July 9, 2013 Fun and Adventure

July 9, 2013

Shalom from Israel!  It has been a whirlwind couple of days, but all is sababa (awesome!).

Who knew that a three hour flight delay would be such a wonderful ice-breaker.  Leave it to teens to make the best of a situation. Kids took full advantage of our delay, got out of their seats, and really got to know each other well.  At the end of our first day together, which was last night, I asked the group if anyone had something special to share.  With really big smiles on their faces, two guys said the flight was great, and because of the delay, they are now friends.  As they say, when given lemons, make lemonade.

Our landing in Israel was memorable. As soon as the wheels touched down, loud applause erupted from our area of the cabin.  Perfect way to arrive in Israel.

A personal “welcome home” and handshake greeted everyone, making us feel that our presence really mattered and that our journey to Israel would be something special.  That “family” feeling was immediately evident and felt by all.  Our wonderful tour educators scooped us up, eagerly and happily taking everyone under their wings.

Your children are bonding beautifully with their tour educators and each other, further strengthening ties amongst buses, which makes our Jewish community even tighter and stronger. Kids are making new friends, trying new things, and seeing sites they only imagined, before they came to Israel

Your children are well cared for by the dedicated Y2I staff, passionate tour educators, drivers and medics.  Meet your kids’ tour educators, three guys who are passionate about their work and who are dedicated to helping each and every teen connect in some way to Israel: Bus 1, Ron Singer; Bus 2, Menash Golan; and Bus 3, Orie Ronan.  All three have been part of Y2I over the past few years, and they really get what it is we hope to accomplish.

Today is a full day of fun, fresh air and adventure.  We started our day with a delicious breakfast overlooking the sparkling Kineret.  We ascended the Golan Heights by bus, twisting and turning up roads that led us to Mt. Bental, close to the Syrian border.  All the while teens were learning about Israel’s history and current events.  Being this close to the border gives one a sense of just how small Israel is, and puts into perspective what Israel deals with on a daily basis, considering the neighborhood.

We descended the mountain and headed for fun and food–rafting, grilled pizza lunch, and then ziplining, all the way down the Manara Cliff. Not to mention the unbelievable cable car ride up the cliff to peer into Lebanon.  All this before mid-afternoon!

This evening we will enjoy a fun cruise on the Kineret with music and dancing, and a night stroll on the boardwalk in Tiberia.  A really wonderful day!!

Tomorrow we will visit Sfad and then on to Jerusalem, for the next part of our Israel adventure. Little do they know what unbelievable things await them on the next part of our trip.  Ancient sites, tunnels, walls of various kinds, the new and the old, the sacred and the funky—all waiting for your children to discover.

Your kids are doing well.  They are trying new things, including the food. They are happy, making friends, and having a wonderful time.

Until next time, with love from Israel, at the base of the Manara Cliff,

Debbie Coltin

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