Israel Journey #5 (Bus B): Southward to Sde Boker and Eilat

Please enjoy these updates from teen participants Heather Kurtzman and Sam Meltzer:

 

These past few days have been busy and super fun. We celebrated Shabbat in Netanya as a small group since some people were at their host family weekends. While they were having fun with friends and family, we were relaxing in the sun on the beach. After the group was brought back together to end Shabbat, we all went for a shopping spree at the Tel Aviv Mall.

On Sunday we had to say goodbye to Shani our amazing tour guide and Leon our awesome medic and say hello to group 4B, who we have now merged with. 4B and 5B have officially come together to be 9X, a group twice the size of what we used to be! The bus definitely feels a lot more full. We drove down south to be archeologists for the morning. By the end of our exciting dig, we had dug up pieces of pottery and bone from the past. We then continued south to kibbutz Sde Boker to visit the grave of David Ben Gurion. After that we drove even more south to Kibbutz Yahel, our home for the next two days. They were nice enough to open the pool, so we had a late night 9X pool party.

On Monday we spent the day in the sunny city of Eilat. But before that we slid down the Kassui Sand Dune. Although sand got literally everywhere and our calves burned from climbing up it, the run/roll down it was well worth it. First in Eilat we got to banana boat, kayak, and paddle boat. The banana boat was so fun! It was definitely an arm work out to try and hold on while we were bouncing around, and I fell off of mine at one point. After a pizor lunch we got to go snorkeling on the beach. It was so beautiful and fun so swim in the sea and see all the fish and choral underwater. We then went back to the kibbutz for dinner and some get-to-know games to bring the group closer since we had just met one day ago.

On Tuesday we got to learn more about Kibbutz Yahel and the culture there. This included a tour where we not only went around the kibbutz but also to their fields that are on the border of Jordan. We then got more pool time to hangout before heading out to the Bedouin tent. We stopped at the Kibbutz where the ‘שוקו’ brand is made and got ice cream.

We are currently on our way to the Beduin tent, everyone is very excited for tonight’s activities and to spend our final week in Israel together.

One more thing from a teen’s opinion: I am having an amazing time here, the entire 5B group has become so close that it’s weird to think that I didn’t know these people a few weeks ago. We love spending time together and having fun, whether it’s during a program, a new place in Israel, or just hanging out outside someone’s room. Israel has been an incredible journey for me and I am so sad to have to say goodbye to the holy land and my new 17 best friends in one week.

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