BR-1138: Ice Breaks, Songs by the Campfire

A Chronicle of touring Israel with a Taglit-Birthright group: The first night

As joyful as this first day of my tripĀ  had been so far, it seems our faithful tour guides were reserving the best for last.

After we were done with our dinner at the Beduim-styled tourist camp, we all gathered at our group tent in order to participate in the “Ice Break” group activity meant allow the American and Israeli group members to get to know each other better, the Americans were divide into eight small groups and each group was assigned one Israeli member and tasked with preparing a certain kind of act to introduce their Israeli to the rest of the group.

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BR-1138: Desert, Camels and Polygamy

A Chronicle of touring Israel with a Taglit-Birthright group: The first Evening

Leaving the Dead Sea resort we made our way south along the shore eventually leaving the Dead Sea and the Judas desert behind and going into the Negev desert.

It was late afternoon when we arrived at our destination, a tourist camp styled after the Beduim (Desert nomadic dwellers) tent camps. We were instructed to quickly gather the cloths and other personal belongings we would need for the night stay and place them in our group’s designated tent. Following that we were led through the camp, to the place where we were to embark on a short camel riding trip.

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BR-1138: Brain picking engineers and the Dead Sea

A Chronicle of touring Israel with a Taglit-Birthright group: The first day

On the morning of the first day of our trip, when we, the Israelis were getting on the bus and joining the American group for the first time, I was actually the last of the Israelis to get on the bus. As such, it seemed to me when I was getting up, that there were not many available seats on the bus, therefore, I chose not to venture deep into the bus, but instead sit at the first available seat I could find.

In the seat next to me there sat a guy with body proportions that seemed very similar to mine, a blue shirt and a goatee. That guy was Kevin.

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BR-1138: Tiberias, Morning and a golden bus

A Chronicle of touring Israel with a Taglit-Birthright group: Meeting the group

I met the wonderful group of people I would spend the following 5 days touring Israel with on the morning of Tuesday the 20th of January 2009. I choose, however, to begin my story on the afternoon of the previous day.

On that particular Monday afternoon I finally left the office to go home and pack for the trip. Due to my minuscule yet, unfortunately, not completely unimportant role in some newsworthy events taking part in Israel in the weeks before, my going on the trip was not at all certain up to that point.

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Oranim BR-1138

I’ve spent the last 5 days touring Israel, as an IDF representative, with the Oranim BR-1138 Birthright (Taglit) tour group (mostly) from California.

Needless to say, the experience was absolutely amazing, it was uplifting, exhilarating, moving and exhausting all at the same time, as well as truly emotionally and physically intense.

I wish to send my regards from these pages to all the beautiful, charming and absolutely amazing members of the tour group, you guys have moved me in ways I only now am beginning to understand.

I will most probably post more links, pictures and words soon.