Welcome to the first post of Shorashim Birthright Bus 132’s blog. After 2 long and restless flights we landed in Tel-Aviv. Our Israeli friends met us at the airport and we all took a moment to participate in a Shorashim tradition. What a sight for everybody else in the airport to see about 50 people in a circle jumping around and singing! We left Tel-Aviv, but will be back soon, and a few hours later arrived at our first kibbutz, Chukuk. We were eager to eat and sleep, and we definitely needed to rest up for today’s activities. Today we took a beautiful 3 hour hike through Gilabun. It was perfect hiking weather, in the 60s, although the ground was extremely muddy. This was no walk through the park, we climbed rocks, slid down muddy terrain, and had to jump from rock to rock to cross streams in hopes of not getting too wet (some did better than others). It was a bit tough but it was worth it - especially for the views and waterfalls! What a gorgeous country. After scraping some of the mud off our shoes (our bus driver wasn’t too happy to see us) we took a quick lunch break - shwarma and falafel - yum! Our next stop was Mount Bental where we were able to see the border of Israel and Syria. We explored the bunkers and learned a lot about Israel’s history. Some of our Israeli friends were kind enough to share stories about their families’ memories of the Yom Kippur War. It’s amazing how resilient Israel is. Our next stop was the Hula Valley where we learned some geography and history of how Israel came to be. Wow, they really keep us busy! It’s downtime right now - I definitely can use a shower and nap before heading to dinner. Well, that’s all for today - the posts will get more interesting as we go along. But, we’re safe and sound and happy to be here.