Camels, Climbing and Crashing :)

3:00 AM.

I was freshly showered, curling up in bed, lights out, dreaming softly.

6:30 AM.

I was jerked awake by the sound of my Madricha’s voice, blasting over the loudspeaker.

“Attention girls! The bus is leaving at 7:00! Get up, get dressed, and get downstairs!”

I groaned, rolled over, counted on my fingers from 3 until 6, added the half hour, and nearly cried. I did whatever I could to avoid coming out of bed, but finally realized that if I wanted to catch our bus, I had better get a move on. Jumping off of my bunk bed in an impossibility if I like my legs the way they are, so I did the usual ladder climb; holding on for dear life, my bare feet gripping the cold, irregularly shaped metal rungs, I landed with a thump on the stone floor of my room that resembles an ice-skating rink. I skidded to a halt in front of my flip-flops, struggled into them and slumped off to the bathroom.

7:10 AM

After frantic packing (throwing sunscreen, sunglasses, hand sanitizer, chap-stick and some water into my backpack, along with my camera, cell phone and possibly some other useless junk) I ran to the bus. Funny enough, I was going with my friend, and we stepped out of our building into the cold Israel air, made an immediate right and walked half a block to where our tour bus usually waits, but lo and behold, it wasn’t there. In confusion, we turned and headed back to our building only to discover the bus was- get this- parked right outside all along; we hadn’t even looked to the left. Oh, the things we do on three and a half hours of sleep.

 

Skipping time. I slept for a while on the bus, we got to a random spot, davened and ate some strawberry yogurt, chocolate pudding, and a baguette. I usually get nauseous on the bus after eating, so I just had a yogurt, saved some food for later, and went back to sleep.

I woke up to a bunch of white plateau-looking mountains. This is the usual scenery in the Dead Sea area- all around the Ein Gedi area, and since this was our third time travelling to the Dead Sea, I wasn’t too impressed. We climbed some sort of stairs-hike, took a thousand pictures, and got back on the buses.

I slept again, as this is obviously my favorite pastime (and I’m generally sleep-deprived) and then we arrived at the camel riding…place.

It was a little after 12:00 PM, possibly 1:00.

We all used the bathroom, and waited around as the Bedouins loaded us up on the camels. My friend and I were partners, as there are two to a camel, but there were no camels left for us, so we had to wait while they went and woke one up.

Our camel was led into the corral roaring and rearing, yawning, chomping and making a terrifying racket. He refused to kneel so that we could mount him, and it took two Bedouins (one with a stick) and a stable hand to get him to cooperate.

We discovered later that he was “ah-yeif” which means tired in Hebrew, but at the time we thought he was INSANE. Everyone was freaking out, but the rule is, if someone screams while on the camels, they get taken off, no questions asked.

So my friend and I held our breaths, and together, we mounted the camel. Camels rise in a three-step process, which I can’t even describe because it is so confusing, but YouTube probably has a delightful movie, so head there to figure it out.

Our camel rose slowly, but jerkily, and I was sitting in the front, holding on for dear life. My friend and I were part laughing and  part crying as our camel was attached by string to the last one in line. Our camel had his face in the girl in front of us’s camel, and she was petrified that he would bite her, but he didn’t, which shocked me. A Bedouin took the lead rope and all the camels began to  clomp around a lame, smooth trail that took about 30 minutes. I am so happy the school payed for this experience, because I would beat myself up if I dished out money for camel riding.

I basically sat for thirty long, painful minutes, getting bumped around and commenting on our ridiculous looking animal. We named him MAD, for Mangy Anorexic Dragon. He looked beat up, skeletal skinny, dirty, and deranged. The Dragon bit came from the insane sounds he made.

I’m getting dizzy just thinking about the dismounting part, and I must conclude with the fact that I like horse-back riding a LOT better. (And I don’t even LIKE horse-back riding.)

After our non-exciting and painful camel tour, we loaded up onto the bus again, where I…how did you guess? Slept!

We ate lunch somewhere, then loaded up again (I think I only snoozed this time.)

