Woke up at 6:15 to finish packing and eat breakfast. At 8:30 we had a closing group activity. Everyone was an emotional wreck! It was a beautiful closing though. At 12ish we packed up our stuff on the bus and left for the airport. We said quick goodbyes and then pretty much stood in line for a few hrs. We boarded the plane at 3:30 pm and I proceeded to sleep for about 10 hrs. We landed at 8:30 pm and I went to the NY hotel room to meet my mom :)
Overall...AMAZING experience. I love Israel, I love my new friends, and I love life :)
To view my pictures...click on these links!
Sorry but this was the only way I could do it! Click open in new window if you don't wanna stray from this page! ENJOY!!!
P.S. Stay posted for school happening! I start Monday July 14th :)
Thursday, July 10, 2008
I woke up at 6:30 and ate breakfast in the tents. We were supposed to go on a hike after that, but because of the heat wave, plans changed. We left and went to David Ben Gurion's grave. It was a beautiful landscape. Then we drove to Jerusalem to Ben Yehuda Street to go shopping. I didn't do too much damage but enough :) I loved the stuff I bought though. Then we went to the Kotel (Western Wall) one more time before we headed home. It was one of the most special moments of my trip for many reasons. From there we went to Har Hertzel which is the cemetary for all of the soldiers and famous leadings of Israel including Golda Meir and Theodore Hertzel. I was a mess there. Just couldn't stop crying. We then went to the hotel room and I showered (best shower ever since i was SO dirty!!!) We left around 8:30 to go to one of our Israeli friend's school bar where they had a party for us. They served us food and we bought drinks. We stayed til around 12. Then we came back and I was super exhausted. But I didn't have a roommate that night so I got lucky. Went to bed around 2ish.
Posted by Chef Penny at 5:35 AM
I woke up at 3 am for what was about to be an AMAZING day!!! We grabbed a mini breakfast and coffee and left the hotel by 4:15. At 5 am I was climbing Mount Masada! I made it to the top in 35 min and I was one of the first in my group to get to the top. It was by far the most amazing experience I have had since my Bat Mitzvah! I got to the top and called my parents just crying from what I had just accomplished! We spent from 6 am to 9:30 on the top watching the sunrise, taking pictures and learning history of Israel! Best EVER! Then we ate breakfast at the bottom of the hill which was one of the worst breakfasts I had ever had! We changed into our bathing suits at that point because we were going to the dead sea!! Another amazing (and stinging) experience! First I floated for a little while and then mudded myself up! It was SOOO hot being covered in mud! Then i cleaned off and at 12:30 we went to grab a quick lunch. After that we drove to the bedoin tents to drop off our stuff! Then we took a camel ride! This day just kept getting better!!! The camel ride hurt a bit...but was fun nonetheless! After we sat and learned about Bedoin Lifestyles. So cool! Then I fell asleep (or tried to) for an hr and 30 min before 7:30 dinner. Dinner was pretty cool. Then i took a MUCH needed shower and went to the group bonfire for a little bit. A 10 pm I was exhausted and Josh and I crashed in the tent!
Posted by Chef Penny at 5:15 AM
Woke up at 6 am and got dressed and went outside a bit early to take pictures and the gorgeous scenery around! At 7:15 we loaded the bus, ate breakfast, and then at 8:45 we headed off to hike the cliff of Arbel. We hiked a downhill climb which was pretty steep. After we got lucky because we had free time and did a water hike! This was REALLY a water hike because the water was up to our necks! We had to wear our bathing suits! There were two water tunnels which was super cool. However the water was so dirty! It was a pretty amazing experience though! Then we went to a little town to eat lunch and once again I had schwarma. We then hopped on the bus and went to a youth hostel where we talked to young israelis. I have to say...it was pretty lame. They didn't care that we were there. Then we drove to the hotel and got there right as they were finishing dinner service so we ate quickly. After that we had to shower quickly and pack a small back for the next few days! At 10:30 we dropped our luggage off and had a mini mtg to prepare for the big day tomorrow! At 11 pm I went to bed. My roommates were Melinda and Alison!
