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24 Feb 2018 by Laurie Matez

A visit to Mashabey Sade classrooms is the first thing on our agenda today.   It has been so wonderful to visit the classrooms in Israel, not only to see the differences, but to see the similarities. Although our languages are different, we are able to speak with the classroom teachers and get a sense of their daily routine’s. It truly is wonderful to see how valued the children are in Israel. They are number one. I believe as we take care of children on a daily basis, they should be .

Next up, a short day hike in the Erin Avdat nature reserve. Any ideas of what the desert is have completely been removed from my mind. In previous thoughts I imagine sand dunes and many plateaus . This couldn’t be farther from the truth. The desert or Negev, is a wonderful example of layers and layers of history and rock, along with beautiful waters that flow through the land, trees many years old, and nature which grows in places we could not even know. The beauty of the Negev is how peaceful and serene it is all while divulging the history it has to offer.

Imagine, that all your life you have not visited Israel. You have in your mind a picture of what you believe to be the western wall in the city of Jerusalem. The excitement builds as you’re driving in the bus closer and closer to the city limits. Upon arrival, the  surroundings change, and you begin to see a variety of Jewish people. As we ascend  the road to the top where Jerusalem lies, I get more and more excited as to what lies ahead. 

We arrive at the Haas promenade for a blessing and a first glance from afar of the holy city.  I am eager to explore this city and to find my connection to its history.