Note: our students are broken into clusters, or "families," during the trip. Each family is submitting a blog entry. This blog is from "The Schlepstein family."
Today we defied the laws of adolescent knowledge when we woke up at 4:00 am to climb Masada. "I was glad to feel my lungs working again after eight days of shawarma and bus-sitting," reflected Jacob Kadan (UNCG). Standing on top of the mountain while observing the breathtaking sunrise posed an excellent opportunity for self reflection. Collectively, among our group, we felt a sense of gratitude and wonder, and a special heartwarming feeling when we opened letters from our parents, lit by the shining sun, filled with sweet notes of encouragement, positivity and love.
Following the climb to Masada, we went to the Dead Sea and experienced floating on water in the lowest place on earth, far below sea level. Although some of us were shivering in the water of the Dead Sea, it was fun to float around with friends. The famed buoyancy of the sea is hard to put into words, and was thrilling to experience for the first time.
Sadly, after a fun and exhausting day we had to say goodbye to our soldier friends. Although it seemed we had known them for years, we had to part ways with our newly extended family.
We then headed to Tel Aviv for a night out on the town and a relaxing evening. Some people got Sachlev and tea, while others explored the bar and restaurant scene of the city. Having an adventurous night out made it that much harder to think about how quickly the end of the trip is approaching. It was certainly a day we will never forget, for many reasons.
- The Schlepstein Family (L-R): Zoe Newman (NC State), Coralia Fangmeier (App State), Carrie Bohn (Kennesaw State), Avery Williams (UNC Chapel Hill), Jacob Kadan (UNC Greensboro), Omer Benacot (Israeli security guard - pictured below)
Birthright Israel blog posts are written by individual students and may not represent the opinion or position of North Carolina Hillel.