Then we went to some place that has awesome colorful rocks which can be smashed into fine sand, so we filled up vials of different colored sand, working mindlessly for who knows how long. We davened Mincha there as well.

Back on the bus (you got it, slept again! I probably got a full 8 hour nap in 🙂 ) we drove to the Dead Sea, pulled out our food, and had an awesome BBQ of chicken, hot-dogs and great food. We heard close to 30 army planes flying overhead, insanely low and extremely loud, positively petrifying, to be precise. But there’s an army base nearby  so I was reassured with that information.

After dinner, we went back to sem. You’re going to laugh, but I slept on the way home, too. I then planned out my weekend with my friend, which was futile because no one can have us for Shabbos (waiting to hear back from my uncle in PT) and our biking in Binyomina plans got cancelled.

I don’t know what tomorrow will bring, but I do know that today rocked, literally, ha ha, and I am looking forward to the rest of my vacation!

Keep UNraveling!

Tel-Aviv

The last notebook closes with a thud, schoolbags are deposited in the bottom of every closet, and the suitcases are pulled out. Midterms are finally over, and everyone feels the load of stress lift off their chests  (although they were mostly open-notes!). Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are our official winter break days, but we really got Monday afternoon until the following Sunday.

Excited as anything, we all schemed and planned, choosing paint-balling  rappelling, Eilat, Tel-Aviv, Mearas Hamachpeila, before finally deciding to sleep out at a friend in Rechavya on Monday night, with the intention of planning the rest on Tuesday morning.

So Sunday was school, Monday was half day, and then I went out with a friend from home, went to the Kotel and went to play practice  Our play is on the 12th and 13th of February- we’re doing The Marrano Prince and I am psyched! I play a man named Don Pedro, which has a lot of lines, so practice Monday night was from really early until really late. My friend and I finally got to Rechavya a little before midnight, and we hung out, ate Doritoes, took a walk and just chilled. We saw a stunning, super cool European type of car zoom by with sparks flying out, going close to 200 MPH NO JOKE and we freaked out,but all in all, the night was amazing.

We slept in an empty apartment that isn’t really anyones- the renters moved out and my friend’s family still has the key. We woke up late, davened and ate some pizza that my friends parents so generously purchased for us, and then after some tinkering on my friend’s moms computer, we were on our way.

We had decided to go to Tel Aviv, and three more girls were joining us. We met up at Tachana Merkazit- the Central Bus Station in Jerusalem. On the way, we passed HUNDREDS of people because today was Election Day. There was some guy on the train announcing the arrival of the Messiah, and we videoed him. He said, “There’s always a crazy person on the train, but I am not crazy…” and then he launched into his speech.

My friends and I paid for our bus fare to Tel-Aviv; the driver accidentally gave us Minors’ Fare, which is half price, and I fell asleep on the way. My friends took pictures of me sleeping, whihc they found hilarious and I found annoying, but I quickly forgot about the incident as we arrived in Tel-Aviv.

The city is a mixture of Manhattan and Brooklyn, with Israeli accents and crazy fashionistas parading the streets. We took another bus to some street, hopped off and pushed through the crowded sidewalks until we arrived at the Tel-Aviv beach.

Located on the Mediterranean Sea (eyeonisrael.com) the beach was a sight to behold. My friends and I arrived a while before sunset, and so we davened Mincha and thenjumped around, took a billion pictures, and watched the sun go down. The beach was packed, and my friend and I had a fake boxing match, complete with her rolling around in the sand as I “attacked” her viciously.

It was really fun, but after dark, we put our socks and shoes back on and, shivering slightly, we made our way to a main mall in Tel-Aviv. We were looking for Forever21, but we were in the wrong mall, and after chilling in a guitar store for a while (my friend is a genius guitar player), we headed back to Jerusalem. We had been in Tel-Aviv for over 4 hours, and we were all WIPED.

We ate in different restaurants in Tachana back in Jerusalem; I got a great salad and a calzone, because all I had eaten was 2 slices of pizza, an apple and a Coke.

