Day 13 of the war
Eric called! Just as Sunday's news of Friday's sighting was wearing thin (it even sounds long), today Jacques' phone rang. Eric managed to borrow another phone. Now knows we are both local, which he called unnecessary but 'adorable' - basically Eric sounds exactly like - Eric. He is outside Gaza for a few hours, but as yesterday's news showed, 'near' Gaza is not at all safe. There is nothing he doesn't know, the stories of the dead and wounded lead these soldiers everywhere they go, and we hope it makes them extra focused and extra careful. We know Eric and the other soldiers are worrying, ironically, that their parents are worrying and they try to call home to allay our fears. But he says soldiers are taking care of each other out there.
The Garin Tzabar program announced it is offering the lone soldiers whose home bases are kibbutzim in the south the chance to relocate to a safer kibbutz up north. Eric's kibbutz, Ein HaShlosha, for example, has a tunnel underneath it, just as Nachal Oz. That gave me hope of an imminent leave. But Eric just chuckled, and said no one is going 'home' until this it's over. Another week. I hope.