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Israel day one: Let’s have a pop rocking time

January 17, 2013

The minute we stepped off the bus at the guest house for the first night in Israel, the rain began to pour. We stood there with our luggage, huddled in this strange place in a foreign country and waited for our room assignments as the ground became increasingly muddier. Welcome to Israel, I guess.

OK, so the rain kind of sucked that first day, but I was ecstatic to be in Israel and to find a deeper connection to my roots; visiting Israel was my birthright, after all. I was grateful to those who surrounded me and to others for allowing me to take this journey, and I was ready to get started – but, of course, not without a few mishaps.Sheet in shower

Nothing major happened, but my roommates and I did walk into our room that night, flip a switch and learn we had no power. We got it back, but right after the three of us had each taken a shower, the power went out again, and my roommates had to trudge in the rain to get it restored. Then, there was a window in the shower, so, of course, we had to put a sheet over it. All in all, it was a good evening, and I went to sleep in preparation for the next day’s activities – and rain.

But let’s step back a second. As I was on the plane, descending into Tel Aviv, I looked down at Israel from the sky. I did a lot of research before the trip to prepare and so I’d fully appreciate it, but I still didn’t know what to expect as I viewed Israel from thousands of feet in the air. Right away, I was impressed with the buildings and cityscapes; they kind of reminded me of the United States. The land was more developed than I expected, and I couldn’t help but imagine what this place must have looked like 2,000 years ago.

Many people think of Israel as a desert, as an undeveloped third-world country of sorts with a lot – a lot – of religious people. In actuality, it’s the opposite and is just as diverse in geography, technology, weather and people as the United States, with perhaps a few more Jews.

Lastly, at our group meeting that night, our tour guide, Einat, gave us a special Israeli chocolate. We ate it and immediately began feeling the sensation unique to pop rocks – the candy; yep, there’s pop rocks chocolate in Israel. She said she hoped we would have a pop rocking time the next 10 days. And so the journey began.

Disclaimer: My birthright trip to Israel was absolutely incredible, beyond words. However, on this blog, I am trying to use words to describe how absolutely incredible it was. I explain what we did each day and attempt to describe the indescribable: how I felt as I traveled around the Holy Land of Israel. It’s difficult to describe some things because it was a very personal experience, but I’ll do my best. In addition, some things are just too deep or personal to comment on in a blog, but if you would like to discuss or go deeper on anything, feel free to contact me. I would love to talk about it.
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