NNNNOOOOO!!!! Today is our last day!!! I don’t want to go!!
Well, actually today is our last day on campus if we want to be accurate. And truthfully I am already at home now, but I am typing about our last day. L
I think we woke up late, and then got jobs in the morning. It seems that Rona is always the mean person or person who gives out orders and jobs. Maybe because she is a mean pregnant woman, or maybe it’s a coincidence…..nah! So in the morning she gave us jobs like clean the kitchen, collect and fold all the blankets, collect all the extra and unwanted sourcebooks, take out the trash (like every hour) because everyone is packing and cleaning out their rooms, and collect recycling and paper. There were lots of other jobs but whatever. Basically we had to do our jobs, and pack all our stuff. And until everyone was done with their job no one was allowed to leave campus. I had to clean out the kitchen with two other people, (Annie and Zach) it was gross!!! We had to empty the fridge and clean the shelves, counters, and cups and stuff. Not fun!!! Plus at 11:00 am an air raid siren went off and we all had to go into our bomb shelter. Lucky for us its in our building. It wasn’t even a real siren, Israel was having a defense training week so it was a fake practice siren. So we all went into the computer lab and found out what we would do during an air raid. We would all be on facebook, shocker!!! After the siren we went back to our jobs and then at like 12:30 we met with Yardena. She is the head of the Hebrew department at Milken and she is our escort home on the plane. I think it is really pointless and quite the waste of money to send someone to Israel for like a day and then have her fly back with a bunch of teenagers. Whatever. She asked us questions about TIF and people gave really good answers!!! It made me think about what my answers are going to be at home when people ask me about TIF. I realized that I really can’t describe TIF, you can’t summarize it in a few words. It is going to be so frustrating trying to tell people how great it is and how much I loved it, it is a whole different type of school and looking at school and trips and fun!!! But that’s for later, so after we met with Yardena we were free until the banquet that night. I was really excited for the banquet, it was going to be so fun!!! I don’t really remember exactly what I did, but I think I went to BTO’s for one last time, got a milkshake, and then finished packing. Plus I went out with my Israeli friends for one last time to say goodbye. I feel really bad because I had like 45 minutes to say goodbye. That’s like no time!!! We went out to a café and got really good cake!!! I got warm chocolate fudge cake, covered in a layer of chocolate sauce, plus it came with a scoop of vanilla ice cream with maple syrup sugar crystals and whipped cream and powdered sugar on all of it. It was delicious!!! But then I ended up saying goodbye quickly and running back to campus so I would not be late. I felt so bad, they have been so nice and welcoming to me. We went out to dinner countless times (really) they hosted me for dinners and weekends and they are just the sweetest people ever!!! I told them that I would write letters and keep in touch. And even though I am really bad at that I will try my hardest. So once I came back to campus huffing and puffing, I ran to the Beit Kenesset to help set up the food for the banquet. We all had to sign up for committees so I signed up for the food committee, duh!!! It looked great we were having sundaes and tons of toppings!!! And I got to see what the theme for the banquet is, it’s the TIF reunion in ten years. We will all be older and cooler! We were told to dress mature and futuristic. So cool!
So I had run to the Beit Kenesset and guess what? They didn’t need any more people or help, whatever. So I went back to the dorms and got ready for the banquet. I put on my dress and earrings and then at 6:00 we all went to the dining hall for our special dinner. It was decorated so nicely!!! (Not all of it, just a small part) The placemats were full of pictures of us and we all got stickers that said what our jobs were. Since it was in 10 years we all had jobs, I was a biomedical scientist. There were a few funny ones like dog whisperer, housewife, and dean. Plus cupcake designer, dentist, and just tons of jobs. Lots were pretty good, I liked mine! So we had dinner which was just a normal dinner, and not a good one at that! Yuck! Thank you Alexander Muss! But after dinner we went to the Beit Knesset and our banquet started. We had two hosts, Beej and David M. They were so good and funny!!! I don’t really remember the order of everything but here is some of the stuff we had. Our madrichim did a skit about us and it was hilarious. It was their favorite five things about Milken and they acted like us. So funny! They were its always a fashion show, you make friends so easily, you love the dining hall food so much, you are always on time, and something else. It was really nice,. Plus we had speeches about our teachers. All the speeches were really sweet and thoughtful. All about how much we loved our teachers and our class and it was completely truthful! We truly had the most amazing experiences with our teachers. I liked Danny’s speech the most. Yes I am a little biased but you could tell from the speech how much we respected Danny and loved him as a teacher. We even quoted him a bunch of times, we love him!!! Plus each class got their core teacher a present which was given to them the night before. We got Danny a fleece jacket which was reversible, a picture frame, and a basket of all his favorite snacks. Everyone snack he mentioned in class had been written down and we got him all of them. Rona’s class got her cloths for her baby and Phil’s class signed a hat and gave it to him. Plus we made Danny a huge card. It was nice. After our Core teacher speeches we had speeches about our madrichim. All of them were heartfelt and sweet. People really put a lot of effort into making the speeches good, and it showed. Additionally, we saw our TIF video. Basically, every class did a skit about their Core class. Everyone was in it, they dressed up, and we worked really hard on it. For Phil’s class they had a mock class and Phil (Matt K.) was really energetic, and he turned down their stress levels. Then it was Danny’s class. (I must say, since the person who made the video was in our class, our video was the longest. YAY!) We had David M. dress up as Danny. It started with him gliding into class a few seconds late. Yes, I said gliding. He was on a skateboard and had his arms up to the sky and was gliding but in the camera it looked really cool!!! Because we call him the messiah, so he was flying in our video. Plus we had a bunch of class jokes in the video. Like when he gives us quiz questions that are really vague and make no sense, and then the whole class complains and yells even though we are taking a quiz, and Danny asks everyone not to cheat on the quizzes, and he says “Good morning boys and Goils” , and when Hannah sneezes everyone fans their notebooks at her because we don’t want to get sick, and how Hannah and Yarden always fight about Arabs, and how Danny forgot the video and our essays so he runs back to his house to get them, and then he comes back like 30 seconds later. And plus we got to film David actually going into Danny’s house and we videoed his closet. It was hilarious!!! We put his two pairs of cargo pants in there, (One for hikes and one for everyday) and his hat, his red fleece, and our essays. That was it! But it feels like that is all the clothing he has. I remember one day he bought a new shirt and EVERYONE noticed!!! Haha, plus in our video we had many Danny quotes and our chant, it is the will of god!!!! Plus of course we “sacrificed” Hannah. It was the best video EVER!!! I loved it and couldn’t stop laughing!!! Then it was Rona’s video. It was pretty good, Rona was fat and pregnant and very mean and kept turning on the air conditioning. Funny, but ours was much better!! And we had two girls sing the song from Tarzan, “You’ll be in my heart”. It was the perfect song to sing and by then everyone was crying. It was so sad! Plus we saw our TIF slideshow. OMG it was the most amazing slideshow I had ever seen!!!! I remember someone told me it was 22 minutes long and they cut it down from 35 minutes. I thought to myself wow its long and I am going to be in like no pictures. I will just be bored sitting there for 35 minutes. But it was not boring in the least. I was in enough