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Impact Fellowship Blog

My Muss Experience-Eva Gamboa

When I decided to come to Israel, one of the big factors that motivated me to make the trip was the idea of traveling around the country. Throughout these last few months, I’ve been to places that I never imagined I’d ever see. 

Although we’ve been to countless unforgettable places, my favorite trip has definitely been our visit to the sand dunes and orange grove. I remember that when I first found out that my class wasn’t participating in a water hike, I was quite annoyed. However, I figured that we’d be doing something interesting, so I happily went along with my teacher. 

On arriving at the dunes, my friends and I were frustrated because we realized we’d have to hike up obnoxiously large piles of sand to get anywhere. As most people know, this isn’t very easy. Aubrey, my teacher, quickly told us to kick off our shoes and leave our stuff under a tree; I reluctantly obeyed. When we started walking, it took me about 2 minutes to realize why it was better to be barefoot. While I comfortably hiked up the dunes without having to worry about sand going into my shoes, others fumbled with their sneakers and eventually had to give in and take them off. 

Finally, we arrived at the top of the sand dunes. First, much to my dismay, we had a class. However, after this short lesson was over, Aubrey told us to line up together in front of the slope. On the count of three, we bolted down the hill and tumbled down the soft sand. I was worried as I expected it to hurt, but it really didn’t; I remained uninjured even after literally hurling myself down the dune. After around 30 minutes of rolling and burying myself in the sand, we got back on the bus and headed off to our next location.

During this week, we had been learning about Labor Zionism. Thus, Aubrey decided to take us to an old Kibbutz that has an orange grove. As soon as I saw the beautiful and vibrant trees, I was thrilled. This excitement continued to skyrocket after I discovered that we would have the opportunity to make and drink our own orange juice. 

Our first activity on the Kibbutz was a lesson about the place’s history. Learning about the young people, even teenagers, who worked on the orchard inspired me. I love the idea of finding a new safe place for those who want a new life. After our lesson, we had a tour of the grounds, which included a slightly terrifying replica of the orange sorting process. I distinctly remember sobbing of laughter with my friend because of a mannequin of a farmer that looked like it had been embalmed. When we were done exploring the Kibbutz, one of the workers took us on a sort of trolly that went through the trees. It was so beautiful and the entire time I was mesmerized by the “wonderland” that I saw in front of me. Finally, after riding the trolly we arrived at the orange-juicing area. I quickly got started and made a lovely pitcher of juice with the help of my fellow classmates.  Some of the girls in my class even added grapefruits, making the juice even more delicious.

Overall, I loved this experience and I’ll definitely never forget the hilarious and beautiful memories that I made. Hopefully, one day I’ll return to Israel and visit the dunes and orchard once again. However, it won’t be the same without my amazing teacher and friends.

Eva Gamboa