Thursday, May 13, 2010

Completing Our Travels In Israel

Thursday was a very bittersweet day as it was the last official day of work. Work went as usual but before lunch all the kids and staff came together to say a few words and give me a gift from everyone.  The head teacher explained to the kids that I was leaving and asked if they wanted to say anything so some of them wished me good luck and to have a safe flight. The teachers then presented me with pajamas, a wooden keychain that says thank you and a Havdalah set from the bottle tree store and I gave the Gan a photo album with a bunch of the pictures that I had taken. It was very sweet and it made me take a step back and realize how much of an impact I have had over the past few months. Friday even though I had the day off I chose to go to Gan because I love it so much and they were celebrating one of the kids birthday. When I walked in most of the kids ran up to me, which reassured me how much of an impact I have made.

Shabbat was relaxing and I got to go to my host mommy for dinner which was nice and then the rest of Shabbat was spent reading and sleeping.

Sunday began our last tiyul of Nativ which would be touring the northern part of Israel.  After leaving Kibbutz we were supposed to go to a Druze village for lunch but we were told that due to violent protests we would not be going ( something had to go not according to plan- we're Nativ) and instead we drove to a national park and the Druze people brought the food. Lunch was quite delicious with laffa, rice, kabobs and more. We then continued on with our day and I chose to take a tour of Old Akko instead of hiking. In Old Akko we saw the remaining walls and cannons from the fighting days many years ago and we also just walked around the area and along the cost, while Elkana explained the history of the city.  It was a very nice city and I got to learn some new information and a good way to start tiyul. We then travelled to Rosh Hanikra and the youth hostel where we had dinner, ma'ariv and announcements before showering and heading to bed early.

Monday morning I chose to do the harder and longer hike due to not wanting to go to Tzfat again and I also wanted to challenge myself. So after about an hour drive we arrived at Nachal Merion which later on would change into Nachal Amud. The hike while long (about 6 hours give or take) was very scenic and beautiful and there was even a bit of flowing water at the beginning which was a bit of a shock. So while the hike was not that hard, towards the middle/end of the hike I started not feeling well due to the heat so the last bit was really tough but I got through it with the help of my friends and at the end I was really proud of myself for getting through and choosing to do the harder option. It was then off to Kibbutz Merom Golan for the evening where we had some free time to unwind and shower before dinner and our evening 'activity'. What the activity was, was Masa having us fill at a survey about gap year programs and various aspects. It was a very tedious survey and once I finished it was back to the room and to bed.

Tuesday morning I chose the easy options and that was a leisurely stroll through the Banias Nature Reserve (. It was a very nice walk through the reserve and we got to see a very nice waterfall and it was refreshing to feel the splash of the water because it was getting hot out. Afterwards we headed to Kfar Blum to go kayaking/ rafting down the Hatzbani and Jordan River. I chose to go rafting with Alex K., Reuben, Sami and Sara B. and it was a very nice trip down the river including a small rapid but at times the river was very congested so it was hard to go without getting splashed and there was also some obnoxious teens throwing mud at us. When we were done we had a delicious pizza lunch and then it was off to Katzrin and the Golan Heights Winery for an explanation of the wine making process, seeing the humongous wine cellar and getting to taste three different wines (a Gamla White Riesling, a Yarden Merlot and a Yarden Muscat) and we got to keep our wine glass (we'll see if it makes it home).   When we were done we headed to Karei Desha (where we stayed for archeological dig) to put our stuff down and then it was off to Tiberias for the evening and dinner.

Wednesday I chose the easy hike which was a rocky walk through the Upper Zavitan stream. It was a very easy hike but there were a lot of rocks that we had to climb over or on but that just made it more fun and there was also a nice pool of water and a waterfall along the way. When we finished we headed over to the Manara Cliff where some people took a ride on a slide along the cliff and then we all took a cable car ride up to the top of the cliff, looked around and then took a ride back down before heading back to Karei Desha. Once back we had a BBQ dinner before heading out to the Hamat Geder hot springs and I chose not to smell like sulfur ( a.k.a rotten eggs) so I just stuck my feet in my while sitting there I got a bee sting ( but I'm ok) so it was an eventful evening. One quick, cool thing to mention that while on the drive there and back while in Israel we were able to see both Syria and Jordan at the same time which was really cool because I don't think there are many places in Canada or the USA where you can drive along and see right across the fence or road into the other country where there is no border crossing.

Thursday was our last day of tiyul and we spent it at the Sahne Natural Pools. It was a very relaxing morning and a nice way to end tiyul and out travels throughout Israel with Nativ. We then headed back to Kibbutz where we had a dinner and I did some hand laundry and continued the process of packing. This weekend is our last on Kibbutz and I will try and make the most of it.


I did not take many pictures this tiyul but here are the ones I took.


Until next time,