pictures and there were different songs (Each song was perfect) and different parts to the slideshow. She went around and asked people what their favorite parts of TIF were and then they put the videos and then pictures from that. It was amazing!!! The last song, it ends tonight, really made everyone cry. Because it was our last night and it did end tonight! L We were crying and there were all our names on the screen, then our core teachers, our madrichim, and then our TIF picture. Really the best slideshow ever! Then we all ate tons of ice cream and toppings and then went back to the dorms. We had an activity at 10. I loved it! The madrichim made us sit in a huge circle and there was a ball of yarn. One person holds the ball of yarn, winds it around their wrist, and then throws it to another person. A person who they were not close with/didn’t know before TIF and who they really bonded with on TIF. Then that person winds it around their wrist and throws it to someone else and says something about them. It just keeps going until everyone has had the yarn. Then there is a giant really cool spider web (It looked really awesome!!) and then we cut the string and we all have friendship bracelets. (It is now two weeks after TIF and I still have my bracelet on!) Shaun said really nice things about me and then I passed it to Liana. I absolutely loved the activity! And then……we got our TIF sweatshirts and T-shirts!!! They are awesome!!! Our sweatshirts are green and on the back they say meet me in the Hod. (For Hod Hasharon, plus there are three strips representing the three core classes) And our T-shirts are purple and they have all our names on the front in the letters TIF and on the back they have lots of funny pictures and inside jokes. They are awesome! Plus we got a TIF picture, a picture of our madrichim, and a picture of our room. AND a keychain chamsa with our names on it. We all tried on our shirts and sweatshirts and then people played music in the moadon for the last time and everyone was having like a dance party. It was so perfect, I can’t even describe it! But then we had to go back to our rooms. In our room we talked a lot and took down our candy wall which was really sad. Honestly, Sofia was crying when we took it down. It truly was heartbreaking. All our hard work, gone! Four closets full of candy:gone, one door full of candy:gone, our front door decorated with signs, ribbons, wrappers:gone, Ariela, Cassie, and Sofia’s decorated walls by their beds:gone, our window with writing on it and flowers above it:gone, our desks with papers, cards, and other stuff:gone. As you can see we really had to take down a lot of stuff. All our hard work and decorations from four months of living there:gone. Then we just sat on the ground and reminisced and talked about stuff. For hours we were sitting there and around 3:30 am we went to sleep. At 6:30 we woke up. And got dressed, had breakfast, packed our lunches, finished packing our Bags, and finished our jobs from yesterday. But by the time the dorms were absolutely clean we were two hours behind schedule! That is VERY BAD! Because of that we lost all our free time in Jerusalem, where I was going to spend the last of my money! But back to the dorms, after cleaning we gave back ours keys, locks, and left our rooms. It was really sad! Goodbye to our homes. We got on the buses and drove away. (I am tearing up right now because I am really writing about the last time I was at the dorms, and that makes me very sad.) I remember that before we left, Hanna, Ariela, Sofia, and I were in our room and we sang “Our Song” one last time. Even though the room was empty the song filled us up. It filled the room and we remembered countless times we had played that very song while we were doing homework, putting up wrappers, and just goofing around. So we left on the buses and drove to Jerusalem for the last time. We firstly went to the cemetery on Har Herzl where we saw many graves of brave Israeli fighters we had learned about. Then we visited Herzl’s grave and learned a little more for the last time. Then we went to the kotel and we all had a little more time there before we went to dinner. We had a really yummy dinner there and we got to spend time with our core teachers for one last time. And on the bus to the airport we were sitting with and talking with our teachers and madrichim. I feel like we did more in Jerusalem but I can’t remember! I remember that since Danny is a Cohen we had to take a very roundabout way in the cemetery as to not get too close to a grave. And at the kotel I burst out crying. At dinner I ate a ton of food and the girl’s bathroom was completely filled!! (There was only one bathroom) And on the bus I growled and Danny heard me and thought it was really cool. It had been in Mine, Ariela’s, and Sofia’s journals but now he got to hear all of us growl. So then we got to the airport. We all got our bags, luggage carts, and said goodbye to our core teachers. Many people got pictures then but I just said goodbye. It sounds so peaceful and easy when I write about it, but it was not! We had to wrestle our luggage off the bus and it was very cramped and everyone was trying to get their stuff, plus there was a long walk to the luggage carts so we had to leave our stuff in a pile walk to get a cart , walk all the way back, navigate through tons of other luggage, say goodbye to all the teachers while keeping track of our stuff, and then carefully make our way to the building while trying our best not to have our carts fall off the curb because then all our stuff falls off the cart and we must put it back on and try again. Then we all had to wait in line FOREVER until we made it to the place where we check our bags. My line was by far the slowest line because the lady was really mean!!! She didn’t let a single TIF kid go through without making them pay a ton of money or switch and shift weight in their bags. Finally it was my turn. I weighed my bags, one was overweight 5 kilos and one was under weight. You would think I could just shift the stuff but it wasn’t that simple. Both were incredibly full and I doubt I would be able to put anything more into either of them. So I would have to pay 25 dollars, not that bad. Fine. Then guess what, the lady did something that was not allowed!!! I checked the website and she should not have been allowed to do this!!! But she told me I could only have one carryon!! That bitch! Plus she weighted my carry-ons!! She can’t do that, she told me it was a full flight and I could only have one carry on and it could only weigh 6 kilos. Both my carry-ons weighted 10 kilos. Then she told me I had no options. I could not take both my checked bags because one was overweight and I could not take either of my carry-ons because they were overweight too!!! But I could not check another bag because the plane was full and it would weigh down the plane. She was so mean!!! Finally after 40 minutes of me crying and sobbing in front of her she told me I HAD to check another bag which would be my carry-on and it would cost 290 dollars. Where did she get that number???? All my friends got through with two carry ons and some had to pay 25 dollars tops. This Lady was horrible. By now I was the only TIF kid not through security. All the madrichim had gone and I was on my own crying in front of this lady who would not let me take my things. Then after 1 hour and 20 minutes of crying in front of her she gave me a tag for my second carry on and I went through the gate. Guess what?? I never had to pay and didn’t get any more crap from anyone after that! She was just mean! So I went through security and literally RAN to the gate to board. I got there just in time (the plane boarded a few minutes late though) so I boarded and got into my seat. I had had no time all day to buy anything and spend my last shekels so when I returned home I had over 100 shekels. So let’s see, I got on the plane and was sitting next to Jake and Brandon. I had a window seat. The plane took off and yeah that was it. TIF was over. We had a nice flight, we landed and cheered and went to get our bags and see our families. Done.
WOW! Everyone is freaking out! We have our core final tomorrow and its going to be long (5 hours), hard (4 months of info, 3000 years of history), and worth a lot! (30 % of grade in core). We got a 7 page study guide, a date list of dates we must know, (1 full page), and an essay question for the essay we must write. This is probably going to be the biggest essay I have ever written!! It’s about themes in Jewish history. COOL!
