So, in the end, it was me who went to the parent meeting.
I was lucky...I made contact with some other parents who live on the way, and I was able to meet them at their kibbutz and travel the rest of the way with them. In addition to helping me find the settlement where Ariella's school is (talk about well-hidden...I don't know if I would have found it otherwise!) it was a relief to not have to do the 2 1/2 hour drive myself. Not to mention saving about half of the gas money!
The settlement is one of the illegals, near Jericho -- 20 caravans set up in the middle of no where. The families who live there are all young...the oldest child is 7. The setting is stunning, set in the Judean Hills just north of Jerusalem, and in mid-November, the evening was warm and everyone was outside. I can see the attraction of living in a small intimate community like that, though I am at the point in my life that I need a larger group of people around me. But for girls like Ariella, who are in the process of healing, there couldn't be a better place.
There are 5 girls in the group now. Two are sisters, and, I believe, not having problems, but just decided to attend the school because they wanted something more idealistic and open than the options open to them. Their mother is from Phildelphia.
Another girl who is struggling is in her second year...her parents are from Cleveland and Toronto.
So out of the 5 girls, 4 have english-speaking parents. Does that say something?
Anyway, everyone was extremely nice and open, and I can only hope that it's what Ariella likes, and will allow her to complete 12th grade and continue her life in a stronger frame of mind. The girls cook for themselves, and their living units (3 girls per unit) are quite homey, with a little kitchenette in each and a TV and DVD player. Not that there were any DVDs around to play, but it was nice that someone took the time and thought to provide them for the girls. The surrounding community seems very friendly and supportive.
But ah-h-h-h...the desert! I really love the remoteness and quiet, and though wouldn't want to live there, would love to spend a week there, maybe sometime when the weather is like it is now...not too hot. I could use a little healing too.