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Birthright Israel | Bus 229 from mountains to sea to desert

Dec 31, 2015

Hiking in Israel
Photo credit: Daniel Schwartz (UNC-CH '19)

The day started, and we headed to take a hike to the top of a mountain near the Red Sea.  While some may have gone to drink coffee, the rest of us traversed the mountain, up and down. We came, we saw and we conquered that mountain (of which I forgot the name).

Our next stop was snorkeling, and we braved the clear cold water to see a vast variety of fish, coral, and more fish. I personally didn’t recognize many of the fish that were present, though I’ve definitely seen those kinds of fish in movie portrayals and postcards. Others ate ice cream by the sea shore and laughed as the under-insulated shivered to and fro.

The mall was good. A typical lunch setup. I found it hard to order from the menu of this particular restaurant, but the payoff was worth it. I got a goose breast baguette, just to try something new, and the taste was fabulous.

We arrived at the Bedouin tents in time for dinner, and by then the tiredness level was very strong, as we had little sleep from night before. We were physically exhausted from our trek, and mentally exhausted from picking a t-shirt design.

We listened to a Bedouin speaker talk about his culture. He gave the group small cups of coffee and preceded to tell us the origins and what main lifestyles that were present today.  The dinner that night was stupendous. Sitting on the floor around a central eating area, we were served chicken shawarma and rice and a healthy glass of H2O. 

Last but not least, Mama Orna brought us to the middle of the desert to have a few minutes to quietly reflect on the past week and what it meant to us. I meditated, concentrating of the flowing of my breath, but I couldn’t keep it long. My concentration halted with the inflow of emotions of the previous days, when I realized at once what a monumental trip this has been. I am eternally grateful my experience here in Israel and am happy that many Jews have the opportunity to see and discover this beautiful country.

#camelvan #bedowinning #birthwrite #blessed

Justin Kuhn is a sophomore at NC State University.

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