I'm not sure whether you know this, but I went to Israel. For 10 days. Remember that? Just as expected, it was inspiring & challenging & emotional & difficult & wonderful all wrapped up in one. And while this is not the appropriate space for me to discuss my experiences as a Birthright trip leader, I'll leave it at this: I learned a lot about myself. I learned what I am capable of, what my breaking points are, what my leadership style is, what my leadership faults are, & so much more.
My co-leader & I were fortunate to have a group of 37 participants with 37 distinctive & distinctly wonderful personalities, who made it easy for us to feel lucky even when things got difficult. And most importantly, I think they had a collectively great experience in Israel - & that was the point of the trip! It wasn't all unicorns & rainbows behind the scenes, but now that I'm home, recovering from my jet-lag & my Israel-induced mystery illness, I can retrospectively say that if given the option, I don't think I would've changed any of it.
OK, maybe some of it. But still.
Anyway, here's a a quick recap:
I struck a Rocky pose atop a tall stone staircase on a nature hike.
I ate corn pizza.
I visited a park full of trees that my friends & I planted last January & marveled over how tall they've grown since then.
I posed like a conquistador atop a hill in the Golan Heights.
I drank tea on the shore of the Mediterranean Sea first thing in the morning.
I donned red lipstick in public for the first time.
I ate cake atop Masada at sunrise.
I saw a really awesome, rushing waterfall.
I rode a camel with a lop-sided harness who my fellow rider (an Israeli soldier!) & I appropriately dubbed Loppy.
And so many more things that went uncaptured in photos because I was too busy experiencing the moments to the fullest. Isn't that how life is supposed to be?
My only regret is that I did not purchase this keychain.