Today we had a later start than the past few days, beginning in the dining hall of Kibbutz Ketura, one of very few socialist kibbutzim left in Israel. After breakfast, we conducted a little activity on the kibbutz about how they run the kibbutz, make decisions, and handle problems. They have a general assembly (Aseyfah) that meets once a month with the entire community. At that meeting, committees bring up issues for the assembly to vote on. There are a lot of subcommittees that report to an executive committee. The subcommittees work on different topics and try to create solutions and regulate their own aspect of Kibbutz life. We did a little project where we were split into groups where we pretended to be committees and were presented with problems. Each committee was supposed to find a solution to the problem and present it to the assembly who then voted on the solutions. It was a simulation (in a much faster sequence) of decision making on the Kibbutz.
After that program, we drove to Eilat, a resort city at the southern most tip of Israel. We had the opportunity to go swimming, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, snorkeling, and tubing in the Red Sea. The water was very warm and clear. It was a wonderful shade of blue. Just in the small area we were swimming in, there were a few small coral reefs with schools of fish swimming around. It was fun to relax and hang out on the beach especially after the long day we had yesterday at Masada. The beach was also wonderful because much of the day was over 100 degrees (about 110). It was sweltering. After a lunch on the beach, we rounded out our Eilat experience with shopping in a mall in town.
After shopping we hopped back on the magical mystery bus for about a 2 hour ride which was spent sleeping by most of the company. We stopped toward the end at Kibbutz Yotveta for chocolate milk in a bag, which is delicious! Our tour guide, Anat, said we had to try it, it was a part of Israeli youth culture. The drive ended at… the sand dunes!! We ran up to the top of the dunes (which, by the way, was really hard) to watch the sun set over the mountains in the distance. It was beautiful to watch the sun sink below the mountains. It was very picturesque. Then we rolled and summersaulted down the mountains which ended in us being very dizzy and covered in sand, but it was worth it. On a ridge in the dunes, we all lay down to spell CAMP JRF with our bodies.
Then we ran down the dunes the rest of the way to make our own pitas for dinner. As we were eating, it got dark and after dinner, some of us treked back up the dunes to go stargazing before we left. The stars were very bright and together we saw a total of three different shooting stars. We tumbled dizzily down the dune and headed back to the kibbutz for the night.