Then we raced each other back to school, where a rather boring Jewish movie was playing, but we sat down, ate greasy popcorn and threw it at each other, imitated the movie, got up and sang along with it, and now here I am, wasting time and eating ice cream.

Tomorrow the school is taking us camel riding, G-d willing, in less than 4 hours, to be precise, so I NEED to go to sleep- I’m INSANE!

Have a great day- enjoy YOUR winter break! Yeah, the weather here is INSANELY gorgeous!

 

Keep UNraveling!

Just an Update

Sem is really great. I’m scared of the fact that time flies so fast; I don’t ever want these golden days to end.

I finally spoke to my principal a few days ago and it was amazing- he is a genius and he is SUPER nice! I really liked talking to him- and theres two more teachers I really enjoy speaking with. I’m so glad I found mentors- yay! Happy dance.

I’ve had some interesting experiences recently- Israel is FULL of them. Just walking around is such a cultural experience…I went to CafeCafe tonight to meet with someone and these two guys asked us to move over, because they were filming a movie or something. It was a little weird, actually. And this old russian man walked past us and said, G-d bless you!

Like I said, interesting experiences.

I had good food for dinner (for once, yay!)

We had tryouts for our play on MOnday (I tried out for drama and dance).

Weather’s been getting kinda cold.

I’m really not feeling well (so much for the golden days, ha ha) I have a cold and headache.

Midterms are coming up soon, and tehn a few days of winter break.

I’m going with my friend to a Moshav this Shabbos, iyH.

We had a tzniyus Yom Iyun today, and it was kinda scary, marrying a Shloime guy vs. a Yummy guy (one who checks out girls and one who doesn’t, basically.) The speaker used to trade on Wall Street- a lady! It was kinda cool, but what’s even cooler is how she lives her life now.

Israel is full of so many amazing people, who’se lives are dominated by Judaism, yet they still have amazing personalities, styles, careers, families, etc.

When you’re jewish, you really don’t miss out. 🙂

Keep UNraveling!

 

Chanuka

It’s been a while but here’s the update:

School has been going really well. Starting to have a good group of friends, feeling really at home here and don’t ever want to leave.

Was Chanukah chagiga head and so we spent a stressful week or two trying to work out a good breakout. We finally decided on a theme- NesCafe (the coffee brand) which also means Nes (miracle) on Kaf Hey, the 25th of Kislev. So we had a cafe set up and after taking everyone to the Kotel, we surprised them with a gorgeous cafe set up, with delicious hot doughnuts  tons of coffee and lots of food.

The past few weeks have been a blur of school, going out, seeing friends, not sleeping, and more school.

Chanukah came along at the perfect time. I spent last Shabbos at my friends house up north and had a wonderful time seeing her and her family. Sunday was kind of lousy, although we had an awesome Yom Iyun with three ridiculously good speakers (one was an ex-soldier and an ex-supermodel. Google Avichai Cohen) Then I spent most of Day 1 of Chanukah moping because I wasn’t feeling too good.

Monday turned out way better- after a day of slightly bothersome classes, I rushed to get ready for…Chagiga! We set up the hall, which is in the basement of some Yeshiva, and then we watched everyone come in and LOVE it- once again, Nescafe theme, and the decorations were amazing.

We had great food ( I actually gained 5 pounds that day) and really fun workshops that the teachers gave us. Gotta upload my pictures one of these days.

We finished closer to one in the morning, and came back to school and danced, after which I showered and crashed.

Tuesday was AWESOME! We went to the Old City at 9 in the morning for the Aish Discovery program, which lasted until 4 and was worth every moment. One speaker (who just happens to teach in my school as well) told us about  a study that scientifically proves that there is a G-d, which was mind blowing.

It was cold, wet and rainy outside, but a bunch of us went to the Kotel for mincha and candle lighting. Afterwards, me and two other girls went to Burgers Bar (good stuff!) and then one of the girls came with me a babysitting job that I had gotten in Rechavya. We sat on the couch and ate a bowl of popcorn for two hours, basically. 🙂

I was feeling really tired and head-achy by then but I went with my friend to her house for a bit- we chilled, then I came back to school and went to bed at 3 am.

