Rafting Down the Jordan River
On our first full day in Israel, we went on a rafting adventure down the Jordan River. As we floated down the stream, we admired the rope swings that we passed, wondering at the novelty of boys with payos and bathing suits, and waging occasional attacks on the other boats in our Birthright fleet. :)
As we drifted down the river, the Israeli member of our four-person boar said, "welcome to Israel," as we marveled at our interactions with the locals on the banks of the River. Overall, we had a wonderful time; the water was refreshing, and most of our group's boats united and floated for a while as a giant flotilla.
The rest of the day passed with plenty of good opportunities to see and discuss the state of Israel and to get to know our Israeli companions. We went up to Gamla, where we watched vultures circling and learned about Josephus Flavius' fight there against the Romans. We looked out over Syria from Mount Bental, where we briefly discussed the Yom Kippur War and talked to a Danish UN peacekeeper about his station.
After a full day of activities, many of us sat on a roof deep into the night, discussing Israeli geography, rap, what is going on in Europe, Chicago neighborhoods, and the MLB trade deadline.
On to day three!