Friday, April 16, 2010

Taking Down the Caravilla

Taking Down the Caravilla*
by Sara Layah Shomron

My caravilla has been dismantled and trucked out of Nitzan now that my family has moved into a real house with real walls.

At first glance, the pre-fab factory built caravillas at the various Gush Katif DP camps look attractive on the outside complete with stylish terra-cotta red tile roofs, exterior yucko-stucco pre-fab walls, and lawns. They are tucked away into secluded neighborhoods. But a second look indicates it is all cosmetic.

They are powerful reminders of government deception.

Let’s look at the guts of the 90 meter caravilla*

*my camera’s dates were not properly set and are not accurate.


Batya said...

Sara Laya, thanks for the inside scoop!

Sara Layah said...

Batya, I love the pun!

abigail said...

Good riddance to that leaky box and all it represents.

Unknown said...

What percentage are these 90 meters of your original home in the Gush?

Keli Ata said... sounds so much nicer than in the US where we call similiar tin boxes FEMA trailers. Israel gave the exterior of their trailers the illusion of a stable home.

Keli Ata said...

Seeing the caravallas dismantled has an almost Twilight Zone-y effect. All illusion...

Julie said...

Wow! Think back to when the caravilla was the only reality you could foresee, and look how far you've come! What a blessing your new home is: no more temporary life -- once again a settled family home and the opportunity to help build another nurturing community! <3

Hadassa said...

Sara, please allow me to give the uninformed an etymology lesson.
The deception/illusion is a big sore point with the expellees. In Israel, we generally use the British term caravan instead of trailer. A villa in Israel denotes a fancy two-story single family house. Put the two words together and you get a caravilla. The Israeli government put a typically Mediterranean red-tiled roof on a typically poorly insulated trailer and presented them as a great solution for the expellees. K'far Darom went to a supposedly luxury high-rise in Ashkelon that has too many building defects to relate here so I'm relying on information from friends here: heating and cooling costs for a caravilla were and are astronomical.
Relozory, this should answer your question. The caravillas are significantly smaller than what almost anybody had in the Gush. Only very young families living in caravans received a caravilla of comparable size. Families received a caravilla between about 30 to 65 percent of the size of their house in the Gush. And let's not forget the real crime: destroying our homes and communities and leaving the synagogues for the Arabs to raze. Did anyone really think that the "Holy Place" plaques would stop them?
Sara et al, enjoy the house, until we merit returning home.
Hadassa DeYoung, K'far Darom/Elon Moreh

Sara Layah said...

Shavua Tov!

I appreciate all the comments!

abigail - It's wonderful to be out of the caravilla and in my own house. I hope others will be out of the caravillas ASAP

relozory - Gush Katif residents represent a wide economic range with this reflected in our Gush Katif house size and house variations (single or two story family dwelling, townhouse, caravan, eschobit, gov't owned, privately owned, or public renter). Having said that, the 90 meter caravilla is approximately 60% of the size of our original house in Gush Katif.

Keli Ata - at times it sure does seem Twilight Zone-y!! The dismantling process really shows how flimsy the caravillas are. Seeing the interior dismantled brought to mind the dollhouse I played with as a girl.

I'd like to add that the 90 meter caravilla consists of two separate sections, each 45 meters, attached together to create the 90 meter caravilla. Though the interior walls and ceiling are painted white, the ceiling seam-line where the the units attach remains visible. The metal support beams render a jail-bar motif on the interior walls if they aren't periodically painted. These beams are also seen on the exterior walls - take a closer look at the yellow exterior on the very bottom photo.

Julie - Yes, we've sure come a long way and it's exciting to be part of the Neve Dekalim-Nitzan community building anew. "Gush Katif - From Destruction to Renewal" is a recent video showing the building progress of some of the communities including the new Neve Dekalim neighborhood at Nitzan(the girl speaking is my daughter)

Hadassa - thank you for the very informative comment and good wishes!

Hadassa said...

For anyone out there wondering what the heck an "eschobit" is, it's a 40-90 sq.m. pre-fab house.

Unknown said...

Congratulations on finally moving forward. You have always been too gracious using the word "caravilla", the term the government invented to make them sound nice and good. I still insist on referring to my "home" as a cardboard box - much more realistic.

Nonetheless, it's great that you finally moved out of your box - it is rather disheartening to see what we have been living in - but it's time to look forward.


Sara Layah said...

Hadassa - It's so important not to let Hebrew words go unexplained. Thanks for picking up on it and clarifying!

Oreet - your point is well taken; however, "caravilla" is the accepted and widely used term.
Continue being forward looking...with success!