Today was amazing. We left our Jerusalem hotel and drove to Mt. Herzl. Mt. Herzl was quite an experience. I think it helped us sort out some of our thoughts about Israel, especially after our conversations with the soldiers in our group these past few days. Many of the soldiers had personal connections to individuals that were buried there, and it was definitely emotional for everyone. I think we were all especially touched by the young American born Israeli soldier from Philadelphia who died in the Lebanon war. He volunteered to go and fight, even though he was on vacation visiting his family in America. There was Phillies paraphernalia all over the grave, which was tough for us.
Next, we toured Hadassah hospital, which I loved since I want to be a doctor (of kittens or humans, I am not sure yet). I think when some people think of Israel, they imagine the Middle East, and picture the third world. So wrong. Israel is at the forefront of technological innovation, and they were quick to point out all the little technological feats they have accomplished. I knew Israel was the first on the ground in Haiti in January, and they are certainly proud of it (with good reason!)
After Hadassah, we drove up north. Along the way, we rode bikes through a nature reserve. Could they pack any more into our days? Probably not! We were able to see some strange relative of the Meercat and we had a pretty funny tour guide who kept calling the ducks "loud little buggers."
We then drove up to our Kibbutz, which from what I can infer, is basically a commune....with a pub. Anyway, our rooms are clean and the food was decent. Some of my relatives actually showed up and told me all about our extended family in Israel. They brought me enough food to feed a country for a day, which I'm sure our group will have no trouble devouring.
It has been a good day - I am excited for Tsfat tomorrow!