Day 16: Netzach, Israel - Alon Pajor and Jessica Shub

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Our Monday morning started off bright and early when we were abruptly awoken at 6.45 again. Everyone slowly made their way down to breakfast and despite all of our puffy eyes and tired faces, we were ready for an exciting day. We were all very upset to leave our little home at Chispin, but we were all packed and on our way by 8.15, ready for the full day ahead.

Bus 1 and 2 parted their ways, so my bus (2) started our drive on the way to Rosh Hanikra. Little did we know that it would be one of the most beautiful views some of us had ever seen. All forty of us got in different cable cars to go see a documentary about the place and also have some time to look around caves. The first cave we went into was a cave with a projector where we watched a documentary about how the body of water is maintained, what animals live underneath the water and all about this specific tourist attraction. We finished this at around 11.00 and then had quite a bit of free time to look around. In classic style, most of us went straight for the convenience store to get snacks and slushies to keep us cold as it was a very hot day. With ten minutes left of free time myself, along with four other girls, went into the grottos, which are cave with the body of water flowing through and various lookouts of the clear, blue water. After finishing up there, we caught another cable car back to our bus and were on our way to lunch.

My bus (1) was very excited and happy to endure another day in Israel. We went down for breakfast and had the typical Israeli style breakfast that consisted of salads, eggs, and chocolate yogurt. After that we all boarded the buses and I got into my bus excited for an eventful day ahead.

We first went to an Ethiopian Kibbutz, into an Ethiopian lady’s house, where we heard about her eventful Aliyah story to the land of Israel and the different challenges that she, her family, and her community had to face in order to get to the holy land of Israel. We arrived at the Kibbutz, exhausted after a long bus ride and a big night before. As we walked into the lady’s house we were warmly greeted and given delicious hot tea and coffee with traditional Ethiopian bread. We sang songs, ate and drank and then got ready for our next activity at the Ethiopian house. We got to play dress up, and all found ourselves rummaging through a box filled with ancient Ethiopian clothing. Unfortunately, I along with a few other boys received female outfits and sadly I had to wear an Ethiopian style dress, which was very pretty if I may say so. When everyone was all nicely dressed up we then stood again in a circle and we were taught a traditional Ethiopian dance that required a lot of skill in order to dance it in the correct way. We were then taken into a common traditional Ethiopian home that was made out of clay and wood and all other materials. After being exhausted from the dancing we got to sit down in the house and listened to the Ethiopian lady’s story as a little girl and all of her experiences and hardships that she had to face in order to come to the land of Israel. Her story was so interesting and inspiring, to hear how, as a young girl, she was able to walk from Ethiopia to Israel all on foot with no food and water.  This, despite the terrible losses of members in her family and members of the community.

When both buses arrived at lunch, we were presented with an array of different pizzas, made right in front of us. Everyone indulged in all the different types of pizzas and afterwards we were all popping as everyone was so filled from our delicious lunch. Our buses split up again and did the reverse of what the other bus had done in the morning. As all of our experiences were slightly different, everyone had a great day, learnt so much and was ready for our long drive to our next destination.

We were sleeping at the Bedouin tents that night, but before we needed to endure a four hour bus ride. On my bus (2) instead of taking this time to sleep, we played music loud on our speakers, involved ourselves in conversations with our madrichim and peers on the bus, and had many bathroom/ food stops on the way. Most people were quite apprehensive about sleeping in the tents but when we got there it was only excitement for the experience ahead. We got there quite late, so we went to go put our stuff in the tent and went straight to dinner. We were treated with a traditional Bedouin dinner. We had Israeli salads, pickles and olives, hummus and tachini, shawarma and pitas. With full stomachs we made our way to our tents for bonfires and chills with everyone before bed.

Day 16: Lehava, Israel - Aerin Gordon

Day 15: Lehava, Israel: Daniel Nussbaum