Wednesday was our first official day of vacation (even though we basically had no afternoon or night classes, and 12 o’clock curfew every night) so I slept in till one. I missed breakfast, shacharis, but I had some lunch. I went to an appointment at 4, missing mincha and candle-lighting 😦 I was pretty mad. Then I met my friend who’s mom was just leavin back to America, and we went to the Neve Chagiga together, and watched a cute performance (I ate 3 doughnuts, having missed dinner as well) and then we danced like crazy people. I saw tons of girls I knew- I think there were close to a thousand girls there- and then I ran from Har Nof back to school, in less than 20 minutes, to make curfew.

I lit candles (kinda late) and took some pictures, packed and got on the bus at 1 am for our surprise trip. I got to sleep for less than two hours, and I got off the bus in middle of the desert. We all received torches (really cool!) and walked to a random spot in middle of a random place, and suddenly there was booming music, and there, in the middle of the desert, was a DJ, complete with strobe lights and everything, blasting Yeshiva Boys Choir at 3 am. It was like a dream, the whole experience, and we all danced the night away, and afterwards got back on the bus, quickly climbed a mountain- it was basically tons of ladders and a rope at one spot. We saw sunrise, davened shacharis, ate, and then went to the Dead Sea.

It was pretty cold and everyone was exhausted so we all just fell asleep on the sand, in the warm sunshine, and then boarded the bus to go back to rainy, cold Yerushalayim. After an hour’s wait, I had a shower, slept, and here I am.

I have to pack for Shabbos (going to my uncle, iyH) and then I have Sunday off…and then it’s back to school!

Hope you’re having a warm, lit up Chanuka!

Keep UNraveling!

Birthdays, Cats, and Other Israeli Legends

So Life Has Definitely Been Intense.

Welcome to my life.

 

Still can’t spell “Definitely”…argh!

 

Ok. I spent Shabbos with my friend on Sorotzkin, at cousins. We had an amazing time, and one of my favorite moments was standing on the “Promenade” overlooking the mountains. There’s something about the views in Israel that are unparallelled anywhere else. Mountains, sunglight, forests, beaches, trees, the works. Masterworks.

This place is awesome, and if you haven’t yet been here, please change that. Fast.

Anyways. Oh, yes, my birthday.

I’m 18, you guys. It’s kinda scary, so I try not to think of it too much.

My birthday was amazing. I got more phone calls, hugs, cards, birthday signs, presents and balloons (over 18 of them, actually) then I have ever received in my LIFE. I think. And my friend came in and a few of us went out to eat and my sister bought me an ice coffee. I received, amongst other things, Doritoes, earrings, chocolate, Oreos, a ceramic cow, and  a fascinating drawing.

Now I know who my real friends are (LOL).

SO, smashingly successful birthday, and thank you for your kind wishes.

Moving on. Heh heh I can’t wait for my Hebrew birthday lol.

 

So Israel lets you take public transportation, naturally, since you need to be partially insane to own or drive a car here, but anyways, being seventeen up until last week, combined with my Israeli passport, entitled me to half priced rides on all buses and trains.

Which I ddin’t really think of toooooften, so when I would take a cab, or two, or six, I would say, well, it’s only 10 shekel (about $2.50) instead of the usual fare of 6.60 shekel, and I wouldn’t feel too bad.

Turned 18, happy birthday, only NOW do I start paying 6.60-before it was 3.30. SOOOO- should not have hailed that cab.

Moving on. This is funny.

A week before my birthday I purchased 40 rides for half price. (when I purchased in bulk, I recognized they were cheaper, to explian the cab situation.) After my birthday, my card (called a Rav-Kav) stopped working. I went to the Tachana Merkazit (Central Bus Station, where they deal with people like me) na dthey informed me that because I was no longer entitled to half-price tickets, my previous purchase had become invalid.

Imagine that! They won’t even let me use up my card-I assume becuase they foresaw that people like me would just load up a few years worth of rides and travel at half price forever.

