by Lara Rabinowitz, NC State 21’
Yesterday the whole group met at JFK at 9am. We got on the plane and ate two meals (there was hummus!). We finally arrived in Israel after a long flight. It was about 6:30am in Israel so we had breakfast, exchanged dollars to shekels, and got on the bus. The roads were pretty similar to America, but the environment was very different and striking! All of the buildings were white and we drove past mountains, farms, and wildflowers (so beautiful!).
After being on the bus for about an hour, we arrived in Caesarea, which was named in honor of Rome. We stopped to see an ancient aqueduct near the Mediterranean Sea. We all wrote notes about what to expect out of the trip and put them in a bottle. After that, we drove up Mount Carmel, which was stunning. We parked and began a hike! The hike was mostly downhill, but very rocky and hot. The hike was a holy site for Judaism, Islam, and Christianity, as well as for the Druze and other religions. Our guide, Shalom, said that the hike/mountain was significant to Elijah the prophet. I felt very close to nature on this hike.
Next we went to a mall and ate lunch. I got falafel and pita and a soda, which was very yummy. We got to fill up our water bottles too (got to stay hydrated in Israel!). The mall basically looked like an American mall.
We drove to a kibbutz guest house in Galilee and I fell right to sleep on the bus because I was so exhausted. We arrived, got our room keys, and settled in. We are staying in nice cabin-like rooms, which I like. I went swimming in the pool and took a shower (refreshing!). We did a memory activity/game, had dinner, and went to bed.
Other first impressions? Beautiful, friendly people!