Today was a bit of a quiet day. We said goodbye to the Galilee and had a long bus ride to Jerusalem. After relaxing the hotel for a bit, we went out to a nice dinner and journeyed underground into the Kotel Tunnels. Afterwards a few of us stayed to visit the Kotel one last time while most of the group met Dalak’s grandfather, a Holocaust survivor and very cool man.
We began this week with an exciting graffiti tour in Tel Aviv. It turned out that our tour guide was actually a graffiti artist himself (@artbyalef). Then we explored the history of the peace process in Israel at the Rabin Center.
Today was a day based on Tikkun Olam: repairing the world. After breakfast at Kibbutz Hanaton, we went to Emek Hashalom to learn about and experience what life with a disability can be like. In the afternoon we went to Ras Ali and hung out with some Arab youth. We played some icebreaker games and then had dinner after a short hike.
Tonight, we’re packing before going to our next kibbutz: Degania Bet in the Galilee.
Today started off early with a trip to Rambam Hospital in Haifa to do some improv with a couple hospital clowns. Next we went to the Baha'i Gardens overlooking Haifa and had a discussion about religion and it's impact on the world.
We started the day by leaving our Grand Beach hotel in Tel Aviv and getting on the bus to Haifa. Our first stop was a training session with the Maccabi Tel Aviv soccer coach where we sweat a lot and got cool posters. Next we went to lunch at Givat Haviva, a kibbutz that focuses on peace between Arab Israelis and Jewish Israelis. At the kibbutz, we met with a panel of Arab Israelis to learn about their lives and unique Israeli experience. After, we visited Caesarea where we learned about Roman history in Israel, walked around the ruins, and got ice cream. Finally, we arrived at our hotel in Haifa for dinner as an end for a great day!
We kicked off the week with visits to towns on the border of Gaza and learned about what daily life is like for the people who live there. Later that day, we rode camels and settled down to sleep in Bedouin tents. We woke up bright and early the next morning to climb Masada and watch the sunrise. We also swam in the Dead Sea – actually, there was more floating than swimming – and surfed sand dunes for hours. On Tuesday, we had Negev-themed education programs and ate a delicious, homemade Moroccan lunch. We jeeped through a huge crater called Mahktesh Ramon and then spent even more time in large vehicles on our ride down to Eilat. While in Eilat, we snorkeled in the Red Sea and saw beautiful coral and huge arrays of stunning fish. We kicked off Thursday with a visit to the environmentally-oriented Kibbutz Lotan, where we learned how to be more waste-conscious and reduce our environmental footprint. Today is Friday (Friday, Friday gotta get down on Friday) and we just drove five hours up to Tel Aviv. (We slept more in those five hours than we have the rest of the trip!) We had a lovely Kabbalat Shabbat service right on the beach and we are now settling in for a relaxing shabbat filed with swimming, laughter, and way too many gas station snacks.
Today we visited Kibbutz Lotan; an ecologically friendly kibbutz that focuses on natural construction and waste-free living. We learned how to build geodesic domes, took a tour of the community, and drank fresh tea.
We did laundry today! Followed by breakfast at the hotel and a morning at Top 94, an etgar (challenge course)-like building full of various rock walls and other elements. After Top 94, we went to a mall and wandered around while eating lunch.