I made it to the kibbutz today, after spending four nights in Beit Shemesh. Taking the bus was remarkably easy. I think it only took abut 25-30 minutes. Getting my stuff from the bus stop to the kibbutz was a whole other matter entirely. The kibbutz is only about 2km away from the bus stop, but I had a backpack, a small travel bag, and a 65lb duffel on wheels to shlep in the hot mid-morning sun. I got about halfway, stopped to take a breather, and then hitched a ride the rest of the way. The very nice Israeli person who drove me wasn't familiar with the kibbutz itself, though, so I was dropped off at the first official-looking building. Another nice Israei person then took the backpack and small bag on her bicycle to the ulpan, and I followed slowly behind with the duffel.
There are about 10 people here so far. The guys are all American- two are 18, one is 28, and I don't know about the fourth. There might be a fifth lurking about, but I'm not sure. As for the girls, I've met a 28 yr old Brazilian who's in the process of converting, and an 18 yr old girl from the Netherlands. There's also an Australian who's converting, and a fifth girl who I haven't actually met yet, but have seen going in and out of the moadon.
I've unpacked my stuff, and am trying to find something to do with myself. I may go in to Ashdod tomorrow. I was told that they would give me towels, but that doesn't seem to be true, so I need to go buy some. Tonight there's a wedding on the kibbutz, so I'll most likely go, although I've never crashed a wedding before. I may have to add that to my list of virgin experiences.