September 4, 2010
Yesterday we started the morning off with breakfast in our rooms. It was lovely. I ate Israeli corn flakes. Then we had a group text study with the leader of our program, Moshe, who is a Bible teacher. We studied a text from Deuteronomy that says what you are supposed to do when you get to the Promised Land. Apparently, you’re supposed to bring your first fruit to the priest and give it to God. Cause apparently God worked really hard for that harvest? Interesting. Anyway, we analyzed it in pairs, and Justin and I had a super good time. We were the only people laughing. It was atheist corner of humor at it’s best. The conversation was interesting, although I definitely have some issues with giving MY hard work to God. And also, being in the Promised Land. But ANYWAY.
After that, since it was Shabbat, we had a whole bunch of time off. I obviously spent it all in the pool. It was awesome. And delightfully refreshing. It’s so ridiculously hot here, the pool is literally a slice of heaven.
After pool time, we went over the program guidelines, which was thrilling, obviously. Then we went on a “gradual, easy hike to see the sunset.” Turned out to be a STRAIGHT UPHILL GOAT TRACK TO THE TOP OF A TALL MOUNTAIN. It was the most intense experience of my life. About 5/6ths of the way up, Jodi and I decided to find a nice place to sit and watch the sunset from instead of making another vertical climb. It was actually very nice. As we climbed down, we talked a lot about our Jewish identities, and it was a really great conversation. I wished I could have finished the hike, but my body told me to stop, so I did. But I had a good time, so I was happy.
After the hike, we made dinner in our separate community and coexistence tracks. Our group made stir fry, salad, and noodles, and the other group made Middle Eastern and “Mexican” food. Our group worked together really well in perfect harmony. It was very encouraging. And there were cupcakes. I only ate the top, obviously. Then we did lots of hanging out, both in our courtyard and at the pub. Then, finally, I went to sleep. It was a good day, minus the straight up the mountain climb in the 287923497 degree heat. Pictures on facebook to follow whenever I get around to it.