Shalom!! We are all here, happy, and though slightly sleep deprived after 15 hours of travel through NY, Kiev and Tel Aviv, ready to have an amazing adventure!
As the old saying goes, “First Impressions last a lifetime.” At this point, we can only hope that this is true. Because, as a direct result of your fantastic abilities as parents, we are a group of 47 incredibly interesting, ridiculously intelligent, and just plain wonderful people that plan on being friends for THE REST OF OUR LIVES!
In addition, Israel isn’t so bad either!
We started early this morning with a fantastic hike in the Golan Heights. As we traversed over arid terrain and through scorching temperatures, our fearless leader Yonaton regaled us with stories of Eli Cohn (One of Israel’s greatest spies) and other important geological and historical tidbits. We climbed deep into the valley to a spectacular waterfall which a few brave and spontaneous souls dared to swim out to and under.
After our hike we were tired, hungry, and most importantly, deeply craving ice cream. And wouldn’t you know…waiting for us at the top of the hill was the answer to our prayers. An oasis of delicious frozen treats disguised as a fire-engine-red ice cream truck. (It’s almost as if he knew we were coming….almost.)
From there we traveled on to the town of Katzrin for our first independent meal. And while there were a few enticing options, the vast majority of us were swayed to try the “Best Falafel in the World.” The energetic emcee of the falafel stand beckoned with self affirming confidence of both himself and his “legendary”…falafel.
With our hungers satiated, we once again piled into our bus where we ventured on to two vast vantage points. The first was Mt. Bental with a view of Syria and the second was the Gadot Lookout over the hula valley. Both were accompanied with fascinating stories. We particularly enjoyed our stop in the Hula valley where our bus driver Jobi told us about his life as an immigrant from Yemen and a tank operator in the 6 Day War of 1967.
Finally, we headed back to our cozy kibbutz for a relaxing swim, dinner, sunset over the Sea of Galilee and an illuminating discussion about some of the differences between American and Israeli cultures. We also learned our first bit of Hebrew…Sababa (that means cool for all of you non-native speakers.)
It was truly an amazing day that has clearly made a very strong and wonderful impression on all of us, that will surely be with us from this day forth.
Until, our next blog entry…Shalom!