today we received our gas masks and had to attend a demonstration class. it was a strange experience, for many reasons.First even though this is a small place, and with very few people, most of the time, our paths don't cross. so it was a chance to hang around and chat, almost like a party. Second, we were all foreign students and from countries where a threat of war would never result in such a response from the government, so there was a strange mixture of fun and subdued worry in the air. some people even took photographs as souvniers, which led to more hilarity. The instructors were very patient i must say, and repeated the instructions very carefully and systematically. Of course nobody expects anything to happen, because Sde Boqer is so out of range and besides being surrounded by desert is hardly a strategic target anyway, but i admire the thoroughness of the preparations. i dont expect to even open the box it came in. but in any event it was a welcome break in an otherwise featureless day.