Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Monday in the Negev

Day 4: Monday in the Negev

Monday morning began with our students leading Shacharit services. Kol hakavod to our service leaders, Lillie and Maddy, and torah readers, Matt, Micah and Rebecca.

We took a short bus ride to Kibbutz Sde Boker and the Ben Gurion Institute and to visit the gravesites of David and Paula Ben Gurion. Our tour educator, Ilan, discussed with the students the significance of Ben Gurion's dream of transforming the desert and attracting Jewish settlers. The views were breathtaking and the students were amazed at the greenery and vegetation growing on the kibbutz which attracted hundreds of beautiful butterflies.

Our next stop was the hike at Ein Avdat. We hiked alongside a small spring and marveled at the strips of vegetation that grew from the spring. Hiking in the desert is hot and we stopped often for water breaks and to rest in the shade. One of our discussions was to appreciate the natural world around us, be shomrei adamah (guardians of the earth), and the spirituality and peace that can be found in the world around us.

The students prepared lunch on Monday. Playing a modified version of "Supermarket Sweepstakes" the kids were split into teams, given a list of food items to buy at the supermarket and then had to prepare the items for lunch. We enjoyed a delicious meal of cheeses, bread, salads, fresh vegetables, and drinks.

After lunch we headed farther south to Kfar Nokdim and the Bedouin tent. Camel riding was a hit. Everyone rode and had so much fun. We were then welcomed into the hospitality tent for traditional desert tea and coffee. Our host regaled us with tales of his life, four wives, and 23 children. We even had a turn to grind the coffee beans in the traditional Bedouin way. Our dinner was a delicious combination of meatballs, schnitzel, chicken, cous cous, salads, pita and tehina. Needless to say, the students are eating well.

As evening fell and the stars came out, our students, sitting by the campfire, played charades and had lively conversation. Bedtime brought them all into the tent, with the girls on one side, the boys on the other, and a partition in the middle.

1 comment:

  1. This is awesome! Thanks so much for putting it together! Maybe someone can encourage Jason to not look so miserable in his photos and smile once in a while so it looks like he might actually be having fun? Thanks!