Israel Journey #3 Plus: Inspiring, Building Community, Teamwork

Three words/phrases to describe our day are inspiring, building community, and teamwork. 
Inspiring: Near the end of our day we traveled to an Israeli Children’s museum to explore an exhibit called “invitation for silence.” In groups, we put on noise-canceling headphones and walked through various situations with a deaf tour guide. We learned to use hand and body gestures to communicate with each other. My favorite activity was when we had a competition to see which team would use a hand gesture to portray an animal! What made this exhibit so inspiring was the fact that we all got to experience what it would be like to live deaf. We really saw how lucky we are to hear and it was interesting to simulate going through normal life with an important sense eliminated.
Building Community: We spent lunch and part of our afternoon at an Ethiopian village. To start, a member of the village told us her life story and gave us some information about Ethiopian coffee and special Ethiopian bread. We then tried a traditional Ethiopian meal. Although a lot of us did not necessarily like it, we all stepped out of our comfort zones to embrace someone else’s culture. We then took a tour of the village and entered two of their mud houses. We were able to learn about how important Israel was and how the main purpose of their village was to acclimate into society and build community with others. By spending the day here, I was able to realize that Israel is an important place not only for Jews but for many other groups of people. And although we are all different, we all come here to build a stronger community.
Teamwork: Our biggest part of the day was an archeological dig. We entered a cave and split into two groups to dig and find important artifacts from the past. Our goal was to find pieces of pottery, bone, and charcoal. It was so much fun to find different materials, as well as see how happy people were to find their own artifacts. In fact, we had someone almost find a complete bowl, which is super rare. The next part of our time at the site we went crawling through a candlelit cave that has not been dug out yet. In a single-file line, we followed each other through tiny spaces. I was hesitant at first to go in, but I am super glad I did it because it was a lot of fun to work together to reach the end. We had a great day today and although we are sad to split into our different electives for the next few days, we cannot wait for the memories that lie ahead!

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