Sunday, July 10, 2016

Craters, Camels, and more!

By: Tara

As the second day in Israel had begun it had already felt like we had been traveling for weeks. We started off the day with a delicious Israeli breakfast. We entered the room as the Australia cohort was leaving, so we were able to get a sneak peek of Melbourne Diller. After a short walk we viewed the Machtesh Ramon, a beautiful crater in the Negev. 

Viewing the endless expanse of desert I was able to fully take in the different types of beauty that Israel has to offer. Our JC's explained to us that just as the crater was formed slowly, layer by layer, our Israel trip was another layer in our life and we should acknowledge and appreciate what it will do for us.

 Following the crater, we took a hike at Ein Ovdat where we learned about different animals and learned how to survive the Israel sun. 
We then visited Ben Gurion's tomb and learned his story, and his dream of living in the Negev. Learning about the simplicity of Ben Gurion's choice it made me realize that it's impossible to understand the reasoning for one's choice just by looking at it, whereas it's more important to study and learn the full story. 
After the tomb, we took a bus ride to Bat Hamidbar where we learned the story of a Bedouin women's journey to education and her path to open up a business. After hearing her full story I was able to take away that no matter what circumstances we're put in, we really have the potential to do something different. This women went against her family and culture to be an entrepreneur and open up her own business. 
Ending the day, we drove the a Bedouin Tent which was truly a new experience for me. First off, I can now say I've ridden a camel and gotten a pretty cool selfie with one. Her name was pancake. 

But on a different note, the hospitality experience was an entirely new cultural encounter for me.  The tent was clean and the mattresses were draped with beautiful patterned covers. We were served a hearty Bedouin style meal that we all shared with our hands while sitting on the floor. We finished the night by bonding as we sat under the stars of the desert sky. I love how we're getting closer and closer as a cohort!

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