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  • A half moon hovered shyly over the low hills. The air was dry and warm, and once the diesel fumes dissipated, a mild aroma of sage could be detected. A hundred meters past where the bus had stopped was the start of another road, a junction. I walked toward the intersection, stashed my bags inside a bus shelter and strategically positioned myself under the glow of a streetlamp. Then I made the phone call.

    The line rang and rang. Finally, at the tenth ring, I heard someone pick up and the faint sound of breathing. Since nobody spoke, I initiated the conversation.

    “Uhhh . . . hello? Hello, is Yacob there?”

    “Sorry?” responded the distant voice of an older woman.

    “My name is Daniel. I’m the Canadian volunteer. Is Yacob there?”




    “Yacob!” I over-enunciated loudly. “I’m standing on the side of a highway. There is a man who is supposed to pick me up.”



    “I don’t know anything about goats!” said the very confused woman, her thick Israeli accent reminding me that I was in a truly foreign place.

    “There is no Yacob there?”



    My heart raced. I had assumed that the logistics of getting to the goat farm would be simple: get on bus, hop off bus, greet whoever was eagerly awaiting my arrival, drive to the farm, be welcomed by a sea of affectionate goats. But clearly my optimism was laced with a heavy dose of naivety. I didn’t know what to do next. What is the standard protocol when stranded on an Israeli highway, trying to find a goat farmer named Yacob?
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