(Sunday) So on Sunday we had core (our last core class) for 5 hours, we didn’t want to leave! Our class ended 50 minutes late! We got pictures with Danny and our class! So sad. L Then the rest of the day we had study time. I got my notebook and read the whole thing. It was very informative! However by the time I was done it was like 9 at night! And I started studying at like 1. Plus I had started studying in our room but then it got loud in there so I tried to study in both moadons but it was loud in there too! So then I tried studying outside our building on the stairs, not good. Then I tried in two different hallways inside our building. Me and the floor really bonded then. I was everywhere!! I kept moving to find a good spot where no one would bother me, even though the teachers recommend that you study in groups. So anyways, after I read over the review sheet to make sure I didn’t forget or miss anything I read the essay question. (I didn’t really prepare it, will just wing it and see how I do…) So then I kept studying until like 2 am. Lots of people were up very late like me studying.
(Monday) This morning I woke up, studied, had breakfast while studying, and then went to the final and studied. I don’t think you understand how big of an event this is. All of our other classes and finals are over, once we finish we have finished 10th grade, school is over, summer, and core is the main part of TIF so once it is over so is TIF. L NO!!! NO No No No!! So yeah, final.
(Monday night) The final wasn’t that hard. I thought I knew most of the facts and my essay was boring and long. (12 ½ pages! That’s what teachers like! Length!(Over strength)) So after the final I went out with Sofia to celebrate!!! We went to Café Zahavah, and then Deli Cream, a beauty store, and finally a store with stuff under 4 shekels. Like a 99 cent store. It was sad, we are leaving so soon… I honestly don’t want to leave! After the really yummy food we went back to campus and at 6 we went to our Core teachers houses for dinner. People took buses to Rona and Phil’s houses but our class just had to walk next door. Danny and Chana live on campus in the building next to us. We went there and had really yummy pasta and potatoes and salad outside the building on blankets and stuff. It was fun to talk to them, and then we got to watch their wedding video. It was so cute! And a funny thing was there was this part of Danny walking and we all recognized his signature walk/strut. It was hilarious! And then we saw their party! Plus Danny told us how great of a class we were. We were his first class and he said he was really nervous before we got there and he didn’t eat/sleep for like a whole week but we were the best class he could possibly ask for. It was so nice! And then we all went back to our building.
And so that is the story of the amazing and huge and scary core final. We laughed, cried, studied, wrote, typed, ate, and did all that fun stuff. And we succeeded!! I got a 97 on it!!! YAY!
Today was ok, pretty cool, I guess. It’s our last Tiyul, so sad! L We woke up at 6:00 and left at about 7:10. We drove for a while and then got to our first educational stop. I recognized the place! I had gone there before! It was a memorial for soldiers in the 6 day war when we got the Golan Heights. And it was by an old Syrian bunker that overlooked an Israeli Kibbutz. We learned more about the six day war and how we got the Golan Heights. I must say we owe a lot of it to the amazing spy Israel had, his name was Eli Cohen. He spent years climbing the Syrian political ladder. He became friends with everyone in the Syrian government. He had pictures of them that he sent to Israel, and got tours of lots of top secret Syrian bunkers. He told the Israelis what the Syrians were planning. Plus, once the Defense Minister of Syria was complaining how the soldiers were so hot in their bunkers, so Eli Cohen told him to plant Eucalyptus trees over all the bunkers. It would provide shade and cover from Israel. So then all Israel had to do was bomb the Eucalyptus groves in the Golan Heights. They don’t grow here naturally. And we got to see the huge Eucalyptus trees that are still here today. However on his last mission Eli Cohen was caught and hanged. He was the best spy Israel ever had. This guy was legit. He was next in line to be Defense Minister of Syria and third in line to be President of Syria. How amazing would that have been?! Plus the Syrian government was so crushed to find out he was Israeli, they told the media in Syria he had committed treason. So that was how we got the Golan Heights. We had an amazing spy and easy targets. Britain said it would take three months and over 600,000 casualties to get the Golan Heights because it was so well protected, however Israel did it in two days with fewer than 400 casualties. There you go. So were we at the Syrian bunker and we got to look around, we saw the memorial for the Israelis and then got back on the buses and went to our lunch spot. After lunch we drove some more towards the Syrian border. On the way our bus driver told us about how in the six day war he was in a tank unit here and he pointed out the place where his tank got stuck. It’s amazing how there are war heroes everywhere in Israel and they are just normal, everyday people. So then we got to our other learning spot. We learned about two real heroes in the war who fought there. And we saw the Syrian border. We were pretty high up and we could see into Syria. We saw a few towns. Then we heard a bomb/missile thing go off and saw where it had hit in the mountain. It was ironic because we were learning about how Syria is our quietest border and there was a missile. But it had gone off in Syria in the side of a mountain miles away, probably just a training exercise. But nonetheless I was scared. We kept learning and saw this town that is three years old in Syria and probably there to support the trenches and stuff Syria probably has there. Yay, more scariness!! (BTW: we were up really high and it was super windy up there! Plus it was so clear that day we could see the Hermon and its snow covered mountaintop.) And then we heard a helicopter over us, that really scared me! (I later learned it was a UN helicopter, phew!) After that we got to see an Israeli tank from the six day war. But we were a bit late so I didn’t bother going on the tank. I did that at Latrun. Plus, tons of people were losing their hats unless they constantly were holding them. And they couldn’t even get them back because there was barbed wire everywhere closing off places because there are still mines there. Syria put mines there and they are still there today! So anyways, after that we had lunch at a random spot and then we went to watch a movie about the six day war. It was about the tank unit and the three full days of fighting. It was pretty intense and really made you feel the quick pace and frightening situation. 97% of the footage, sounds, and radio transmissions were real! And we heard a few famous quotes we learned about. Plus one thing that the commander regrets: he told a tank to break the column of Syrian tanks, and they said we have no ammo left! But he said “the Syrians don’t know that!” The commander survived but that tank didn’t. He says he feels like he sent them to their death, and he probably did. But they succeeded in the mission to break through the Syrians. After the movie we went to a hike in the Golan. Some of us were told it was a nature walk, but it was a hike! The first part we hiked down into a valley, and it was gorgeous! There was a waterfall and rocks and pink flowers everywhere! It was magnificent! Perhaps the most beautiful spot we have been to. There was a pond, waterfall, and rainbow at the bottom. We were allowed to go swimming but I didn’t. There was nowhere to change. However the people who did go swimming had an awesome time. Plus they got some amazing pictures. The place was too beautiful not to! Then we hiked back up. OH, I forgot to mention that this is our LAST HIKE! I’m happy and sad. Mostly sad. L So, the way up was really hard, and it was hot, and I was panting, and we didn’t take breaks! I was so happy to reach the top and we had the most amazing views! But then we got back on the buses and left the Golan. It is a really great place that Israel has. So then we went to dinner, it was so yummy! I had steak and it was the first steak I have had in 4 months. Very yummy! I was completely full after dinner. So then we went to our youth hostel, not bad but not super nice! So I showered and went to sleep, ready for the last day of our tiyul. NNNNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOO!
