Daniel Mezistrano- Arrival In Israel
When I first walked into the airport, I was overcome by many different feelings, from excitement to sleep deprivation. I don't think I have ever experienced that many emotions in a singular moment in my entire life. As this was my first time flying alone, I was a little nervous going into the trip. However, I was flying with quite a few of my close friends so it was very comforting to be surrounded by people I knew. We flew from Seattle to LA at 6 in the morning, and since this was the first leg in an international flight, we were supposed to arrive at the airport three hours early. The problem was that the ticketing counters didn't open until 3:30 a.m. so we had to wait in line before they could check our baggage. Our flight from Seattle was pretty easy but once we got to LAX things got very hectic.
LAX was a much bigger airport than Seattle, so not only did we have a greater distance to travel in between terminals, but unlike the ability to take a train at the Seattle Airport, in LA we had to walk. While at LAX we waited in line for two hours to get our boarding passes and nearly missed our flight. In order to get our boarding passes they asked us a load of questions ranging from what we were planning on doing in Israel to how many friends we have back home in the states. We had to run through security and to our gate and managed to just get on the flight three minutes before we were supposed to take off.
The flight went surprisingly well. After my long and frenetic day, I was prepared for the worst but I was pleasantly surprised. I was able to sleep a little bit on the plane ride and there was unusually good airplane food. We had a chicken and rice plate for dinner and a fresh bagel for breakfast. After 16 hours we had made it to the holy land safe and sound!
Our time in Ben Gurion went pretty smoothly, we were able to get through all of the security checkpoints with ease and soon made it to our baggage. There were lots of papers we had to show to get our PCR tests, and there were barcodes and passports and several other forms we had to show them. Then we had to repeat the same process for a serology test. It was a very different experience than the Covid protocols in America. In the States it is very organized with lines and a set way of doing things, but in Israel it was whoever squeezed to the front of the line first got to go first. After we had all been tested we loaded up the bus and started the experience of a lifetime.