At 5:30 am, my alarm rang. It was quite an early start to the day, but it was well worth it. We boarded the busses at 7ish and arrived at the hike by 7:45. When we arrived, we had an outdoor breakfast with granola, eggs, and veggies. After breakfast, we got ready to hike Har Arbel. At first, it seemed intimidating to climb such a big and steep mountain. I was nervous that my footing would be off, but I was wrong! It went great! It was awesome to hike with everyone, talk, and just bond. Let’s not forget about that view! We learned about some of the history also, from our tour guide Yoel. After the hike, we headed over to Tzfat. It was my first time there! It was very hot, but don’t worry mom because I drank a lot of water. We went to a park area and heard again from Yoel about the history of the area. Then we had a short free time where we could buy water, smoothies, chips, etc. Then we headed back to the park where we hung out and got filling schnitzel sandwiches. Then we had a longer free time in the Artist Colony. We walked around, looked at jewelry, saw cool glass sculptures. It was really awesome to be able to see this very funky culture; it was a different way of life. Then we headed over to the army training, it was tough but definitely worth it. Before we began, our Commander gave us an introduction that discussed what it means to be part of the IDF and the importance of it. After that we went into the bunkers, it was kind of like Escape the Room. We had to solve puzzles to get out of the bunker. It was really dark, I was holding onto someone’s hand the whole time! But, we all really came together as a team in order to finally solve the puzzle. Then the really intense part started, the training. We had just a small taste of what it’s like to be in the IDF. We did a lot of physical activites that were hard, but taught us to use our strength and never give up. For example, we had to fill sandbags and then transport them to a gurney that we all carried together as one unit. At the end of the hard training, fresh watermelon awaited us. We davened mincha with a beautiful view. Then we headed over to the hotel for a delicious BBQ. Next we had our chaburas. My advisor taught us about the importance of our speech and the effect that each word can have. She even brought in a small shampoo bottle. This might sound weird but it taught us an important lesson; one person squeezed all of the shampoo out and then I had to try and put the shampoo back in the bottle using only a Q-tip! Obviously, this was not possible, it taught us that we must be careful with our words because once we say something, it is not possible to completely take it back.
Wish me luck on my fast tomorrow!