Day 2: Today we woke up at 6:30, I had slept very well during the night but boy was I tired! We had breakfast (it was ok) and then left for our first stop of the day, the Naot factory! Shoe shopping. We got there and had 1 hour to shop, they call it a factory but we don’t even get a tour! Just shop for shoes. I didn’t even want a pair, sure they are comfy and mold to your feet, but in the end of the day all you have is a pair of ugly, clunky, overpriced sandals! They are like 250-600 shekels and I don’t need another pair of shoes! So I just looked around. Then we left the Naot factory and came to a random place where we had class for a while. Then our group split up, half went to an army base and half went river rafting and then we switch. I went river rafting first, it was alright. Not that great, I had already been river rafting on the Jordan River with my family. Plus there were six people in our boat!! So we got in and immediately got wet! There was water everywhere!! We started near rapids, they were fun! But we couldn’t steer through them well. So everyone was mad at the people with the paddles. Plus the paddles were really short and couldn’t reach to both sides easily. So basically we were spinning and hitting the sides constantly. Not fun, I broke a nail! (No, like really badly, half of it off! It was bleeding and I had given myself a really nice manicure two days ago . L ) so then it was quite on the river but the really bossy people in my boat didn’t even let me paddle! That made me mad! In our boat we had Hannah, Hanna, Jeremy, Jake, Samara (madricha) and me! On the river we passed a bunch of people and got passed a bunch of times by other people. Plus we were close to these Arab boys who were yelling at us and splashing us! Not fun! And we met two people who knew a bunch of Milken kids! When Jake fell off our boat, they picked him up and brought him to us. They were very nice! And then we finished. We were second but the first boat had two people because their boat tipped over and the other two people just joined another boat. So then we got on a bus to go back to where we started, it was very open and dirty! There were no seat belts and it was very bumpy! But it was fun! We were all wet and just bouncing around! Yay! I enjoyed it. After that we had lunch and then got on the bus to go to the army post. It is in the Northern tip of Israel. Very high clearance and cool. We were only allowed to take pictures of a few APC’s. (Tank, but no cannon, just machine guns) plus, we saw a Hezbollah car driving close to the border. Pretty scary! And the tour guide dude tricked us by saying “get down!”. It was scary! Then we saw some more stuff, but in the words of May, “it’s all hush hush”. Plus we learned how the army post is very prestigious and how it’s all Druzim. Yay Druze! We also saw the border with Lebanon. Its these 2 metal wires that are a “fence”. Their reasoning is that it’s hard to build a fence people can’t get through so they built one that they can detect when people go through, over, or cut it. They know where and what happened so it’s pretty cool! We were about 20 feet from the border. REALLY CLOSE! After the cool army place we went back to the kayak place and then the teachers decided we wouldn’t have our discussion there. So we drove for a few minutes until we found a “nice” spot. It had an amazing view! But we had to sit on dirt and rocks with tons of bugs! Oh well. I was sad because it was our last uncomfortable spot! We had the best discussion! It was about what we were looking for in TIF and what we gained. It was so sad! A few people in the end started crying because they didn’t want to leave, and neither do I! We also took our class picture which was really sad! Then we got on the buses and wrote letters to ourselves. Danny will send them to us within six months to a year. I wrote a really good letter to myself! Man! I don’t want to leave Israel! I have really gained an awe and respect for Judaism and Israel. It is truly astounding that both of them exist. So now we are on our last bus ride of TIF. Man! Why do good things have to end?
Today was May’s Birthday!!! YAY! She is 16!!! (Just so you know, a lot of people have birthdays here but I blog about a few that I actively take part in.) So today she woke up and guess what? She is toran today!!! So she has to wake everyone up, clean the dining hall, clean the dorm common room, and take out everyone’s garbage. How much does that suck?? But anyways we all woke up and today we didn’t exactly have Core class. We had a speaker from the David project who showed us a presentation. It was about world anti-Semitism and what we can do to argue and stop it. The slideshow was amazing!! But also very real and scary. It showed colleges in California and all over the USA that have weeks devoted to just proving that Israel is apartheid state. And they have walls, posters, speakers, and fake beatings. It’s horrid! Then we saw a clip of a Palestinian children’s TV show. It was the scariest thing there, for me. It was literally brainwashing children! They had an Arab Mickey mouse talk about filthy Jews who are terrorists and stole their land. It was so wrong! They are brainwashing the children!! So the children will never make peace with us! (Here is a link. The videos are really worth watching. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hcmHvczBGqg&feature=PlayList&p=A699DEE54F3D553E&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=27 and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TrieBhaGgHM ) (The second one is the last episode because world pressure and the UN made them stop the show. Now they have a racist Rabbit!) Plus, we learned about how many people report the truth about Israel however they fail to give context and the big picture, therefore the world is made racist against Israel. For example, there was an article in the New York Times about how Israel stops Palestinian ambulances with dying people inside on their way to the hospital. However the article failed to mention how before 2004 when Israel started doing this, there were hundreds of cases where Arabs smuggled guns and explosives into Israel. Then the explosives were blown up and tons of Israelis were killed. Basically, the speaker was really good and I think we should have that program at our school. After school we (Hanna, Ariela, Sofia, Cassie, May, Naomi, Karen, Adi, and I) went to a restaurant for dinner. It was really nice and yummy!! J And we got her a cake and it was SO GOOD!!! OMG!!! So yummy! Then we came back and I am here writing this. I feel like I end my blogs a lot by saying that…….
Today was so cool!! In the morning we got on the buses and drove to Rechovot to the Weitzman Institute. We were met by a few people who told us we would have three presentations today. One Physics, one Chemistry, and one biomedical. It sounded cool. Plus they told us what the institute does and what opportunities there are for us. Everything there is in English and there is a summer science research opportunity after 12th grade. It sounded really cool!! I wanted to get the website for it but forgot to. Oh well. In two years hopefully I will remember it!
Anyways so I got to go to the Physics presentation first. Basically it was a bunch of experiments and stuff. It was really cool and he explained everything and we learned stuff. Pretty sweet. The parts that stuck out to me was when he showed us the video of David Scott on the moon on Apollo 15 in 1971. He took a feather and hammer and dropped them at the same time. Galileo said about 700 years ago that without air friction they should hit the ground at the same time. And David got to test that. Guess what? Galileo was right! Shocker! So we saw the video and it was cool. (Btw this was the third time I had seen the video. But it’s still cool.) Plus, the dude mentioned Challenger and what happened and why it “exploded”.(its in quotes because it is not the proper technical term) He talked about the rubber and how it didn’t go back to its original state. But he did not mention the O ring, or how it sealed between the rocket booster and oxygen tank, or how it had gotten really cold the night before in Florida, or how it was already two days after the scheduled launch, or how the President was giving his State of the Union Address the next day and wanted to mention the teacher in space. (Her name was Judith B. Resnik) Plus he did not mention how in the investigation they found that three people were alive until they hit the water. Basically, he really skimmed the surface with it and many people felt they did not have the full story. And he mentioned Columbia and how NASA did not learn but that was COMPLETELY 100 % unrelated!! I wanted to punch him. But I did not.