Ah well, entering the poorhouse as we speak…

In other news, I volunteered with about half my school at Yad Eliezer today. We packaged over 270 boxes, and it was a BLAST! I literally just dumped a bottle of soap into a cardboard box and then did another one and another one, for over 30 minutes.

Assembly lines rock! And roll. Fast.

LOL

Ok.

My room has been spotless lately.

I talked to my brother on the phone for almost an hour.

I miss my friend.

I tried to write a song.

I had to reward myself with chocolate every five minutes of sitting quietly through a certain class. NO joke.

I need to go study now.

For all you people who have been motivationg me, helping me, guiding, encouraging, thinking of or praying for me, I just wanna shout out to you all from the bottom of my heart, and across half the universe that I miss you and love you and if not for you- you know who you are- I probably wouldn’t be here today.

So thanks.

 

And now for story time.

I was walking with a friend down a shady sort of street one chilly night last weekend. The time was late, our eyes were drooping with lack of sleep and the only thing we wanted at that moment was a nice warm bed- not a freakin’ Chad Gadya episode.

A bald man with a black jacket holding  a red leash was yelling at his huge black dog. Screaming “Attack, Attack!” at the top of his lungs, he pointed his dog toward an (innocent?) black and white cat who freaked out and lurched forward- right towards me and my friend.

The man (he seemed to be an arab) screamed hysterially with drunken laughter, and followed his eager dog, who was literally pulling at the leash to attack the cat who was headed right towards US!

The fight or flee instinct seemed to evade my friend and myself- to be precise, it was simply a “flee” instinct that pushed us to scream hysterically and run as fast as we could out of that dark street. We ran until we could no longer see the cat and crew, who had taken off on a wild chase in the opposite direction. I was panting, and my friend was laughing, and trying to pull me along, and we suddenly noticed a man with headphones talking to us.

When we looked at him inquiringly, though, he ignored us, and this went on for some time until, still panting, we had caught up to him. At this point, he turned towards us and asked, smilingly, with an Indian sounding accent,

“whatever is dee matter?”

So we told him about the dog and cat, and the crazy man, and he laughed and said in his funny accent,

“Do not worry. I am here, I am here.” and we thanked him, and asked if he knew how to fight dogs, to which he reassured us he did, and then, after saying “I am here now” once more,  he walked off.

My friend and I just looked at each other, and we were all like, “where?”

So then we walked home and went to bed. The end. Lol.

Keep UNraveling.

Sukkos

Friday was the day I had been waiting for for a very long time. Finally, finally, I would go to Geulah. It wasn’t easy to make the trip; Geulah is the best to visit on Erev Shabbos or Yom Tov, both days which I never have school, so sleeping in is always an irresistible temptation. The problem?  Candle lighting here is extremely early, so I never have enough time to make the trip. This Friday, I was determined to do it, and do it I did. My friends and I stepped onto the packed train, and made our way through the slight drizzle, the unusual mugginess and fog towards the center of all things Chassidish- the place where modesty is a must, where Jews jostle for a place on the sidewalk, where the narrow streets are dwarfed by the tall stone buildings welcome to Geulah.

We walked and walked and walked some more, and that would basically some up the majority of our day, only the things we saw were so amazing I have to go into semi-detail. First of all, our school is hosting a photo contest for all things Sukkos related, the winner gets free frozen yogurt for their room and I want to be that girl.

Hence, my camera joined us on that trip.

First stop, down Kanfei Nisharim, a bunch of Israeli children play-fighting with Lulav leaves refused to let me take a picture, and threatened to hit me.

I resolved to shoot first, ask questions later.

The next few hours were filled with shooting pictures of innocent passerby who I deemed as worthy of being captured on my camera, and I shot with abandon. Lulavim, Esrogim, little kids, old men, nobody passed by unscrutinized, and if they did, it was only because I was busy capturing someone else on my precious little black Canon.

The streets were packed with people purchasing last-minute Arbaa Minim and other items for Sukkos, and although we wanted to stay forever, we finally headed back to seminary, exhilarated and ready to start the Chag.

