Day 41 - Closing program, The Shuk & Ben Yehuda (Netzach)
Today we started the new year partying hard, with DJ Martin playing some great music in the Bedouin tents. We got back to the hotel just before 1 and had some free time, still celebrating the new year, in our so called IST home Ramat Rachel. A lot of memories have occurred for everyone at this hotel.
We all then woke up at 8:15 to have our last breakfast with IST together. Most of us are leaving Israel today and going back home to the hot Australian summer. But also quite a fair few of us are staying back and are about to have another adventure, either still in Israel or in some other country. I am one of the kids that are staying back in Israel and then going away to England a week later.
Today we are having our last normal day. We have had our last prayers and today we had it with all 80 girls. We will also have our last family group meeting and having our last bus rides together. It will be hard to say goodbye to people as we won't see them and be with each other everyday, and these people that we have been with for the last 6 weeks have become more than friends. Most of the people on IST will see each other when they get back to school, but for us kids on the north, we aren't exactly sure when will be the next time we will see the eastern suburbs kids.
The mads on this trip have become closer and closer to us as each day went on. They get everyone to have a smile on their face even if its late at night or early in the morning.
After we had our last family group meeting we all then went on to the bus for the last time together. We drove to the shuk in Jerusalem and we also had a choice to go to Ben Yehuda St.
Today I finally bought some stuff besides food...
After our last time going shopping in the markets we then drove to the Kotel for the last time.
On our way to the Kotel everyone gave and received a present from their mystery mordechai.
When we got to the Kotel for the last time our emotions were all over the place. Some people were crying and many were hugging each other, non stop.
Being together 24/7 for the last 6 weeks has made many of us become closer with people that we may have never thought to be friends with or may have thought we would meet. As corny as it sounds we have all grown together on this trip and become a family, especially with our 80's, bus groups and our family groups.
As we started our Israel trip at the Kotel, today we ended our trip at the Kotel.
All 160 of us stood in a "chet" and sang Hatikva just like we did 5 weeks ago. Other people surrounding us took videos and pictures as we drew attention to ourselves with our singing and dancing.
After we danced as long as we could, we then wrote a letter to ourselves that we will receive in a few years time.
During the time at the kotel a lot of us kids gave our family group leaders a present, as we are all thankful for all the work and time our family group leaders have put into us, to make sure we have fun.
As each hour and minute went by, the realization of us having to say goodbye was getting harder and harder.
As we left the kotel, the next stop was cinema city, where some kids got off the bus and said their last goodbye to their bus group.
When the kids got off, the bus became quietly instantly. The seats became more empty and many of us just stopped talking till we got the airport for the final goodbye.
We all split up out of our bus group and went into different directions. Some of us went to the Bangkok side of the airport and some of us went to Hong Kong, but a fair few of us stayed and waited for our family or friends to pick us up from the airport.
Saying our last final goodbye was hard as being with each other each day had became so normal.
IST made each and every one of us grow in different ways and taught us so many things.