Plus a few cool things we saw were dry ice, liquid nitrogen which froze fruit. Then he smashed it and people ate it. (Not me, it was on the ground) plus he had lots of different gases people inhaled. One was helium which makes your voice very high, and the other made your voice really low. Plus he made sound waves on a plate and showed us the patterns and places where it is still. Using salt! It was so cool! It made patterns on the plate. And he showed us other cool stuff. Then we went to this really cool sculpture garden. It had lots of really neat stuff. A water wheel thing, a gyroscope, a pengilum, and a moon swing. I thought the swing would be really cool but it was just ok. There was a wooden circle thing (like cylinder) and basically a harness attached to a pole really high up. You sat in the harness and swung around the cylinder. And kicked off of it. It was supposed to simulate the one sixth of the moon gravity. Whatever.
Then we had lunch and went to our chemistry presentation. We also saw a bunch of cool experiments there. Plus they drew stuff on the board and wrote a few chemical equations there. So we learned stuff. We saw Hydrogen Peroxide and something else react and it foamed a lot! Plus we then figured out what the products were by burning the bubbles. (to see if there was oxygen) Then we saw a few other things and lastly we got to make our own jello like stuff. It was bright orange and gooey. It kind of reminded me of Mad Science birthday parties we used to have.
Then we had a lecture on Animal Sex. That was the biomedical part. It was weird…..so anyways after that we got back on the buses and went to a Druze village in the Carmel Mountains.
It was so cool!! We got off the buses and looked around and saw a normal village. Much of the writing was in Arabic but the people were dressed normally and it was a nice place. Houses, cars, shops, food!!! We went to someone’s house and he told us about the Druze and his story. He was born in Lebanon, moved to Israel to have a better life, Druze don’t have a country so they are loyal to the place they live in, there are religious and secular Druze, you get the choice five times in your life of whether to become religious or secular, they believe in reincarnation 73 times, people can remember their past life (just one) and then dude told us about his past life. He was walking down the street in Lebanon and he saw a house that he recognized. He went inside and remembered everything! His past name, family, and their names! He then went into his old room and there you have it. That was his life before this one. (I don’t know if I really believe them. But they know names and stuff so maybe they are on to something…) They believe that men are reincarnated into men and women into women and Druze people stay in their religion. You can’t convert to be a Druze, you can marry a Druze but not convert. Then we got to eat their food. OMG AMAZING!! Like the Bedouin tents, the bread was so good! We had lafa, lafa with Zatar, chicken and rice and lots of side dishes. Plus we had tea and cookies at the end. (I still didn’t like the tea. I guess it’s just not for me)After that they played instruments and sang to us. Many people got up and danced and it was nice. And then we went back to the dorms. The end.
Tonight we had a “Tiyul”. We had a full day of school until 5:30 and then we got on the buses at 5:50. The weird thing was we didn’t know where we were going or what we were doing or what to bring. Many of us just brought our keys and phone. Plus it was still like 100 degrees outside. We were wearing tank tops and shorts. So on the bus we were told that we were going to IDC, a college in Herzlia. Ok, why are we going to a college?? Whatever…The great thing about TIF is that we can have school and then go on a trip at night and its totally normal. I love TIF because we can also go on a trip and then we will do a hike and go out to dinner in random cities, it’s totally normal and cool! When I return to Milken I will be in school waiting to go on a hike.
So anyways, we get to IDC and it’s this cute little college. We meet this girl who goes there and we got a tour with her. The campus is little, 5,200 students. The real pull for us is that they have over 1,100 students that study all their classes in English. It is a private Jewish Israeli college where you can get your degree studying in Israel. It’s cool! If it had majors I was interested in I would probably consider it.
Then we had a presentation by two kids (college students. One from Australia and one French guy. Both in college and made Aliyah) who had gone to the Durban Conference. It was really amazing and interesting. They went to support Israel because it turned very anti-Israel, to protest peacefully, and mainly to redirect the peoples and Media’s attention to causes that really need attention now like Darfur, human rights in Iran, problems in China and so on. They had pictures, videos, and speeches and their presentation. We saw their Jewish welcome center, Yom Hashoah ceremony, their peaceful protest and march, and their celebration on the last day. It was cool. They really succeeded and are very brave. It was pretty sweet.
Then we got on the bus and arrived home at 8:45. Now to do my homework…
Wow. Today we did a lot. But I am feeling lazy right now and tired so I will not write everything. So this morning we woke up at 7 and left at 8. We got to this place called Givat Haviva. It has a center for peace where Israeli Arabs and Israelis come together and talk. We met this lady who was nice but pretty boring. She talked to us for like 3 hours!!! Told us the whole history of Israel. It was so boring when she said it!! I was falling asleep! Then we had lunch and then we met this Israeli Arab named Amir. He told us about himself and we were allowed to ask questions. I had been looking forward to this but by the time we finally got to meet him I was so bored of listening and I was not in the mood to pay attention. Honestly, I doodled in my notebook and played games with other people for the first half of the talk. I don’t remember like anything he said! But I know that I don’t agree with him. We talked about the army, money problems, Palestinian refugees, borders, and how and why they feel like second class citizens. It was boring and that guy was an uninformed idiot. Or so I felt. But in real life by his looks he was normal. Shaven, nice car, and he was a lawyer. Whatever.
Then we got on the buses and got a tour of an Israeli Arab town called Barta. It is one of those cool Arab towns that grows outward from one family. Every person in Barta has the last name Habbaka. They are all related, how cool is that? But the bad thing was that when the green line was drawn, they used what they thought were “Natural borders” like natural stuff, valleys, that make a border. So Barta was cut in half by the green line. However the barrier was put outside of Barta. So from the barrier, its inside Israel. But from the green line its half in Israel half in the West Bank. Weird, I know. Plus all the houses there were so nice!! They were actual mansions and palaces! Since lots of the Arabs are builders they build themselves these amazing houses! Plus, many of them don’t have to pay taxes because they are in between the green line and barrier. They are lucky. But most of their houses are illegal anyways!
So after that we saw a Jewish settlement that was near Barta. It was nice!! The houses were very nice (the new ones) and it seemed like a cool place to live. It was one of Sharon’s seven stars. He wanted more Jews in that area so he made seven Jewish settlements. The one we visited one a particularly good and successful one. After that we went to a mall in Tel Aviv and had DOTS. I had frozen yogurt!!! It was so good! And then I did some shopping and I bought a belt. And then I got frozen yogurt again!! YUMMY!!! And then we got on the buses and drove to this theater in Yaffo where blind, deaf, and blind and deaf people put on a play. It was really amazing. They all have their own ways of communicating. The lucky ones were those who could still hear a little with their hearing aids or see shapes and colors. It made me appreciate what I have. Plus they baked bread that we could eat after the show and it was really yummy. They were so cute and there were a bunch of skits. Something that stood out to me was these two little ladies who could still hear and talk. They were always together and it says in the playbill thing that they are best friends in real life. How cute! And they put on a play every day. It was weird because the people had to be tapped to do their cues or lead around by people and everything was translated and spoken for us. It was so sad! Their play was about their hopes and dreams. They fulfilled them in the play. Plus the stage was genius. It had an incline so the people would know to stop walking and so they would not fall off the stage. It was nice and that is my short blog because I am not in the mood to write a lot.
