Last two days in Israel…. NOOOO!!

Ok, before I get into yesterday and today’s events (sorry I am so late…just super busy!!) I need to take a minute to talk about Shabbat services. We went to an Orthodox Temple for services. I really didn’t know what to expect. The women had to sit on one side and the men on the other. I was blown away by the service, there was a chorus of about 12 boys that sang every prayer and songs. They were so amazing, I caught myself watching with a big smile on my face! It must be the teacher in me…
There were a lot of people at the dinner and it was nice to see the support of the Turkish men’s team as well.

Saturday we went to the Dead Sea!! I have been waiting for that forever! We were all pretty nervous because we have blisters and cuts and that we knew would burn when we got in. The first thing we did was cover ourselves in mud. It was so awkward getting in the water because either your feet were in the air or your butt was in the air. We finally figured out how to ‘stand’ in the water by balancing. We also made a human centipede which was fun until we realized blisters start to burn when they get out of the water rather than when they are in it!! The water was so salty, thank goodness I didn’t get splashed or anything because that would have been awful.

Kim, Sasha and I decided we wanted to swim, or float, to Jordan. That idea lasted about 30 seconds, as the farther we swam, the hotter it got. And because we probably would have died before we even got half way there.

After we got out we took the Mt. Everest climb up to the showers. Seriously. It was so steep and slippery and dangerous…but we made it. It was so refreshing to wash all the sand off!

After the Dead Sea we went to En Gedi. It is a park that has these beautiful natural waterfalls. that go about 1,300 feet up. We walked all the way to the top waterfall, up and down these stone stairs. It was crazy. It was also really HOT. I thought I might melt on the way up, but when we reached the top waterfall it was amazing. The best part…it was COLD!!!! The ocean in Tel Aviv and the Dead Sea are very warm and very salty. This is cold, clean water! It was so refreshing. Then we made our way down, stopping at the springs and waterfalls to cool off.

Once we got back to the embassy we had a BBQ and went to bed. It was a long, fun filled day, and we had practice the next morning…..

Day 10!!
This morning was our last practice. Afterwards it really hit us that we are leaving soon! We went home, showered and got ready for another full day of experiencing Israel. Today we went to
Jerusalem. Our first stop was the Holocaust Museum. I have been to the one in DC before, but there was a different feeling to this one because it was in Israel. I have never read so much. Being here has helped me find a love for learning about the country. It is always hard to read about the tragic things that happened at the holocaust. It was a beautiful museum.

Our next stop was the Wailing Wall. Before we went, Cherry took us up to this hidden gem where we could see Je-RU. I’m gonna try to get a picture in here…we’ll see. If not it’s on Twit twit.

The Wailing Wall was interesting. I didn’t know you are supposed to walk backwards after you visit the wall. This represents not turning your back to the wall. Talia also taught me that the wall used to be a supporting wall to the Temple mount. The wall is the closest you can get to the Temple mount, so it is considered the Holiest place for the jews. Some people will not go up to the Temple Mount because they believe it is too Holy. I put a note on the wall, walked backwards and took in the experience.

After visiting the wall, we went shopping and headed home. Now everyone’s packing and getting ready to head to the World Cup! I am lucky because my flight is direct, but a lot of the girls have to fly to Poland, have a 6 hour layover and then get to Canada. This is my last post from Israel and it makes me VERY sad! I have really enjoyed my experience here and I hope to come back next summer and help out with the wonderful lacrosse programs they have going!

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