Whoooray Israel! Day 1 up North

Quick note first- we are having some trouble getting service but hope to keep this blog as current as we can. Thanks and enjoy the student written blog for the rest of the trip.

A magnificent day hike in Golan Heights. We began by learning about the history of the area and then enjoyed a long, strenuous, slippery, and scenic hike through the cliffs and valleys of Golan Heights. We hopped on stones, hung on oleander trees, fell in streams (names will be withheld), saw the tallest waterfall in Israel and returned to the buses sweating, panting, but relatively appreciative of the exercise. We then traveled to Har Bental where we were able to see the Syrian border. This served as a strategic point for the IDF and we learned, that if needed, it could be turned back into a military base within hours. The clouds began to move toward us, and within minutes, the scenic view was replaced with a blanket of whiteness; not commonly something that happens in the states. A short bus ride followed to a mall, where we ate our first good meal. Falafel and schwarma were the big hits. Hula Lake, one of Israel’s nature reservations followed, and we were again learning about Israeli history and the case of malaria. A large portion of this natural swamped was drained, but a small area remained that had been preserved by the JNF. Afterwards, we took a bus ride back to the kibbutz and played more ice breakers. The ice has been broken, melted, and contributed to the raising sea levels. We then met a SHORASHIM CELEBRITY and learned Israeli folk dancing. Yemenite steps and the Hora were practiced, everyone had a ball. Dinner at the kibbutz followed and then we hit the bar at the Kibbutz. All is well, and looking forward to tomorrow.

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