This is going to be the best trip ever!! Do you know why? Because there is no learning, all we have to do is have fun in the sun on the beaches of Eilat and go SHOPPING!!! Today we left at 7:15 and drove for 3 hours (I slept really well!). then we visited a kibbutz in the Negev called Kibbutz Revivim. It is not a kibbutz anymore but they were there during the 1930’s and 1940’s. plus later on for a while. They settled in the Negev because they wanted it to be part of Israel, and the British only gave us places where Jews lived. While they were there they faced many problems. First of all, it’s the Negev!! Desert, no water, no people, nothing grows there! They dug and found salty water that was still drinkable, didn’t have that many people, and grew Olive and Date trees. The soil is fertile if watered. So yeah, they lived there.
During the Independence day war they were on the front lines and they fought and survived! They lived in caves and we got to go into the caves. A bit small and funny smelling, but livable. We saw their dining hall/hospital/armory/meeting room. It was big so it was basically everything. The weapons were cool! We also saw the original farming tools they used there and it was so old and weird looking. Like, “What the heck does that do?” It was cool. Then we saw two planes from the Independence day war. One was Dakota, one of the two supply planes Israel had, and the other was this tiny, TINY fighter plane. It didn’t even have a gun! There was one behind the propeller but the Israelis never trusted it so they held and shot rifles outside the plane. We got to go inside Dakota. It was old and the cockpit was cool! So many levers and buttons and controls. They also had a small tracking station on the plane and a bathroom in the back. EW! It smelled!
After that we got on the buses again and went back to Sdeh Boquer……AAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!! (BTW: the olive grove is still there today in Revivim and it’s pretty big and amazing!) When we were driving there we drove right past our Gadna base. (We had Gadna is Sdeh Boquer) I was screaming inside my head, “Don’t take me back!!!” NO!! I hated it! We then had lunch in the exact same spot we had lunch before Gadna. It was hell all over again! THEN, we walked to where we had our closing ceremony! It seriously was like, HEY, Weren’t we just here? We all had a discussion by Ben Gurion’s grave (in our core classes) about what an ideal Zionist/true Zionist is. Ben Gurion thought they must live in Israel to be a true Zionist. I agree but I don’t think everyone needs to be a ideal Zionist.
Then we went on a hike. It was ok, fun, and pretty. I was first! (Duh. Actually there’s this girl who likes to walk in front of me. She won’t let me pass! IT’S ANNOYING! She’s mean. Whatever. I’m thinking about starting to not care about being first.) We hiked next to this weird river. What is dirty, green, mossy water doing in the middle of the desert? It was weird and just an hour hike. Very pleasurable.
Then we drove here to the Bedouin Camp. It’s nice! The tent (Girls side, boy’s side) is really big! And they have bathrooms, soap, showers, mirrors, and lights! It’s nice but not exactly a true Bedouin camp. We met this guy named Salam (Peace). And then we met someone named Mohammad. (Haha funny name) they are really nice! They introduced themselves and then half of us went to ride the camels while the others stayed in the tent. I went to ride the camels. Two people to a camel, (Hanna was my partner) and we sit in between the humps. We were third in line. Hanna was a bit scared but I was excited. (A little, I had ridden camels before. It’s no big deal.) The camel got up and it was cool. We were really tilted because it goes up to its knees in front then in back then stands up all the way. But then we were up, it was pretty high! Camels are tall! Then we started walking, it was painful! So much worse and different than horses!
Many people named their camels, the first few were Avichai, Jeremiah, Sheldon, Ernie, Bobby, and Eugene. (There were more camels after that.) Plus there was Stanley and Fredrick. I was on Sheldon (He is totally named for the Big Bang Theory) and behind me was Ernie. He was a creeper and really liked me! He kept nudging me, walking next to me, and putting his head on me! It was creepy and scary! He’s a camel! He was scary and making mean camel noises! Anyways, we got some good pictures! Our shadows were so cool!!
After the camel ride we sat in a tent while Salam told us his life story, sang to us, and taught us about Bedouins. He was cool! Plus, we got cookies (yummy!), tea and coffee. Everyone was raving about the tea and coffee but I didn’t like it! It tasted like dirt. Whatever….. I learned that Salam was born in Israel, is an Israeli citizen, has one wife (even though his culture permits more than one), and is part of a tribe. He’s not hostile and doesn’t hate Jews and Israel! He is nice and welcoming. After that we had a bit of free time and then had dinner. It was AMAZING!!! So yummy!! We even got to sit on the floor like they do and we all shared the food from one giant plate. The best part was the bread! It was so good! I loved it! After dinner we had free time. So now I am writing this. As I write I think about today which was really fun, and the upcoming days. I’m so excited to go shopping, snorkeling, parasailing (unless I chicken out) and just have fun on the beach. Yet for some reason I find myself nervous or worrying about something. But I have no idea why in the world I am! Oh well!
(Later that night) We just had a bonfire. (We have been having a lot lately! At home in LA we never have any!) the funny thing was that this bonfire was bigger than the one we had on Lag Baomer. And that’s when we are SUPPOSED to have huge bonfires. But anyways, we had a fire and a ton of food. Chocolate, marshmallows, cookies, wafers, and yummy stuff! I saw the people from San Diego who were next to us looking at our food, they had none. Sucks for them! After the fire we got ready for bed and went to sleep, ready for a really fun day tomorrow!
Side Note: When Salam sang to us, one of the songs he sang was Od Yavo Shalom Aleynu. (Peace will come between us/there will be peace between us.) it’s hard to translate but it’s a really nice song. And it’s in Hebrew! That made me realize how great this guy is! He’s an Arab who just wants peace like us! So there you go.
Side note: When Hanna and I were on our camel Sheldon, our saddle was tilting to the right and I’m a worrier and I kept thinking it would turn and slide and we would fall off and hurt ourselves. We didn’t. But there really wasn’t time to! It was a huge flat circle we walked around that took about 10 minutes. Whatever, I’m glad it wasn’t uphill or downhill, that would be so scary! But a funny thing that happened was our camel pooped while we were riding it. Actually many camels pooped and peed while they were walking, but luckily I don’t think the one in front of us did! However it was hard to tell because Hanna was in front and she has a BIG HEAD!!! Hahaha. Jk.
Today was SO FUN!!! We woke up at 6:15 and packed our stuff. (I slept so well in the Bedouin tent! It was great!) Then we had breakfast. It was amazing! But only because of their great bread! I ate like 5 lafas! DELICIOUS! Then we drove for a while (I slept very nicely on the bus.) and we got to these really cool sand dunes.
