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Exclusive BLOG from MAIL pioneers in Israel #2

Posted: 24-Mar-2011 by Maccabi NSW

Madrich Yos Orzach sends this update from Israel:

"The group travelled to a small town called Ramat Yishai, located near Haifa. We were hosted by families of the conservative congregation, and this was all thanks to our dear anatomy teacher, Giora, who organised this.

The participants each stayed at a different family and got to enjoy a traditional Shabbat which included Prayers, Shabbat meals and even a Bar Mitzva that was taking place in the synagogue.

The participants had an amazing time and made a lot of new friends at the families they stayed at. Some of them may also go back for the Passover Seder night.

The week after we had the long anticipated Desert Experience!

The group joined the Äviv program, from Australia and spent 5 days hiking and camping in the desert.

During this week the participants experienced life in the desert and learned many survival skills including: navigating, outdoor cooking, water purification and more.

Every night there was also a night activity which included star navigating, bonfires, and a very amusing talent show. The group had an amazing time in the dessert and did extremely well on all the hikes, always helping each other in the hard parts.

It was also a good chance to meet friends that the participants know from Australia and make many new ones in the Aviv group. We very much look forward to meeting them again in the Yam el Yam (sea to sea) hike and Gadna (army training experience) weeks that we'll be doing with them.

This week it was back to school, where other than the regular topics we also studied sports psychology. The weather this week has been really rainy, so we didn't go out much, but as you all know rain in Israel is a good thing.

This weekend we're all excited because we're going to Tel Aviv, so now you all have something to look forward to in the next update.

Participant DAVID IGLA shares his experience

Wow, what an amazing two weeks we have had, being in the desert and sleeping under the stars.

We arrived at sde boker to begin our hike not knowing what was ahead of us. We were introduced to fellow Australians the aviv group who we would be hiking with for the next five days.

They were very warm and welcoming to us and we quickly integrated into their group.

For the hike we were divided into family groups who we cooked with and hiked with for the most part of the hike.

We walked approximately 10 km every day, sleeping at diffenrent camp sites, seeing amazing views of the desert and appreciating the natural surroundings. we even learned how to go to the toilet in the bush. Feel free to ask us how!!!!!

We learned how to create fire and survive in the dessert. By the end of the experience we were so used to it and all enjoyed it and didn’t want to leave.

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