Day 15 - Netzach - Laila Harrity & Julia Ziman
MONDAY - JNF DAY 2
After an adventurous day of hiking and exploring 2000 year old archaeological sites and ancient resistance tunnels, we commenced our journey to the not so anticipated moshav.
We began with a bright and early 6:15 wake up, after having a restless night all together in one massive tent! Upon our arrival, we received the shocking news at breakfast that it was compulsory to hand in our phones for the rest of the day! This left many angry and anxious about not being able to send their Snapchat streaks or update their Instagram stories, and required many of us to undergo intense levels of counselling. Despite this slight inconvenience, the day overall exceeded all of our expectations and turned into an incredible technological detox for everyone. This allowed for the day to be more productive as well as a more enriching and cultivating experience. Can you imagine sitting on a bus where people actually had to speak to one another? Insane, we know!
We then made our way to a local farm in the area, where we were split into three rotating groups, each one participating in a different farming activity. These activities included: cherry tomato picking, sowing beetroot seeds and lifting heavy rocks in order to hold down a fence that was meant to keep the porcupines away from some of the valuable crops. Following this, we learnt about the ongoing determination and commitment that the farmers put in daily to tending their crops in an arid environment where plants such as these could never grow naturally. It was such a rewarding feeling to hear from the family that runs the farm that the work that we had all put in over two hours would have cost them two labour intensive days. We also learnt about the impact of the JNF, specifically in the Negev, and it was truly amazing to see how our Australian community is able to make a difference to the lives of Israeli farmers and even more so support the continuation of Israel’s growth and development.
After the agricultural experience, we drove to our much anticipated second destination, a Bedouin camp where we would be riding camels. Here, we were treated to a lovely Israeli feast for lunch, filled with pita, falafel and various salads. We then made our way to the seemingly cute, yet intimidating camels. After a fun ride in pairs and a quick, but well-deserved ‘Shoko’ break, we headed to our next activity - sand boarding in the desert!
The adrenaline rushing through all of our bodies was beyond thrilling, as we took turns riding our boards down the steep sand dunes, each time experimenting with new and more exciting ways to make our way down! It was truly a once in a life-time experience! We are sure that no one will forget racing their friends down the dunes, the taste of sand in their mouths after face planting and the horror of realising that you’re going down the hill backwards!
Our day concluded with a group karaoke session and we all had an incredible time with lots of laughs, cheers and out of tune singing (that only slightly hurt everyone’s eardrums).
When reflecting on the day, we feel so lucky to have been provided this opportunity by the JNF and HaShomer HaChadash. For many of us, today has been a highlight - not only did we have so much fun, but we were also able to really connect to the land of Israel in a new and profound way.
We cannot wait to see Lehava for the handing off ceremony tomorrow, as we conclude our HaShomer HaChadash experience.
Laila Harrity and Julia Ziman