My friend and I took a cab to my cousin, who had all her children and grandchildren over, and we enjoyed a wonderful meal. We walked over half an hour to get back to our dorm, talked late and I slept in. I had to be on the same street by noon the next day for my other meal, but I didn’t realize how long it would take so I only arrived at 12:15.

Thankfully, they had only just started, and I made Kiddush, washed and joined the meal. I had a wonderful time there as well though I was sweaty like a crazy person from my long walk and felt a bit gross. I met some really cute girls though, and I stayed afterwards chatting with random third cousins for a few hours.

One thing someone said really got me thinking, how they had been to the Kosel a bunch of times already, and I’d only been 4 times.

Walking back around 5 pm, I decided to go to the Kosel at the next opportunity.

Little did I know that would be sooner than I thought.

As I walked into her dorm room, my friend who I had eaten with the previous night informed me that she was planning on going to the Kosel and invited me to come along.

I realized that this was my chance, and despite my exhaustion, I agreed.

I was kind of in the mood for an adventure, and boy did I get one.

One other girl joined us, but when she found out my friend, E, wanted us to find a meal in the Old City, she left.

After asking some directions and getting a bit lost, we finally arrived outside the Old City.

So began our CRAZY, INSANE night.

We asked a family that E knew if we could eat by them, but they don’t have American meals, so then we asked some random person, who said no but to look around the building.

Suddenly, out of nowhere, a girl I know walked out with another girl, and after talking a little, they realized we wanted a meal and so invited us in. E and I could not belive our good luck, we had found a meal, and when we entered the apartment, we were blown away. This was all in Rechavya, the stunning upper class community and this apartment was luxuriously done up- we ate on the porch with china plates, crystal goblets and the best food we’d had in weeks.

Ok, words CANNOT describe, the sparkling floors, light fixtures, couches, the way everyone was dressed we had just stepped foot into a wealthy, wealthy home, and they couldn’t have been any nicer. In fact, they waited us hand and foot and refused to let us get up and help. They were wealthy out the wazoo. E has stayed in five-star hotels before and she was BLOWN AWAY. Let’s let the imagination run for a few minutes….

Well, curfew was at 12, and we had a long walk back to the dorm so at about ten o’clock we took our leave, with much thanks and appreciation (we could NOT shut up!)

we decided to go to the Kosel which was probably not so smart seeing as we could very possibly arrive late to the dorm, but I refused to turn back, not once we had gone that far.

The following three hours were filled with people, adventure escorts, running, davening (we made it to the Kosel finally) free Gatorade, tissues, more escorts and lots of freaking out. Being vague on purpose here, but we finally started back home, way too late to talk about, and we heard wolves howling, I was freaked out of my mind, and suddenly more escorts a religious family, appeared out of nowhere (Ok, it was close to 1;30 a.m.) Basically, every time we were afraid of walking ourselves, or struggling with something, G-d sent a saviour.

The rest of my Sukkos was amazing. I went to Birkas Kohanim Wednesday morning, incredible experience, a lady almost fainted on me, you couldn’t breathe, I nearly got to the front. The place was PACKED I don’t think I ever saw quite that many people. Afterwards I went with my sister and cousin to Holy Bagel, my first official time going out to eat.

We hung out and then my sister and I went shopping, got flowers for my amazing Rechavya hosts and had some fun adventures.

Thursday I went to the beach with my friend and saw the most amazing sunset EVER!

Friday was pretty much the usual, up late, some errands, went to two teachers houses, one for each meal, had amazing time.

Sunday I took a bus to Neve Yaakov where I spent my second days of Chag with my two good friends at one of their sisters.

Although one of my friends got really badly sick and had to go to the hospital (she’s OK, b”H) we still managed to have a wonderful time!

I cannot believe Sukkos is OVER….here comes the rest of my life!

Can’t wait to hear your comments!

Keep UNraveling!

SemGirl Ramble 2

You know that feeling you get when things are looking great, everything is falling into your lap and for the life of you, you can’t just imagine anything better? And then everything just…gets better? Sounds rare, crazy, idealistic and possibly insane, but…

Welcome to the past week of my life.