The sand was impossibly soft and so incredible! It was really hot and the sand was burning under my feet. But I didn’t care! And if you dug down you got cold sand. I ran down the sand, rolled down, jumped down, put sand on my arms, legs, and stomach. It was FUN! The sand was really small and it just got everywhere! When you tried to walk it gave way under your feet. Walking back up the mountain was so hard! I had to take breaks because I got so tired. Plus I had to use my hands and bear crawl. We were there for about 1 hour. many people jumped off the dune and did flips, summersaults, rolls, or just jumped really high! Even Phil, Danny, and Nitzan! (Lots of good videos) the cool thing was while people were rolling down there was sand everywhere! A cloud of sand around them, and it covered their legs, arms, feet, and face! Any exposed skin. After the sand dunes, we walked to the buses (which was painful because I didn’t put my shoes back on L) and drove to our lunch spot.
It was pretty and we had lunch bought by our madrichim. Which was ok, but not as good as last time. The good thing about the place was the little organic store next-door. They sold stuff like homemade jam, bread, dried fruit (the dates were delicious!) nuts, and homemade ice cream. It was SO GOOD!! I got chocolate and it was amazing and really chocolaty. Plus, I tried the peach which was really good. (I should have gotten a fruity flavor.)
After lunch we drove to our hike. I must say the Negev is beautiful, there are rocks, cliffs, (which are colors like Black, red, orange, and some green) , different colored sand, some trees, and stuff. Just the vastness and hugeness of it makes me amazed. We passed along the way this natural crater thing and it was awesome. Mountains on every side and a HUGE ENOURMOUS valley in the middle. It was so cool! When we got to our hike, I was prepared but some people weren’t. they did not have the right shoes, cloths, or enough water. People claimed someone said it was a nature walk but it was not! It was in the middle of this awesome valley and there was just rock on either side. Plus at some points it was steep and we had rails on either side that we had to hold and slide down. Then halfway there we turned around and went back a different way. This part was hard and uphill, YAY!! I didn’t have a problem but some people were really mad, oh well. I was first back to the parking lot. It kind of sucked and ruined it that we ended at a parking lot without of a view. Yes we had nice views the whole time, but we didn’t get the same satisfaction we do when we conquer a mountain and get to look around at the top. Oh well.
After the hike we finally got to go to Eilat!! Finally, I had been looking forward to it all day! The first thing I thought when I got off the bus was, “WOW, Its really hot here!” I took a look around and basically it was a beach paradise. A huge shopping mall (and no sales tax in Eilat!), a boardwalk with lots of shops, endless perfect beach, lots of people and places to rent Jet skis and boats, food shops, and tons of ships on the port and everything to make it perfect. The first thing I did was change into my bathing suit and hit the beach. All day I had been asking people if they wanted to go parasailing with me. Finally Ariela said yes! I was so excited! The first thing I did was put my stuff down, grab my money and go wait in line for the parasailing. I was so excited but nervous! There were like three groups in front of us (Ariela and I) but they were going banana boating. So when we got to the front he told us to go right away!
I was a bit scared, I thought I would have time to mentally prepare myself but we just immediately got on the boat. We drove out really far away and put on our lifejackets and harnesses. Then we sat down on the back of the boat (which was open in the back)and started. I think I should mention that it was the perfect day. Warm and windy out on the Red Sea. So we sat down on the back of the boat, and then the wind caught us and we slid off the back into the water. Then right after the boat started going we were in the air. It was amazing! We were floating (they said 300 feet high) and we could see everything! The beach, the port, and the water was impossibly blue and sparkly. Then we were really high up and it would have gotten boring but we were going lower and lower and splash! We went into the water all the way, got completely soaked from head to toe (with salty water) and then back up. It was awesome! They dunked us like four times! And up we went again. We were screaming and cheering (not even holding on) then soon after they pulled us in. we skimmed the water and were on the boat. We were so wet and just dripping everywhere but we forgot our towels on the beach. So we air dried on the way back. (Which I regret because then I had white salt stains on my legs the rest of the day) Plus they took pictures of us which we can pick up tomorrow, so we will see if they are good….the whole thing cost 190 shekels each so like 48 dollars. But it was worth it! So fun!
Then we got back and our friends who had been in line before us still had not gone banana boating! (They had to wait like two hours and that was most of our free time. L) So Ariela, Hanna, Hannah, and I went shopping on the boardwalk. It was so cool! I bought a strawberry banana smoothie. (It was so good!) a black dress (for 30 shekels) , and a pair of black sandals for 100 shekels. Yay I have a new outfit! Ariela also bought a sundress and Hanna bought two pairs of shoes. It was so fun! Then we went back to the beach and finally our friends had gone! They (Sofia, Naomi, Karen, Cassie, May, Adi, and Jake) said it was really fun! They basically sat on a boat pulling them (Shaped sort of like a banana) and held on while the boat that was pulling them zoomed around. They fell off a lot and May got kicked in the head. L And Cassie kicked Adi in the nose and gave him a bloody nose. Yet they still had fun….
After that we had DOTS so basically we had 3 ½ hours of free time. (Not bad!) We went into the mall and ate kosher Sbarros. It was ok, but it’s just cool that its kosher here in Israel. We met a few Israelis (11 graders). They live on a kibbutz close to Eilat. (Aren’t they lucky?) They say they can tell we are American even before we talk. IDK how.. After that it was back to the boardwalk and I bought black sandals. They match my dress! J I got so many compliments on my shoes. It was great!
Then we just sat on the beach and chilled. We watched and listened to the water and threw/skimmed rocks. It was cool, since it was dark we threw rocks but could not see them until they hit the water. If you picked up a handful of tiny rocks it was even cooler!! They all fell and it looked awesome!
THEN AT 8:05 we walked back to our meeting place, got on the buses, and went to Kibbutz Yahel. It is, well…yucky! Our room is tiny, stuffy, and full of bugs! Really, we came in and they were crawling over our beds! I killed them! Apparently out of my room (Karen, Alex, and Celine) I am the least afraid of bugs. So we got to shower (it was a bad shower. The bathroom is gross, bug infested, and the sink is in the shower..) and then we went to sleep.
We woke up at 6:30 and had breakfast at Kibbutz Yahel. It was yummy. They have a nice dining hall. It must be cool to live on a kibbutz! After we got on the buses and drove to where our hike was. Today’s hike was awesome! We started out at the bottom of a valley/mountains. It was rock and sand everywhere! So we started hiking. It was hot and uphill and hard. But then we got to a park/the top and we had the most amazing view! We could see the Red Sea, Eilat, Israel, Jordan, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia! It was so cool! It all looked so peaceful from up there. However it was so windy! People’s hats kept lying off so I just held mine. It’s been cool because the day earlier we were driving along the border with Egypt. It’s just a small barbed wire fence. So anyways, we kept hiking and all of a sudden I feel something coming out of my nose. It was blood! EW! I just randomly got a bloody nose. And I was in the front, but I had to stop, get tissues (Which Cassie gave to me. Thank you!) and hold them up to my nose. It was gross! I hate blood and it kept coming out of my nose! But like 3 minutes later it stopped. Phew! By then I was at the back. I hate being last. It’s like a pet peeve of mine. FRONT! So when we got to the next stopping/break point I maneuvered to the front. (Front 3. I forgot to mention that both Hanna(h)s did not hike, AGAIN! They are missing out!) then we hiked down for a while. It was really steep and rocky but I did not fall, although Adi E. took a pretty bad fall. Then we were at the bottom and at the Red Sea! We hiked for 2 ½ hours and made it to the Red Sea! Yay! It was awesome! We really felt like we accomplished something.
