Day 1 – Lower Galilee
The Aroma – the beginning
It was fabulous to meet everyone today and finally begin the tour we had all been waiting for.
Despite the jet lag, it was enjoyable hearing a little about each person as they introduced themselves, a taster but we look forward to learning more about each other in the coming days.
The Tzipori Field Centre
Our first stop was the Tzipora Field centre. We left the bus with a spring in our jet lagged step, eager to learn about the camp and plant our citrus trees. This was a meaningful contribution to an impressive sustainable practice in Israel (fun fact – Israel is the only country that plants more trees than it logs).
We took our first group photo (a feeling this was the first of many) and bonded as we scraped the mud from our shoes.
We learnt about the schools program and the new buildings to support more students being given the opportunity to have this wonderful experience at camp and learn from the land.
Next stop was Kfar Kadem where we stepped back in time, to an ancient village filled with reminders of the way the land was managed by our forefathers. We donned garments from yesteryear and we were ready to harvest the wheat to make our own tasty bread. After an amazing lunch we headed to the olive grove. We learnt about the significance of olives and the versatility and importance of the oil.
(Fun fact – every seven years you let the land lay fallow so the land can rest and restore).
KKL JNF House For Excellence
After a short drive we arrived at the KKL JNF Centre. This inspirational program for young people on the periphery is having real impact. The centre provides them with a sense of belonging and a place to call home. A cornerstone of the program is when the older students mentor younger students in their studies.
The program believes If you don’t succeed in high school it will be hard to fix it later in life.
The vision is centred around building a nationwide network of centres to support students on the periphery.
We heard from Lior a past student who has learnt much and has now come back to the centre to share her knowledge. At 19 she has achieved much, an inspiring story.
We met Shlomo Ben Haim and our South African friends as we enjoyed the opening ceremony and received our bag of goodies.
We are excited to know we will see Israel through a different lens not the typical tourist one. We are sure we will learn so much in the days ahead.
We left the centre to head to Galilee and find our accommodation for the next two nights (fun fact – The Sea of Galilee is freshwater, you can drink it!). We all look forward to seeing the Galilee Sea in the light of day tomorrow if we survive the games tonight!
Fiona Dixon (Banksmeadow Public), Wendy Dolowitz (Shalom), Liana Edwards (Mount Scopus)