Posted by Chef Penny at 5:05 AM
Late wake up day!!! It was Shabbat so they let us sleep til 10:30! We met for coffee and a mini breakfast. At 11 we talked about the Parsha and Torah portion for the week. Then at 11:30 we took a break for an hr. Then lunch was at 12:30. After lunch we had a huge break to do nothing til 3:30. I helped some people with their speeches for the B'not Mitzvah ceremony in the evening. It was nice and i loved helping them. I also wrote in my journal and took some penny time! At 3:30 we got into three groups and talked about judaism like keeping kosher and marrying jewish. We chatted til 5:30. It was a good discussion! We had a 30 min break and then at 6 we went to a really cool cemetary which according to Shahar it's a different type because Jewish cemetaries are usually not pretty but this one was. At 7:30 we had an hr to get ready for the B'not Mitzvah/Jewish naming ceremony. 4 people were B'not Mitzvah'ed and 2 got a hebrew name. It was really fun to watch my friends up there! Then we had a night out in the town of Tiberias. Josh and I had our first date :) It was so beautiful, the food was unreal, and the night couldn't have been more perfect! We got home and I went to bed around 1am.
Posted by Chef Penny at 4:45 AM
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Woke up at 6, got dressed, met by the bus at 7:15 to drop off luggage. We had breakfast and then we went on our first hike!!! We hiked the Jiboon water mountain- in the Golan Heights. It was a little less than 2 miles but to most of us it felt like forever! Right after the hike (i was the first to the top!!!) there was an ice cream truck. Brilliant man! We then got on the bus and drove to a town called Katrina. We ate lunch there. It was a small town and the only one in Golan Heights. There I had a great greek salad. From then we got back on the bus where we drove to the lookout point/bunker/border of Israel and Siberia. Being so close was a little scary but so amazing! McDonalds owns one of the fields we were looking at just to grow potatoes for the french fries!!! Then we hopped back on the bus and drove to the hotel where we were staying for 2 nights. We got to pick our roommates. There was only one double and Kate and I snagged it! We then had an hr to shower before Shabbat services. The girls split off from the guys and we went to light candles. The boys were prepping for what was next. We then met back with the boys where they were on their knees waiting for us. Each boy had to chose a girl. Josh obviously came up and grabbed me. I was so confused but they were just supposed to talk to us for 5 min. We took a great picture that night :) Then we all met at the garden to say Shabbat prayers. Then we split into three groups. 1) orthodox service 2) secular service and 3) Judaism 101. Josh and I went to the Orthodox service but it had just ended so we went to Judaism 101 where I actually learned a lot from Shosh! Then we went to Shabbat dinner where we said all of the prayers and had one of the better meals. At 10:30 we had a group activity which finished by 12. I spent some more time with Josh and then went to bed at 3:30 am!
Posted by Chef Penny at 4:32 AM
Woke up at 7 am, got ready, and dropped off my luggage before breakfast. We departed at 9 am and drove to Independence Hall where we learned about David Ben Gurion. This was where he declared Israel a State. It was very moving. We then got the lucky fortune of going to the beach from 11:30 til 1:30. I layed out for an hr and then went to get lunch! I managed to get picked up at the beach 3 times...two of them Israelis! But nasty ones :) Then we took a 2 hr drive to Tsfat. We arrived a little late but it was ok. We heard an artist speak about the Kabballah. It was the highlight of my trip! I bought a beautiful painting and then 2 necklaces in the town after. Then we took the bus to the hotel and at dinner at 8:30. After dinner we had a little free time so I showered. At 11 pm we had another ice breaking session and my partner was Clay. I went to bed around 1 am. My roommmates were Sarah and Karen!
Posted by Chef Penny at 4:27 AM