The girl's (bdo) officer and mashakit tash (sort of military social worker) came to visit yesterday. They came to discuss the special privileges she will receive as a "hiyelet bodedah" (lone soldier: a soldier whose parents are out of the country). They were very nice, polite, soft spoken young women. It always amazes me that they let kids run the army, but in truth they seem to do a very good job. They came well prepared with answers to all our questions and dealt with us in a most respectful and thoughtful way. She will get a few hundred shekels extra on her paycheck, but more importantly we will get a break on city taxes, electricity and water. This can be quite significant, because the "home on the range" is quite expensive to run and we intend to leave it in the care of Heckle and Jeckle (risk taking at its extreme). The whole interview was quite interesting, with the young ladies (who refused to eat or drink anything) politely asking questions about our plans and our household situation. All very professional and orderly, but they did arrive an hour late.
Believe it or not I am sitting, once again, in the Dan lounge here at BG airport on my way to Heathrow. The more or less 48 hours spent at home was definitely worth the 10 hours of flight time to get here. All flights are completely full and the airport is buzzing. At least I got a bit of breakfast.
A video postcard from Port Elizabeth
1 hour ago