Day 6 / Day 7

Oy, lovers, I’m much too tired for an essay since I woke up at 4:00 am to hike Masada. Here’s a list of the things I’ve done since last we canoodled:

Yesterday afternoon: long-ass bus ride to the Negev desert and a visit to an Ayalim Village. Ayalim is an organization that allows Israeli students to build new villages in the desert near existing, decaying villages. Students live in the Ayalim housing and work with the surrounding communities on social and welfare projects in a new form of self-proclaimed Zionism.

Yesterday evening: CAMEL RIDE. Will update this post with a series in camel portraiture.
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Yesterday night: A night at what S. refers to as the “million star hotel,” an open air tent in the Disneyland-esque Bedouin camp designed specifically for tourists. Well, whatever, it was still pretty great. A Q & A session with a Bedouin man, Mohammed, who has three wives and 23 kids, a traditional(-ish) Bedouin meal, and a semi-sleepless night under the stars.

This morning: A grueling hike up and down Masada, which would have been way less intense if there had been some shade, y’know, anywhere. S. gave a fantastic talk that really emphasized the mythology of Masada versus the reality of Jewish communities in that era. We are obviously all in love with him, girls and boys alike.

This afternoon: Awesome, low-key nature hike with streams and natural waterfalls at Ein Gedi. I’ll post a silly photo of me with our usually surly medic below.
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Today, late-afternoon: Wonderful, amazing time at the fantastic private Mineral Beach on the Dead Sea. Slathered myself up like a pig in mud, took a video of a friend singing that famous song from The Jazz Singer in Dead Sea “black” face (umm…was talked into that one), burned the shit out of my sensitive nasal membranes whilst accidentally touching my nose in the sea, almost got a tan (yo, it’s more than a borderline sunburn, so yeah!), then decompressed in the shallow freshwater pool with my comrades. After Masada, today was pretty great. Heading to Jerusalem soon and waiting patiently for the airline to email me with confirmation of my little extension so that I can see Tel Aviv. Until tomorrow.

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