So we then got our stuff for snorkeling and went to the place. We got changed into our bathing suits and then had an orientation about snorkeling. How to wear the mask, what to do, and what fish to look for. So then we went in groups of ten. I was in the first group and really scared! I had never snorkeled before, had gotten a bloody nose 2 hours earlier, and did not want another, and we learned about two poisonous fish that lived there. I was scared! But our guide person got into the water and we followed. I didn’t have to do anything to stay afloat! The lifejacket did it all. So I put my head down and breathed through my mouth. It worked! And boy it was amazing down there! Coral, fish, sand, colors, so pretty. I’m so glad I did it. And the water was warm and relatively calm. Though I did swallow salt water a few times. I saw lots of parrot fish, clown fish that look like nemo but have two stripes, and tons of other fish. I saw schools of fish, big fish, little fish, and really awesome stuff. I did not even see any poisonous fish! And they stay at the bottom which was like 15 feet below us. Basically when we got to the end like seven minutes later I was like, WHAT? We’re done already? NO! But we got out, returned our snorkeling gear, dried off, got dressed, and waited for everyone else.
Then we drove to the beach again where we were yesterday with the mall and boardwalk. We got money and had LOTS and free time. We had like 3 hours. So first Ariela and I went and got our pictures from parasailing. Then on the way back we got lunch. I was not that hungry so I just got frozen yogurt. Then we went to a food place, then another, then another! Finally she was satisfied! Haha. So she ordered there and ate. Then I went to the mall to meet up with Hanna and Hannah, and she went back to the beach. So I got to the mall and called the Hanna(h)’s to find out where they are so we can go shopping! 13 phone calls and 30 minutes later they picked up. Apparently they thought I was not coming so they went to the beach and ditched me. I was angry! But they came back and we went shopping. I bought a white dressy shirt, a locket, and a Michal Negrin necklace. It was a good shopping day! But now I realize how stupid I was! I should have bought people gifts there! I am bad at buying gifts. L oh well. Next time! So we then went back to our meeting place and left.
On the way to the kibbutz we stopped by the Shoko (Chocolate Milk) factory. However we only had 10 minutes there! I really wanted ice cream but the line was so long! So I just got a bottled chocolate milkshake. It tasted like a bottle of chocolate milk with extra chocolate. It was ok. (But now I regret getting it because I am addicted to them!) then we came back to kibbutz Yahel and got a tour of it.
This guy who has lived there for like 30 years told us the history of the kibbutz. Founded in 1977, by Americans, British, and Israelis, farming is 70% of their income. Originally the Jordan-Israel border fence was made 1000 yards closer to Jordan so Israel got lots of fertile land in the valley where the border was. In 1994 Jordan wanted the land back and Israel was willing to give it back, land is replaceable but children’s and soldier’s lives are not! However in the final agreement the border fence was moved and the fields were kept. The fields jut out in the border. And we got to go to the Pamela fields and saw the border. It is a road, then dirt road, then fence, then no man’s land, another fence, another dirt road, and lastly a road. That’s it! It is all about 30 feet long. And there are no soldiers or patrollers or anything! Then the dude told us about how he used to give Pamela to the Jordanian and Israeli soldiers. And how they were nice and once their families even had dinner together. Bonding over Pamela fruit, yay! Then we got to taste the Pamela. It was so cool because he peeled the Pamela and explained how it was a Jewish fruit because (and then he cut the top off and put it on someone’s head) we wear kippas! And then he explained how it was fruit of the Negev because we have to wear hats here. (he put the rest of the peel on someone else’s head.) It was cool, and the fruit tasted like Grapefruit but sweeter. Then we went back to our rooms, showered for Shabbat, and had dinner.
After dinner we had free time and then there was a party! I was so happy I could wear my new shirt! But the party sucked. It was in this little room and it was hot, smelly, and stuffy. Plus there were like 10 people from the kibbutz. Oh well. At 12 we all went to sleep. Yay sleep!
Today we got to sleep in and wake up at 11. Then at 12:30 we had lunch. (I forgot to mention that this kibbutz is 40 minutes outside Eilat and it’s the first Reform Kibbutz in the Negev.) It was ok, better than food in the Hod. After lunch we were allowed to go to the pool. It was really hot and humid outside but I didn’t go. SERIOUSLY it was like 110 degrees Fahrenheit outside! So I read my book Message in a Bottle. Then at 4:30 we had snacks and after I went back to my book until 6:30. It was really sad and cool because the people who are making our TIF t-shirts had a meeting today. I want the t-shirt but don’t want to leave! We have so little time here! At dinner we got a really horrible announcement! Our only remaining free weekend has been cancelled! First Milken took away our second to last free weekend and now our last one has been cancelled! Plus it’s Shavuot! I want to see my family! Milken is being really horrible! So now I am pissed at Milken.
After dinner we had an activity where we sat in a circle with our eyes closed while a few people tapped us on our heads for various things. They were like “tap someone on the head who makes you smile, has pretty eyes, pretty hair, you have bonded with on TIF, has good fashion sense, and so on. It was really nice! People surprised me about some things. J it was fun! Then we had havdallah, our last havdallah on a trip weekend. (This is our last trip weekend) it really made me realize how little time we have left. L Then we got on the bus and left on our 4-5 hour bus ride back to campus. So now I am on the bus, finishing my journal and about to fall asleep. I look around at people who are sleeping, talking, reading, doing homework, listening to music, or just starting out the window. It’s nice and I’m really going to miss it when TIF is over. Plus two people have birth days tonight on the bus. Happy 16th Birthday!
A few nights ago we had a room bonding night with one of our madrichas, Samara. Basically, over the course of TIF we are supposed to have a bonding night with each madrich. So, we already had one with Leeyat (Where we sat around, drank tea, and talked) now we are having our night with Samara. We decided to go out and have fun. And there is this place Pastamia which we wanted to try. So we made a reservation and 15 minutes before the reservation we started walking. We knew where it was, we just did not know how far it was. We asked someone and they said it was 30 minutes away!!!! We blew that one! Darn, we did not have enough time to walk to Pastamia, so we decided to go to Cafeneto, its closer and pretty good. (Btw, on the weekend I walked to Pastamia, it is less than one block away from Cafeneto!!!! L we could have gone there. ) So we got there, ordered food, and started talking. Basically, it was really fun and we talked and bonded. YAY! I even bought a really good dessert. J And then we walked home (To the dorms) and yeah. That’s it.
Remember a long time ago I blogged about going out into town and how I went to this ice cream place and asked for frozen yogurt? The dude there pointed to frozen fruit and I was very confused. Well guess what? I figured it out!! I was at that place again and the person in front of me ordered frozen yogurt. They picked out different fruits, blended them together with frozen yogurt, and voila! That is what frozen yogurt means in Israel and that is why he pointed to the frozen fruit. I tried it and it was really good!! I got strawberries, mango, kiwi, cranberries, and pineapple. It was yummy! J Next time I think I will add chocolate too….