1.00pm check-in. 160 students… with their families, all lined up ready to re-pack their overweight bags. After check- in, families savoured their last few moments with the students for 6 weeks, over coffee and breakfast.
At 2:30pm, everyone gathered at the departure section for a short yet inspiring speech from Rabbi Benji. Sadly, he would not be joining us on this trip however, we were lucky enough to have him give a few words of farewell. Following this, we proudly sang both the Australian and Israeli anthems before saying our final good-byes to our parents. A few tears here and there and then we were off to customs. Once everyone was through customs we split up into family groups for a quick student count and then we were free to roam around the airport departure gate. It was during this time that Ashleigh realised that she had left her lunch and neck-pillow at customs. The first, of dare we say many of her possessions that she will forget this trip. Kindly, Lori frantically ran through the airport with her back to customs to retrieve her not so important lunch and neck-pillow.
At around 4.00pm, after we had cooled down a bit from our run, it was boarding time. All students, bar one (who misplaced his passport, which was later found), happily boarded the plane headed for Bangkok. 4:30 take-off and 9 hours later we arrived at our first stop-over. Tired yet excited for the experience ahead, here in Bangkok we are all eager and waiting to reach our first destination, Warsaw, Poland.