I wish I had been wearing a pedometer on this trip, the amount of miles we have walked and hiked has been staggering. I am truly thankful that you cannot smell me (the result of all the walking and hiking!) I think my feet are permanently dirty! I packed just the right amount of clothing thanks to Autumns’ crazy packing list. I did not get dysentery from the water and I love, love, love Israeli food! Keen’s are the best shoes in the world!
The most remarkable thing about Israel (beside its’ amazing landscape and tremendous history) is the relationship that it has with her people. From the absorption center in Ashkelon to the elderly participants at Yad Lekashish – Israel cares for all who cross its borders by giving them dignity, quality of life and assistance. Everyone matters, everyone is important and Kol Ha Kavod – I tip my hat!
On this trip we were asked to notice. It is so easy to notice here. At times, all of my 5 senses activated at once! The Kotel – the cold and warmth of the stone on my hands and lips. The men draped in their tallit, the slips of paper crammed into small crevices. The Shuk – The colors and smells of spices and fresh vegetable filled the air (Ben Yehuda and not the same thing as Machane Yehuda!) My favorite was G’lidah (ice cream that I could have eaten it every day – I even had it once for dinner!) The land – some parts so beaten and battered that I had to use my imagination to picture how the area may have looked 500 years ago. But we are still here and we are NOT going anywhere!
There have been so many experiences I will not soon forget – I will not forget the determination (and aching muscles) I felt on top of Masada. I will not forget the young men and women (really young!) carrying rifles, or the taste of Dead Sea water (they told me to keep my mouth closed – oh well…) My notebook is full of vocabulary – Like: zetim (olives) P’triot (mushrooms) as well as the names of all 7 species (olives, dates, figs, pomegranate, wheat, barley and grapes). It also contains the history of this ancient land. The conquerors and the kings, the feelings from Yad Vashem and impressions from an amazing first (but not the last) time in Israel .