality TV show.) They are also friends with previous guests Katherine and David, who is also a medical student at BGU.

There's always something going on in the skies above Mitzpe Ramon. On the night we went out, the air force was flying jets and helicopters around and above us. I don't know if this was an exercise or the real deal. In any case a number of helicopters took up positions high in the sky throughout the night, completely remaking normally identifiable constellations. Their favorite constellation was Auriga, the Charioteer, whose pentagonal shape became completely unrecognizable with the helicopters hovering above.

Then the jets started coming. There is a large air force base not far from Mitzpe Ramon, Camp Ramon, and the jets would rise up suddenly above the western walls of the machtesh and then suddenly dive into the crater and fly through it. I try not to shine my green laser at the sky when this is happening since I feel the jets are likely to return fire, and not with green lasers. To cap off the evening a jet flew low over head on our plateau screaming defiance as it went by.

It was definitely a night of close encounters of the third kind. And we still had time to watch the stars.

David and Blayne say, "Keep on lookin' up!"


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