So, quick updates and sign-in is coming up in less than ten minutes. (Actually, the madrichot just signed us in without making us climb four flights of stairs, so I get to stay in the computer room in the basement. See what I mean about insanely awesome?)

To review, because you’ve probably forgotten about my existance, so how can you recall where I’m up to in life?

Rosh Hashana was phenom- went to Karmiel with my sister and stayed at great family friends, had a blast and spent some quality time with my BFF.

The time leading up to Yom Kippur was slightly stressful, classes and much emotional junk going on, think I wrote about that, but I did OK.

Yom Kippur spent at Medrash Shmuel, beautiful choirs with soloists galore, lots of walking and broke my fast twice. Lol. Spending the fast day in the holiest city in the world was INCREDIBLE and hopefully I will never ever forget it.

And then came Sukkos prep. Prepare for some breathtaking stories because this girl is living in the Holy City, where miracles happen. Every. Day.

The day after Yom Kippur, a Thursday, our sem took us on a crazy long full day trip. Woken up before 8:00 am by our Trip Coordinator, with cheery words and loud, boy-choir music, we stumbled down to the bus, most of us feeling slightly “post-fast” and very tired.

We first went sand duning,  just cimbing massive hills of sand and running or rolling down, and this was near Ashdod. After sweating like we were in the Sahara desert, we made our way to the stunning beach of the Mediteranian Sea, somwhere in Hertzlya, I think. The water was a stunning blue-green, the sky bright with the sun streaming through, and the sand white as a set of Crest Whitestrips enhanced teeth (um, what?). We splashed and jumped and squealed, and the salty water washed over us, to the point that our eyes and noses were quite sore. No joke, I thought I would get washed away at one point, and the lifeguards had to keep yelling,

“Banot!” Which means “girls”, and then a whole string of Hebrew warnings would follow, all of which we gaily ignored. Our time at the beach was glorious, and stay tuned for pictures.

Now, since we beached in our clothes, we had to make our wet and sandy way back to the bus for the third time, and sat uncomfortably until we got to the boat docks.

This part of Hertzlya was beautiful, and as the sun began to sink in the sky, the first shift of sem girls, myself included, boarded a massive speedboat with a net in the back. Ten girls would take turns lying in the net, which meant we were flying inches above the water. Since the boat was going so fast, it would bump up and down, crashing over the incoming waves, causing enourmous amounts of water to spray up and down, and throwing us around so we quite literally were like fish in a net. The experience was horrifying, frightening, exhilerating and enjoyable, all twined up in one salty, confused, bumpy ride.

There was one wave so big, for a second the boat seemed to hang in midair, and then it came crashing down in such a way that I was completely blinded, screaing with my hands pressed against my eyes and nose (oh, that water was salty!) and my feet went completely over my head as I smashed into the wall of the boat.

Thankfully, there were no injuries, and I can happily say that I still had a smile on my face (my dripping wet face) as I clambered up the slippery deck, grabbing onto poles and friends alike as I raced for a seat before the next wild wave. Many girls felt sea-sick, but I just felt thrilled, like a true sailor at sea.

I got incredible pictures of the setting sun, sailboats, and all water related things, and unfortunatly, all too soon, our trip came to an end.

We changed in a mall on the pier, walking past Gap in sopping, dripping clothes and flip-flops was not awkward at ALL (the restroom cleaner got a little ticked off) but we apologized and cleaned up as best as we could.

We ate dinner, davened mincha and bussed (again!) to a park where people work out and adults can play and be children there.

My friends and I made a chain down a massive tunnel slide, which resulted in many bruises. Surprisingly, sand duning, swimming in a sea and rocking a boat ride are not problematic for seminary girls, but going down a tunnel slide is.

Through all this time, I had not yet made Sukkos plans for second days and I was FREAKING out (they kept blasting music on the bus, I got wrong numbers, busy signals…) but when we got back to seminary, I finally got my Sunday night and Monday lunch meals in order.

Here I will stop, give you a few minutes of a break, see if I can get pictures up, and then start a new post!

Stay tuned, comment hard!

Keep UNraveling!

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