I thought to share with you same hilarious things that happened while I conducted an environmental survey for Earth’s Promise in the Gimmel neighborhood in Be’er Sheva. One of the questions in the survey was if the environmental situation in Gimmel should be improved. And if yes, how would the respondent like to see it improved. One week I interviewed several people living on the same street and almost all of them where complaining about the old and empty abandoned houses that had stayed the same for more than 20 years. People wanted to get rid of those houses. The next week the houses were pulled down. When I met the people living on that street the next time, they were all thanking me. I told that I had absolutely nothing to do with it, but only a few of them believed me. Still weeks after it, if I ran into them, they were saying how thankful they were :)

But this was only the beginning… One part of the survey dealt with recycling and many people complained about the lack of recycling bins and hoped for more recycling options. I finished conducting the survey in January and flew to Finland for a holiday. When I came back in February, I was shocked (in a positive way :)). The municipality of Be’er Sheva had launched its new recycling program and in February alone 1400 new recycling bins were placed on the streets of Beer Sheva as well as in educational institutions. The change on the streets was huge. The first days after coming back I felt that I only saw recycling bins everywhere. I was laughing to myself that maybe someone in Gimmel thinks that the survey made the change happen. And it didn’t take long for the first people to address me expressing their thankfulness for the new recycling bins. And again, it didn’t really help to explain that I had nothing to do with the change.

Many respondents hoped for playgrounds for the children or for new parks. And I guess you already know that I’m about to write that it happened as well. This spring Gimmel got at least one new area like that. Also, many people complained about the condition of the roads. And what do you know, some roads in Gimmel are now being improved.

Altogether 372 residents of Gimmel answered to the survey, 140 of them I interviewed personally. I spent countless hours and days on the roads of Gimmel and not only on the roads, also in so many living rooms and on yards. I listened to so many life stories and really learnt to love Gimmel and its people <3 So if you are ever in Be’er Sheva, I recommend you to explore Gimmel. It might surprise you :)

I also want to say goodbye to all of you since I’m now finishing my year of internship at Earth’s Promise. It’s been good, I’ll miss everyone. But now it’s time to step into new adventures :) -Heli